I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing York singer, songwriter and ace musician Laura Kindelan earlier this week in 45 The Vinyl Cafe on Micklegate. Laura was eloquent, effervescent and spoke about her major influences, where she might take her sound next, her musical guilty pleasures and her favourite chocolate among many other things. Check out that conversation below.
- Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
Well there isn’t just one person, for me it’s the sound and the performance. For the sound, it has to be Lianne La Havas; I love her jazz guitar, melodic vocals and song writing. I particularly love her lyrical patterns and use of unusual words. My history teacher introduced me to her.
As for performance, I would have to name two people; Amy Winehouse and Damien Rice. I believe that both of them show the beauty of imperfections. Damien Rice’s mix of his first album “O” massively fluctuates in volume within songs, which could be considered wrong but I believe it’s emotive.
- What is next for you, where do you go from here?
I am very happy to be a slow burner. I am not focussed at all on becoming a product or a brand. I want to be a well-respected musician, singer and song writer. That has to include maintaining respect for myself and my craft. I want my music to speak for me, not the image. I would also love to work with a really tight rhythm section in the future.
- Musically do you have any of what you might consider guilty pleasures, if so what are they?
That is a tough one, the first one that I can think of is Abba. However, I don’t feel too guilty about it as they wrote, produced and released such great songs. But perhaps my real guilty pleasure is my ‘go to’ party song; “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna.
- How do you prepare for a gig?
First, I always do some vocal warm ups. I like to make myself feel nice, to feel good. I don’t often wear much make-up, but for a show, I choose to get dressed up with make-up and nice clothes. Everything I do to prepare for a gig contributes to making me feel comfortable and confident on stage. I really believe that a performer should invest the audience in what they do by personally connecting with them, and to do that, you need to be happy and comfortable with yourself. Confidence is key to any good performance.
- Name one thing in your musical career that you are most proud of and feel free to tell us why?
My headline show last year at the National Centre for Early Music in York. It felt like such a magical night and I am so proud that I did it. I can’t quite believe that it happened. There were around 180 people there, really listening and enjoying the night – It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.
Click here to check out my review of that show on this blog last year
- What drives you to write songs?
Sometimes it is all about getting something off my mind; a feeling or a relationship perhaps. Currently I really love to experiment with harmonies, shapes and different tunings on my guitar. I think I draw influence in this experimentation from Jeff Buckley and Tom Misch, particularly with pretty harmony and rhythm from the latter. I see my sound as evolving into something similar to Tom Misch, only much grottier!
- How does your song writing process work?
I have lots of lyrics stored on my phone that I’ve written as they come to me and I sometimes go there for inspiration. Although, as I said before, I love to experiment with harmony and chord progressions so I often begin here.
- Name a song that you believe you could cover and make it better than the original?
At the moment I am playing around with a very different arrangement of “Do I Wanna Know” by the Arctic Monkeys. I am trying out a very slowed down version which is more ‘head bobby’, with more dissonance and harmonics. I think this new vibe adds more meaning to the lyrics.
- Which of your songs would you like to see covered by someone else and who would be your top choice to do it?
I would like it to be someone completely different from me, how about Hello Operator? That could actually be amazing, we should make it happen!
- Tell me something that you have never told an interviewer before (and this does not need to be music related)?
My signature dish, that I make incredibly well (if I do say so myself), is Carbonara with mushrooms, bacon and cream. Bon appétit.
- Name three things that you simply cannot live without?
My family, good food and Doctor Martens. I’m hoping to build a collection of Docs – I currently have four pairs, including one with a snake-skin pattern.
- What is your favourite confectionary item?
Terry’s Chocolate Orange, beyond any doubt the best there is!
Now check out some of Laura’s rather excellent tunes.
All photographs were provided to me by Laura and are credited to the photographer in the caption. The first picture was a rare good one taken on my phone. Video links were specially selected by Laura herself.