Interview with ICMP songwriting star Laura Goldthorp
Our MA Songwriting student Laura Goldthorp is one of the most exciting new talents to join ICMP during this academic year.
A regular performer at our Songwriters' Circle events, Laura is a very talented alt-folk/pop artist and is gearing up for a busy few months. She's made the longlist for Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition, has a new single in the pipeline and forthcoming gig supporting Harry Marshall at London's Omeara venue.
Ahead of all this top musical action, we caught up with Laura to quiz her about songwriting and success...
How did you begin your musical journey? Was there a song or person who began it all for you?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t start writing until I discovered guitar!
I had the best guitar teacher who was this reggae artist from the Dominican Republic. He really inspired me to always experiment with chords shapes and harmony. The first song he taught me was John Mayer’s ‘Why Georgia’ . I don’t think I’ve played straight chords since!
Who or what are your biggest inspirations?
Different people inspire different aspects of my writing. In terms of harmony and melody, I love Lianne La Havas, Corinne Bailey Rae, John Mayer, Norah Jones, Emily King and Theo Katzman. I also think Phoebe Bridgers is one of the best lyricists of our generation. I love the way Darwin Deez and Matt Maltese use soft-comedy/irony in their songs.
Could you talk a little about your creative process? How do you find your way into your music?
For me, songs nearly always start with a riff or instrumental hook on the guitar that sparks a melody! I’ve learned a lot on the ICMP course about the importance of redrafting and auditioning new ideas too."
What inspires your lyrics?
Literally anything and everything! I like to steal cool phrases and concepts from conversations, TV shows or podcasts and jot them down in my phone, constructing something more cohesive out of them later on. I have endless ramblings on my notes app - I'm always scared someone will find them and discover the strange places my mind goes to.
What led to study at ICMP? And how has your time with us been so far?
I did a degree in English Literature but I pretty much spent the whole time writing music and gigging. So this just seemed the natural step for me. Songwriting has always been and remains my nerdiest pursuit. I’ve enjoyed this year so much. I have met so many incredible people and learned so much about my own creative process. ICMP has definitely helped me find my sound which has been exciting.
What have been the most important things you've learned while studying with us?
That all you can do in this industry is produce the best work possible and share it with people! I also know what a half-diminished chord is now so I feel like a proper muso.
Congrats on your longlisting for the Glastonbury competition - what made you want to apply?
Thanks! I played a couple of festivals last year and they were some of my favourite gigs. I just applied on a whim and ended up making the 90! Very exciting and I’m humbled to have been selected.
What's the best piece of advice you've received about succeeding in the music industry?
Create a community of like-minded and talented creatives around you and that will attract the right people. Build your own empire!"
And what would you advise anyone wanting to succeed in music?
Forcing yourself onto people at networking nights is not necessarily the best way to build the right connections - just be a kind and open person!
What projects are keeping you busy? And what have you got lined up next?
I’m releasing my next single 'Supernova' in May so that’s exciting. I have some really great gigs lined up, including performing at the Edinburgh Fringe with three other ICMP songwriters! I’m also about to start the final part of my MA - the Major Repertoire project! Wish me luck!
Visit Laura's Facebook page to find out more.
Laura releases her new single on 24th May and catch her playing live at London's Omeara on 12th April.
Study Songwriting in London with ICMP
Find your unique identity as a writer on the BA (Hons) Songwriting programme. You'll develop your ability to craft and refine songs in a range of styles, whilst also developing and improving your technical, musicianship and entrepreneurial skills. Speak to our friendly Admissions Team to learn more about this programme.
Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email email@example.com and start your music career today.