"I wish I’d written ‘Both’ by Ingrid Andress. That’s my absolute favourite song right now and a total masterpiece" We chat with Laura Oakes

Brit-country singer Laura Oakes was supposed to be returning to C2C Country To Country when we caught up with her, but obviously things happened and the festival didn't. Ahead of her EP (out 27th March) we still wanted to find out more about Laura and her EP.

Hey Laura, how the devil are you?

I’m very well thank you!

What have you been up to today, and where are you right now?

I’m currently in Scotland - I’m on tour at the moment and this evening we play at the Poetry Club in Glasgow

Tell us something about you that we don't know.

I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was younger!

What can you tell us about your new single, ‘Better In Blue Jeans’, in two sentences?

It’s my absolute favourite song to perform live! And it's a fun, upbeat bop!

I’ve heard you play the song live before, how does it feel to have it recorded and released?

Ah, it feels so good to finally release this song! It’s been around a little while now, I think it’s four years since we wrote it so at long last it feels amazing to have it out there!

You’re from Liverpool and play country music, what was your first experience of country?

The first experience of Country that had a huge impact on me was discovering Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride through watching Carrie Underwood taking part in American Idol - I fell in love with the music instantly.

And what is it that made you fall in love with it?

The storytelling I think, the lyrics are like mini, three and a half minute movies. And also, the incredible, big, powerful female voices.

Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your view on how we get a better representation of diversity in music?

That’s a BIG question! And one I could talk about for a while - one aspect of it I feel strongly about is it’s so important to keep music accessible for children of all backgrounds. And while it’s just one part of the problem, the more and more cuts that are made to arts funding makes it a lot harder for a lot of young people to be involved in music and arts from an early age which breaks my heart as without music funding as a child, and a support system telling me, yes, I could achieve it, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.

You were supposed to be playing C2C again this year, what would be your dream festival to play?

I’ve seen a lot of my heroes play at British Summer Time in Hyde Park - so to follow in their footsteps, that’s the dream.

This isn’t your first C2C, how would you describe the festival to someone that’s never been before? (Ed - this interview was obviously before the world came under the influence of covid-19)

It’s a massive party! There’s an atmosphere unlike any other festival I think. You’re gonna do a lot of walking, you’re gonna do a lot of drinking! Even if Country Music isn’t really your thing - you’ll still have the time of your life.

Who (or what) inspires you?

My family. They’re all musical, and they were my first inspiration to start singing and playing. They’re also my inspiration for hard work and what it means to sometimes not have the best hand dealt to you, but fighting twice as hard to make a success of what you’ve been given.

You did a countrified cover of ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ a couple of years ago, what’s the one song you’d love to be able to record, or wish you’d written?

Right now, I wish I’d written ‘Both’ by Ingrid Andress. That’s my absolute favourite song right now and a total masterpiece. I like covering songs outside of the Country genre and country-ing them up, like we did with 'Groove is in the Heart' - so maybe another 90’s pop banger!

'Both' is an incredible song. What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?

I listen to a lot of different stuff in my spare time - some of my fave classic artists to listen to are Stephen Bishop, Bonnie Raitt and Elton John. Artists and bands I’m loving right now too are Theo Katzman, Ingrid Andress, Tallsaint and The 1975.

If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?

My girls Twinnie and Catherine McGrath and my fave boys Holloway Road.

What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?

When my EP is released! It comes out March 27th! (But you can grab it early if you’re at C2C festival from the merch store!)

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

I very rarely drink it - but if I do - it’s a flat white.

You can find out more about Laura at her website. You can also check out what she's up to on her socials. Her EP, How Big Is Your World, is out on 27th March.

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