By Paula Araujo
Incase you missed it the first time around, Laura Brehm is coming back at you now with a complete remix of her latest EP, “Breathe”. Back in June, she released the EP with the record focusing on a more mellow and acoustic sound. This time, she’s crossed territories into the EDM world. As a fan of the genre herself, this combo doesn’t strike her as new at all. Her name may have come across your radar before if you’re an avid listener of EDM. Currently, Laura has over 30 collaborations with artists in that realm.
Laura is remarkably accomplished as a singer, songwriter, collaborator, owner of her own label, Electric Bird Records and now producer. There is a distinct passion that radiates throughout her music. Whether she takes it slow or takes us through an eclectic journey of sounds, Laura successfully combines both genres in a way that makes you want to hear more.
Read on as we talk with Laura about her musical journey, creative blocks, and what’s to come.
How would you describe yourself and your music?
It’s hard to describe yourself, I may have to ask a best friend or a family member to do that haha. My music is a blend of folk, pop, alternative, and electronic. I’m always experimenting though. I like to think that my music has a dreamy element to it; at least that’s what I’m going for when I create!
Any particular EDM/folk artists that inspire you?
There are so many! Ellie Goulding would probably be my #1 influence when it comes to combining folky elements with EDM. Some of my favorite EDM artists include Royksopp, Zedd, Flume, and Excision. For folk, I love Sarah Jarosz, Trampled By Turtles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Bob Dylan to name a few.
Do you truly feel you have discovered your sound?
At this moment in time, yes! I feel like everything I’ve done in the past with music has led me to the sound I have today. All the way back to when I learned classical music on the piano as a child, to the early indie/pop songs I did as a teenager, and from every single collaboration I’ve done within EDM, I’ve learned and evolved. My current sound resonates with my personality, my vibe, everything really! I’m sure it will continue to develop over time, but I’ll just go with the flow and make what sounds right in the moment. The combination of folk + EDM in general I think is here to stay for me though. I may just end up bringing more and more elements into that.
Do you have any favorite lyrics that you’ve written?
Some of my favorite lyrics I’ve written can be found in the song “Awake & Dreaming”, the first track on the ‘Breathe’ EP. I especially like the line “I will chase what is beyond, I will find myself where I am taken, for I’ll be there for a reason”. This really reflects the way I see my life intertwined with my music career. I write based off experiences in my life, all the while I’m following my dream of being a musician, and music then takes me to places in my life that lead me to new experiences and people, continuing the cycle. It’s also about believing that everything happens for a reason, and a reminder to keep your eye on the goal but to enjoy the journey and see what unexpected places it may lead you to as well.
What have you discovered about yourself throughout the process of creating new music?
It’s hard to say because creating music is so integral to who I am and I’ve been playing music since before I can remember. I guess it’s just been a major role in my life and in my self discovery throughout, which I am incredibly grateful for. I honestly don’t know who I would be without it.
What is your favorite aspect of creating or working on a new piece/project?
That it’s an opportunity and a challenge to bring a meaningful piece of music to the world that has never been heard. That it’s an opportunity for growth, and many times, healing.
You recently wrote a piece about the most important thing you’ve learned. How has not trying to control your creativity worked out for you since this discovery?
Indeed, thanks for reading that! It has worked out for me in many ways. First of all, I’m less stressed when it comes to completing projects. That’s very important I think, because when you’re having fun in the process of making music, it really shines through in the final result. It’s also led me to writing songs I never could have even imagined; they happened because I was able to let go and allow the creativity to work it’s magic.
You mentioned that “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of your favorites. Any other favorite authors or books?
I read a lot of non-fiction books about psychology; it’s a subject that will never cease to fascinate me. One of my favorite non-fiction authors is Paulo Coelho, because his books transport me to other worlds and expand my perspective. I lose track of time while reading his books, and that’s always a good thing!
What are you most proud of so far with your career?
I’m most proud of all of the collaborations I’ve done with producers and artists from all over the world. When I was younger I never imagined the industry would be the way it is today, with the accessibility and connectivity that’s available. And because of this, I’m also proud of the range of styles that makes up my catalog, it’s filled with so many different ones!
What is your workflow like? What does a typical day/week look like?
A typical work day will include healthy eating, exercise, meditation, and other healthy habits that help to put me in the right mindset for being creative as well as feeling I have enough energy. There are tasks I do each day that are upkeep for my career; promoting on social media, talking with my management and PR team, checking emails, assessing my goals, vocal exercises, practicing piano, and the list goes on and on. There is no end to all of the things you can do to become a better musician, and to be prepared for all aspects of this career. Another huge aspect is learning. Not only learning more about music itself, but about the business aspects of the industry. Most of the time though is spent writing, experimenting, recording, and completing projects.
What has been the most challenging thing so far?
The most challenging thing as an EDM vocalist has been writing consistently catchy songs that fit just right with the instrumentals that are sent to me. Most of the tracks are released on their own as singles, so the track has to really be strong on its own; you don’t have other songs within an EP or album to balance it out. It can be really hard to write so many catchy songs without it starting to sound cheesy.
What has been the most rewarding thing so far?
Getting messages or comments from fans saying that my music has inspired or helped them in some way has definitely been the most rewarding aspect. That makes all of the struggles worth it.
What has been your favorite thing about the journey so far?
Meeting people through music who have become life long friends.
What are your long term and short term goals?
There are a lot, so I’ll just state a couple of them. In the short term, I want to start learning more about production so that I can release more tracks that are done 100% on my own, and I want to make some developments to my YouTube channel such as adding videos of live performances. In the long term, I want to tour the world with a full set that includes both electronic and acoustic elements, and develop my label, Electric Bird Records, into the vision I have for it.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
A feeling of awe, inspiration, and a sense of calm.
What is your advice for other artists out there? What was the best advice you’ve been given?
My advice would be to embrace your individuality. If you try to emulate another artist, it’s not going to work out too well. There’s so much music out there, and while it’s easier than ever to put your music online, it’s also harder than ever to break through all that noise. I would say just don’t be afraid, give it your all, and be yourself! The best advice I’ve been given would come down to that same idea. I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety and perfectionism in the past, and getting over those hurdles have been immensely relieving and helpful.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Which artists inspire you?
I draw inspiration from anything and everything, from love, to loss, to good times, bad times, and everything in between. Other forms of art, nature, and of course other music inspires me too. My main inspirations are The Beatles, Radiohead, Ellie Goulding, Imogen Heap, and Royksopp, and there are countless of other musicians that continue to inspire and surprise me every day, including the artists and producers that I work with.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to do this for a living? Do you recall your earliest memory involving music?
When I heard Imogen Heap’s album ‘Speak For Yourself’ around age 16, I knew I wanted to be an artist for a living. Her music inspired me on an entirely new level, and I have been motivated enough to keep pursuing it ever since. I always knew I wanted to be a musician though, whatever role it might have played in my life. My earliest memory of music involves sitting at the piano with my Dad and playing little melodies up high along to what he was playing.
What are the last 5 songs you listened to?
“Heavenfaced” by The National, “Hopeless Romantic” by Michelle Branch, “LOVE.” by Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari, “Crime” by Grey & Skott, and “Scope” by Mssingno.
Any particular album you’ve been loving recently?
One of my favorite bands, The National, just came out with a new album called ‘Sleep Well Beast’. It incorporates a bit of electronic production within their classic sounding, melancholy rock. I find something about the lead singer’s voice intriguing as well. It’s so dark and lovely!
What’s in store for the future?
Who knows what the future holds! What I hope for is to continue on this journey with making music as my career and to be happy.