Words by Ed King
Did someone say homecoming..?
Laura Mvula was quickly added to the list of Birmingham’s musical luminaries following the release of her stellar debut album, Sing to the Moon, in March 2013. Signed to RCA after a series of showcases, and building more industry momentum than live gig experience, her debut LP would chart across the world – reaching No9 on the UK album charts and No1 on the UK R&B Album Charts.
Nominated at the 2013 BRIT Awards, BBC’s Sound of Poll, Mercury Music Prize, Q Awards, and winning at the MOBO and Urban Music Awards, that year Laura Mvula was a rising balloon. Her music is original yet traditional, with deep rooted gospel and classical strains pushing a mellifluous yet firm vocal lead, alongside choral support and a slight harmony obsession. Her work speaks of relationships, family, home, empowerment and loss. It connects. And by the end of the 2013 it was hard to not know the name Laura Mvula, or the musical endeavors of an artist who was, until relatively recently, penning ‘song structures’ during her breaks on the CBSO reception desk. Birmingham born and raised, schooled at Swanshurt then the Conservatoire, the city had another artist with real depth to be proud of.
Now, time to do that all again… no pressure.
Just under three years later and Laura Mvula released her follow up album, The Dreaming Room, in January 2016 (although there was a re-recording of Sing to the Moon with Metropole Orkest in 2014 to distract us for a bit). Guests on the sophomore LP include Nile Rodgers with ‘Overcome’ and Wretch 32 with ‘People’, released as singles in January and April 2016 respectively.
There was a shift in the production team too, with the man who first lined Laura Mvula up with RCA, Steve Brown, being replaced with Mvula’s now Musical Director, Troy Miller. Instrumental members of the London Symphony Orchestra further helped to produce The Dreaming Room, developing the multi-layered character of Mvula’s musical approach.
The Dreaming Room was released through RCA in July 2017 – with its latest single, ‘Show Me Love’ released on the imprint in May the same year.
‘Show Me Love’ – Laura Mvula
Laura Mvula comes to the O2 Institute in Birmingham on Saturday 19th November – with support from Oliver St Louis. For direct gig info & online tickets sales, click here.
For more on Laura Mvula, visit www.lauramvula.com
For more from Oliver St Louis, visit www.olivierstlouis.net
For more from the O2 Institute, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham
For more from Metropolis Music, visit www.metropolismusic.com
For full gig listings & online tickets sales from Gigs and Tours, visit www.gigsandtours.com