Laura Mvula interview: ‘The rush in London is bigger than anywhere else’

The BRIT-nominated soul singer tells us why she loves the pressure of the capital



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Beautiful Nina Simone-alike soul singer Laura Mvula is from Birmingham but recorded her album ‘Sing to the Moon’ in west London, and played some of her earliest gigs in a tiny Soho club. She’s been nominated for Best Female and British Breakthrough Act at
The BRIT Awards.

What’s so great about London, then?
‘I’m Laura the Brummie, so I still feel like a bit of a foreigner over here. But at the same time, London injects a sense of excitement into this journey in a way that no other city can. If I’m playing a gig in London, it feels so important. The adrenaline rush here is bigger than anywhere else. I kind of like the pressure that London puts you under.’

You headlined at Shepherd’s Bush Empire last year…
‘Yes! It was amazing. London audiences have this reputation for being a bit too cool
for school. But people were really energetic and enthusiastic. Or maybe just drunk –
it’s hard to tell.’

Was that your favourite London gig?

‘No. That would be playing Golden Slippers at Blacks Club in Soho, back in 2012. The space was like a living room – you could only fit about 15 people in there, 20 at a push. In London there seem to be so many of these hidden away places, and that’s exciting to me.’

See Laura Mvula live in London


  • Critics choice

Elbow, Madness, Manic Street Preachers, Kelis, Anna Calvi, Laura Mvula + more. Normally ill-served when it comes to fun in fields, south-east London got its own back in 2014 with the first instalment of this new two-day music festival. It’s back for 2015, with a dad-friendly line-up of mature indie bands (Elbow, Madness, the Manics) plus a trio of cool female singer-songwriters (Kelis, Anna Calvi and Laura Mvula). More music will be announced soon, including stages booked by Gilles Peterson and Heavenly Records, both of whom put together tasty leftfield line-ups last year. There’s an equal emphasis on food again too, including a food village featuring live cooking demonstrations and a 'Chef's Club', and more family-friendly activities.

  1. Blackheath Shooters Hill Rd, SE3 0TY
  2. Sat Sep 12 - Sun Sep 13
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