A singer-songwriter from Annapolis Valley has released her debut EP, fusing her folk music roots with R&B influences.
In July, 24-year-old Laura Roy performed her six songs to a crowd of family and friends at Niche Lounge in Halifax. She described the feeling as coming home to her roots, the place where she fell in love with performing.
When Roy first began singing and writing songs, she followed a folk-pop sound (think early Taylor Swift) that she thought was native to Nova Scotia.
But she soon realized her musical influences — like R&B artist Kehlani and pretty much any artist signed by OVO — was much different than what the masses were listening to.
“I don’t only have to do what I’ve been doing in Nova Scotia,” said Roy, sharing her thinking at the time.
“I can break out, experiment and try new things.”
This mission took her to Toronto and New York to produce songs that are electronic, pop (Don’t Chase the Feeling), to slow and souful (Full Moon).
She’s back in Halifax now, performing at her old stomping grounds like the Carleton and the Company House.
“Whenever I come here it’s a constant reminder of how humble and genuine everyone is,” said Roy.
“It just makes me feel grateful to have those roots.”
Roy began performing at 10, using her coffee table and cat’s food canister as her stage.
Two years later she was singing One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men hits in front of her classmates.
She learned how to play guitar while attending North East Kings Education Centre high school.
And she was selling her first album out of her backpack by her senior year — produced in her chemistry teacher’s home studio.
Roy has gone on to complete a music degree at the NSCC Dartmouth campus, receive several grants and perform with artists like Jully Black and Ludacris.
Prior to releasing this year’s EP, it had been two years since she’d released her last single.
Roy spent much of that time stockpiling personal material.
She pulls inspiration from travelling to new places, taking long walks or struggling through the tribulations of everyday life.
“It’s amazing how much inspiration you can get for songs off of one breakup.”
She’ll soon be releasing an acoustic EP, which will focus less on production and more on her killer vocals.
This will be followed by an East Coast tour.
Roy lives off the energy that comes from big crowds and strutting her high heels across a stage like the one she performed on at Alderney Landing.
But she will also never tire of sitting on a stool, guitar in hand, belting out her soul in a local bar. She describes the feeling as having a one-on-one intimate conversation — with everyone in the room.
Roy will be performing at the Carleton Sept. 9, along with Taryn Dene Fudge, Lindsay Misiner and the 7th Mystic.
Those interested in listening to Roy’s EP can purchase it on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud by searching “lauraeroymusic”.
Original publish date: Sept. 1, 2016