Earlier this week we launched our new video showcasing our magical island home. To complement the rugged natural beauty of the Isle of Wight, we chose a spellbinding, cinematic track entitled Shells by Laurel, a folk-inspired female singer from the south coast. Although only 19, Laurel has already made her mark on the UK music scene, enjoying huge success with her debut single Fire Breather and touring with the likes of John Newman and Dan Croll. In 2014 she released her EP To the Hills, from which Shells is taken. Below we meet the artist behind the voice and discover what it is that inspires her most…
What’s your biggest inspiration when writing music?
My life! I only write when I have first person experience of something. I’m a bit of an old romantic too, so they are mostly about love and relationships.
What do you love about the natural landscape of the Isle of Wight?
I love coming over to the island, especially for the festivals in summer, it’s a truly unique place. Also, at the end of last year I visited the Ventnor Botanic Garden and met the owner who explained all about the garden’s unique microclimate, meaning they can grow exotic plants from all over the world there. It’s an amazing place!
How important is your beauty routine to you?
Very, I love having a skin regime to follow. There are some products I use daily and others, on a weekly basis, to make sure my skin is always feeling fresh. I think it’s important not to overuse products though, your skin has its own natural oils that may be lost if you use too many harsh products.
What’s your favourite Liz Earle beauty product?
I just can’t choose! I use the Gentle Face Exfoliator every other day, which leaves my skin feeling super soft, followed by the Deep Cleansing Mask once a week.
How much does nature influence your work?
Hugely. I come from a folk music background where nature is very prominent in the lyrics and I think that’s always stayed with me. I reference the sea a lot too as my family live on the south coast.
Are you an outdoors person?
Yes, I love camping and walking, but since moving to the city I’ve become a bit of a wimp! It only takes a few days of being back home though before I lose the city girl and get back out into the nature again.
Who’s your female role model and why?
I hold the singer, Florence Welch, in high esteem. I think the way she’s dealt with her fame is extraordinary. She seems so natural and normal and doesn’t seem to have changed for other peoples’ appreciation.
Liz Earle is very much a family company, how important are your family to your singing career?
My family are very important. I’m currently living back home to finish writing my album and they’re all so supportive of me. My mum comes home from work every day and sits in my studio to hear what I’ve been up to. She is my main critic!
Where’s the most beautiful natural landscape you’ve visited on your travels?
Winchester Hill is my favourite place in the UK. I’m not sure why but I have a deep sense of peacefulness when i get to the top and look out over the view (after panting for half an hour trying to climb it, it is insanely steep!). My mum and I go there for walks regularly, through all the seasons.
Describe your ideal day on the Isle of Wight
I would definitely come over on some sort of boat, like a rig. I’ve done this a few times and it’s awesome, although I’m not a great driver! I would absolutely love to visit the Ventnor Botanic Garden again because there’s just so much to see, including the Liz Earle garden. I also have family on the island so I would be paying them a visit too. I’d love to end the day on Colwell Bay, having a few drinks by the water.
What’s your earliest memory of the Isle of Wight?
My uncle and auntie’s wedding! I think I may have worn a yellow and white dress but that is sadly all I remember. Trust me to only remember what I was wearing!
You grew up near the coast, are you a beach person?
I love the beach. I used to surf every summer with my dad and sister too, but now I’m not such a fan of being in the sea, I prefer relaxing and watching other people.
What’s your favourite botanical?
I love both eucalyptus and rosemary, like in the Liz Earle candle. It is honestly the best scent I have ever smelled in my life. If I had it my way, the air would smell like that all the time.
Shells, from Laurel’s To the Hills EP is available to download now via. iTunes [http://georiot.co/ToTheHills]