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



Add +

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.’

Users say


Read more music features

Interview: Mary J Blige

The queen of R&B flew half way around the world to record her new album with London’s brightest young musicians. We met her in Whitehall to find out why

Interview: The National

‘Sometimes I forget I have the same job as Madonna.’ Matt Berninger, frontman for the brooding indie stars, looks back on 18 months of touring

Interview: Lorde

‘I don’t look good smiling, so I don’t smile.’ Lorde has been 2014’s most exciting enigma. We talk to the teen queen who’s saved pop from itself

Interview: Kiesza

Pop needed a heroine who could sing, dance and handle a rifle. We speak to the sharp-shooting Canadian who answered that call

The best new music of 2014: Nimmo

Get this smart disco-pop duo into your life, as they join our rolling guide to the best new acts around

See all Time Out music features