Last year, Laura Roy released a eponymous debut EP (you can read a review of it on the site,) and the tracks on it have only gotten better with time. A lot of music gets sent to POParazzi in a week — most of it is amazingly good. The tracks on Laura Roy EP are so good that even a year later they’re heavily on repeat. It’s something about her smooth voice, 90’s rhythm, and relatable lyrics that make her music so captivating. With a new song, ‘Pitbull’ and some recent live shows under her belt, I spoke to Laura about what she’s been up to in the past year.
POParazzi: Hey Laura! You released your self-titled debut EP last year. What have you been up to since then?
Laura Roy: Since releasing the EP, I have been traveling, writing and playing shows! Lots of writing though, not only for myself but for other artists.
POParazzi: How was the creation of the song ‘Pitbull?’
Laura Roy: ‘Pitbull’ was actually a song [I] wrote about two years ago with a couple other writers in Toronto. I didn’t intend to use the song for myself, but after it got shopped around I was approached to keep my vocal on the track and be the featured artist on it. The song was produced and signed as a single with Reliant Music. It’s funny, because I have never met the producer of the song in real life, and the vocals on the song are actually my demo vocals that I originally cut when the song was first written!
POParazzi: Your self-titled EP, Laura Roy, was a very solid debut with 90’s R&B and synth-pop vibes. What helped shape your sound?
Laura Roy: Definitely my influences growing up. I am a 90’s baby, and I have a strong love for R&B and Hip-hop music, so naturally I draw a lot of influence from that era. I also like putting a new-wave spin on things as well so I think those two worlds came together to create the sound of the EP.
POParazzi: What’s your creative process like? Do you enjoy writing and working with others, or are your songs usually written by yourself?
Laura Roy: I write both by myself and with other writers. More often, the songs I write completely on my own are the songs I perform the most and [that] feel most authentic to me, but I also love the collaborat[ive] effort and hearing fresh ideas and perspectives from other writers. I work both as an artist and as a songwriter so it’s often split when I am writing depending if it’s something for my self [as an artist] or if I am just writing a song for [others]. It’s kind of two different mindsets.
POParazzi: When did you first get into music? How has your sound evolved over time?
Laura Roy: I loved music from a very young age, but I started writing and singing more seriously around age 14. It’s been an evolution since then. I’ve become a much more experienced writer over that time period; I also studied music in college, so I grew a lot as a musician and a vocalist. I also have traveled a lot. All of those life experiences have shaped the way I write and my style.
POParazzi: You’ve been doing some performances around Canada lately. What’s the best part about getting to perform live?
Laura Roy: I have mostly been performing solo in the past year which I love. Just myself and my guitar.. I love having complete control of what I am doing on stage, and I always feel like I have a more intimate connection with my fans when I perform that way. That’s how I started performing music, so I think I will always have a soft spot for doing acoustic shows like that. Much [of] my music has been produced in the past, and now I want fans to recognize that the more acoustic sound is also a big part of who I am as an artist.
POParazzi: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Laura Roy: Haha, yes! It was called ‘Free.’ Typical emo thoughts of a 14-year-old girl wanting to break away from her little hometown and explore the world. I used to write a lot of poetry before I wrote music. I was very in touch with my emotions from a young age, and I always used creativity as an outlet.
POParazzi: You’ve gone to songwriting camps with producers and writers that have worked with big names – from Ariana Grande to Lady Gaga. What have you learned from them?
Laura Roy: All of those camps have just added to my experience as a writer. Typically, you go into the studio, get paired with two writers whom you’ve just met. You write a song and demo it in that same day. It’s kind of crunch time writing style but its great practice.
POParazzi: You have a pretty distinct style in your visuals. Does anything inspire your look?
Laura Roy: Everything about my branding, style, visuals is all me. I just try to be authentic to myself and what I like. I don’t overthink it.
POParazzi: Who would you love to work with on a song?
Laura Roy: I would love to write with Ed Sheeran.
POParazzi: What is one part of the creation of your EP that you will never forget?
Laura Roy: We added some live instruments at the end process of the production, and I think it made a huge difference. It was awesome to hear live piano and live bass of some of the tracks.
POParazzi: What is the one thing you hope listeners will understand about you or take away from your music after they listen to the EP?
Laura Roy: I just hope that they can relate, connect, jam or dance to any of it. Different songs speak to different people, but at the end of the day I just love when people can connect to the lyrics I am singing or feel some sort of emotion.