Hailing from the beach haven of Golden Bay, singer/songwriter Laura-Mae is now based in Wellington and released her debut single ‘Betsy’ in May. We caught up with her for a chat.
Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
I’m an Indie-Pop singer/songwriter based in Wellington NZ. My debut single Betsy was released in May and has brought with it interviews across radio stations including The Hits! My next single ‘Rug of Numbers’ will be out in mid-July with Tiny Triumph Recording (Salmonella Dub, Louis Baker) and ‘Going Nowhere’ out late 2020 with It’s New Haven (Kira Puru, Guy Sebastian). My music style is hugely influenced by Country from Country Music Awards, and also Rock due to Smokefree Rockquest.
What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
Yes! I’ve just released my debut single Betsy, out now absolutely EVERYWHERE! Plus, I recently flew up to Wellington to record my next single ‘Rug of Numbers’ with Tiny Triumph Recording. Super excited about this one, especially once Toby said Rug of Numbers ‘screams’ radio haha.
Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
Laura-mae from Golden Bay on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify. These are my main social media sources… and I love Instagram – that’s updated every day lol. [Also YouTube].
What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
Kasey Chambers – Barricade and Brickwalls. Her twang made me laugh so hard when I first heard her… then all of a sudden I was covering her songs at singing competitions.
Randy Travis – Old 8×10. You begin to see where my country influence comes from here. His deep voice, somber melody and beautifully intricate guitar picking skills have shaped my original songs.
Paramore – Riot. It wasn’t the music that caught me… but the music video to ‘That’s What You Get’ in the old living room. Haven’t seen that clip in over a decade, but the careless, cool persona of the band’s video made me so interested in their catchy riffs and differing vocal techniques… and also those drums were so heavy. The inner punk screamed out as I began dying my pretty blonde hair to red, purple, brunette and then back to red just cause I wanted to be as cool as Hayley Williams. Didn’t like much of their new stuff though. Only that second album of theirs.
Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
Richter City Rebels – this group is epic! I’m such a huge fan and have attended all of their Wellington gigs. Such funky, happy vibes make everyone dance. If I could write a catchy melody with funky saxophone fills, my life is complete. I listen to them before going out to town. It’s become a ritual of mine to get everyone pumped.
What ís your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
Honestly I haven’t played at many… but I would love to play at Meow. This is the first craft beer bar I was introduced to as a fresh vic uni student. Those monthly slam poetry nights were great for socializing, but then two years later I returned for a mates gig and just fell back in love with the crafty vibes, accepting customers and that cool bookshelf backdrop.
In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
I grab my guitar and just start thinking up a scenario. I’ve tried doing songwriting acapella, or with backing music, or with piano, and honestly I just can’t come up with anything! The only way I write songs is with my guitar. Don’t fix what ain’t broke! Then, I hop onto Garageband and pump in some piano/synth to fill the background, sypher through the preset drums for something that fits and then, most importantly… the bass. This is almost the most important instrument. Firstly, it gives warmth, but mostly, it gives groove.
Where/when is your next gig?
I’m doing a live stream for E NOHO on July 1st! Would love to have you all watching!