What are your names?
Lara Smiles – Vocals / Guitar, Joe Singfield – Bass, Sara Leigh – Drums
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you.
Lara started out writing punk and soul tunes on her guitar, while attending all-night raves in her teens when led to a love of dance music and experimenting with samples. This has led to a wonderful cross-pollination of musical genres, merging a guitar driven and synth inspired sound bursting with layers of alt pop and avant-garde electronics.
Testament to her versatile approach, she gone from supported indie icon Pete Doherty to collaborating with pioneering dance producers The Orb. She has played on festival stages from Glastonbury to Isle of Wight, to the Great Escape and more recently worked with legendary producers Youth, Tim Bran and Michael Rendall.
What made you get in to music?
I remember enjoying music at the age of 3, my parents were always listening to Tina Turner, The Beatles and Paul Simon and from there the love of music began for me. I loved singing and got told off a lot at school for singing around the classroom! I started singing lessons at the age of 12 and from there I knew it was the only thing I ever wanted to do.
Are you a signed?
The current single, ‘All for You’ is signed with Wall of Sound records, we are currently released the album on our own DIY style label, Wonky Pop.
You are releasing your new single “All For You” tell us more about it.
‘All for you’ was initially just random lyrics that came out of nowhere, I soon realized that I could make up a story with it so I decided to write it about a guy who falls in love with a girl but she breaks up with him and he ends up telling her that his life is all for her, it’s a bit of a sad story but I thought I’d turn it into an upbeat song. If played slow and acoustic it’s actually quite a sad song.
What was the writing process like?
There are lots of ways that I write but with this one I already had the lyrics written (a poem) I found a cool synth sample on logic and I wrote the vocal melody around that. The lyrics fit the melody so that was lucky and It was initially an EDM style tune but I turned the synth sample into a guitar part instead and it turned out a bit more indie and raw.
What was the recording process like?
I recorded the drums, bass and some guitar at Lightship 95, which is an awesome recording studio on a ship on the River Thames. It was a great experience recording there, although when the ship moves in the evening as the tide is coming in we all felt a bit sea sick at points but it was really cool. I then recorded over dubs (guitar, vocals) in my bedroom, Michael Rendall mixed it and added some really cool synths to the track and then I got the track mastered at Metropolis.
Who did you work on the Single with?
I wrote and produced the track and Ben Phillips from Lightship 95 engineered. Finn Lomax is on drums, Joe Singfiled is on bass. Michael Rendall mixed the song.
What message are you trying to get out?
You can turn something sad into a positive, I’ve only just realised this though from this question which is pretty cool! It wasn’t intentional.
Will we see a music video for the single?
The video is coming soon! It is very DIY which I think is cool and it was really fun filming it around London with my sister who filmed and edited it.
Is it available to Pre-order? If so where can we get it?
It will be out on i-tunes and everything on 27th July.
Will we see an EP or Album this year? if so can you tell us the release date or any spoilers about it?
My debut album will be out on 7th September, you can pre order it on pledge music on my website: www.larasmiles.com I have already released 2 singles from the album and there will be more singles from the album getting released soon too which I’m excited about.
Do you have gigs coming up or a tour in planning?
My album launch show is on 30th August, hope you can make it! I would love to do a tour sometime next year.
If so where are you thinking of heading?
Nothing planned yet but hoping to do a small UK tour soon.
Do you have any collaborations coming-up with any up-coming artists?
No collaborations in the pipeline just yet but I’m sure I’ll do a track with someone cool soon, I’ve collaborated with lots of great producers and songwriters before.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
If I really like the music, production and/or song-writing then I’m up for it! You can find me on most social media sites.
Recently I also bumped into an awesome artist called Gaudi https://www.facebook.com/gaudimusic/ I would love to work with him and Youth https://www.facebook.com/MartinYouthGlover/ on a tech/dub track one day. They have an album out soon, ‘Astronaut Chemists’ and I saw them playing live recently which was so inspiring!
What else do you have planned this year?
I’m also a singer in The Australian Pink Floyd Show and we’re going on a 2 month USA tour in September. We then go on a UK tour in December and then I’m also singing with a band called Thunder and we’ll be on a UK tour with them in February for a couple of weeks. In between all this I’ll be working on my next album and I’ll be doing some gigs of my own.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I play guitar.
Who are your influences?
Jack White, Blondie, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wolf Alice, LCD Sound system, Green Day, The Blinders, St Vincent, Beth Ditto and loads more.
Which TV channel would you like one of your songs to be played on?
I would love to be on Jools Holland one day.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I get inspiration from talking to people about their lives which can help me make up stories or I get inspiration when I’m travelling on a train, it could be something to do with moving to get somewhere which gets the juices flowing. I’m sure, without realising, I bring up feelings from the past to present and that’s how I get a lot of my lyrics down. Melodies I find much easier to write and I can usually get a catchy melody down pretty quickly.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Wow, this is a difficult one! I hope that by then I will have toured with my band and I’d hope to think I’ll still be writing music and gigging.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
As I’m not with a big label or anything I have to do everything myself from writing the songs, producing the tracks, doing interviews. As well as organizing music videos, press, networking as well as emailing anyone who might be interested in working with me to planning gigs, band and booking rehearsals, the list goes on lol! But in my spare time I love watching a good TED X talk or a good documentary.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
That’s a difficult one because there are so many songs that have inspired me to get into the industry or that make me want to gig. I suppose the Arctic Monkeys have always kept me excited, I bet that you look good on the dance floor used to be a popular one for me!
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t give up!
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Keep doing what you love and don’t give up.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
The only constant is change. I love this saying, also we are not the same person we were yesterday. I like these sayings because they’re positive about moving forward.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Brixton is quite near me, I always have a great time there. There are great blues bars and food and the music venues are still thriving.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? I go to my favourite indian restaurant, Gurkahs in Sydenham
2/ Who do you see first? My boyfriend
3/What do you eat first? Indian food
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Guitar, guitar pedals, pics, makeup, phone, money for beer!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Lara Smiles releases her debut album ‘All For You’, September 7 on Wonky Pop.
Her Album Launch Show is at Sebright Arms in London, Thurs, August 30.
The second single ‘All For You’ is released July 27 on record label Wall of Sound. Which you can order here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/all-for-you-single/1399054868