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An interview with Laurence Pena

I spoke to the Incredible Nick Aslam, a folk-rock singer from the East Midlands, ahead of an exciting EP release

1. First off, when did you first start to become a musician and what made you want to pursue this as a career?

Well Laurence, I used to be in a band in 2009 so in terms of singing ...I suppose since then but musicianship came a lot in 2012 I picked up the guitar and started to learn it and completely fell in love with it. I started writing my own songs at that time too. It took me a while to kind of perfect my style and develop my own singing voice but once I did or knew I was getting close i knew that i was in it for the long haul because i want to be the best at what ever i do and now here we are and I’m still hungry and striving!

2. What would you say your influences are and how have these helped form your own musical style?

I have such a wide variety of music that influence's me but I would say on my fist EP "Fingerprints" the later Neil Diamond stuff (12 songs & Home Before Dark) was a huge influence, because they were a collection of songs that taught me to open up my heart in to my writing in the right way but now I would say David Bowie, Noel Gallagher & Pink Floyd well for the time being anyway.

3. You have recently started playing with a band, how does this compare to playing solo and will your song writing change accordingly?

I have started playing with a band ...and they are 3 top lads as well as great musicians too I feel very lucky to be working with them, compared to playing solo I would say it definitely more fun and it’s a true reflection of where I’m at musically I love the odd solo gig don't get me wrong but I don't like going over old material plus the energy is different.

Songwriting wise, it has changed and it’s more fun to think about the other instruments and what I would like them to do rather than having to play my acoustic in a way that fills the songs out.

4. What has been the best gig you’ve played so far?

Best gig would have to be 2Q Festival with the BBC Introducing team...mainly because I didn’t know if we were going to have a crowd and who had come to see haha I’m a big believer in making a fan base and not filling it with family members or begging my mates to make it look like I have one but when people say that they had travelled from Bradford or London to see you it makes it worthwhile and as far as the festival its self it was such a good day!

5. Which band or artist would you love to go on tour with the most?

ANYONE!! Haha, I would love to go on tour with anyone haha, well, so long as the music fits like but I think it would be a great opportunity to tour with any band or artist.

6. What are your plans from here on, where do you want to take your career?

Well I have been mentored for the last year with Martin Glover (Youth) who is also cutting a new single with us but we have 2 New EPs coming out. The first one "Crime for Thought" comes out in 16th June which is obviously a massively different sound to what I have done before then the next one is really going to be special but they're both done and they're both different. Where do I want it to go? Well, I believe I’m the best around haha so I won’t stop until everybody is on my trail of thought ;-)

7. Finally, do you have any tips for any fellow singer-songwriters out there wanting to do what you do?

I could offer all sorts of tips but I suppose the guy or band that is going to make it is the guy or band that is completely obsessed with their own music, and is willing to sacrifice everything and everyone around them to make sure it works! Other than that make sure you read good writers, Good writers read good writers!

#guitar #singer #tour

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