Laura Williams is your new favorite artist you haven't heard of yet. Very early into her career, Laura has already shown immense skill and talent as a singer-songwriter through her debut singles "Therapist" and "Hello from 4 Years from Then". The songs she writes are full of raw emotion which is also translated into her instrumentals and comforting vocals. Today, the Global Spotlight talks with Laura about music, song-writing, experience, and being brand new to the industry.
So you’re a brand new artist who just put up their first single on streaming platforms. I know it’s still very early into your journey, but how has it been so far?
A surreal dream. I’ve been writing songs for years and dreaming about putting them out into the world; I never thought I actually would!
Everybody has been so incredibly supportive and I could not even begin to express how thankful I am. I was not expecting all of the heartwarming reactions from so many of my peers who came up to me about “Therapist” during school the day it was released!
Despite all of the unknowns and instability in life, music is the one thing I have always been 100% certain about – my heart is so full and I am so excited for what is to come!
Can you tell me more about your debut single “Therapist”?
As a child, I grew up in a school environment that was pretty unhealthy; I went to tiny private school with the same group of 15-20 kids every year, and the majority of them were ruthlessly mean. After three years, I had to be homeschooled for a year to recover, and I made a vow to myself that I would never let anyone around me feel the way I felt back then. But with that vow came a lot of backlash, because I didn’t also instill boundaries; I only cared about being the best version of myself for others, regardless of if they took advantage of that.
I used all my energy as I transitioned back into a new school to be the therapist friend, allowing people pleaser tendencies to overcome me. Almost like a cartoon character, I created this facade that I was always happy, humorous, and never sad. I quickly came to realize that many of the people around me started to become my friend only because of this therapist status; over time, I became burnt out and bitter, feeling like an imposter of myself because of this front.
“Therapist” exemplifies this progression, showing what led to being the therapist friend, what it feels like to be the therapist friend, and then the end of being the therapist friend.
What about your songwriting process in general?
Songwriting – at least for me – has a mind of its own. I go through periods where I quite literally cannot stop writing, and then months when I can’t write a single word.
Typically, my lyrics are emotionally or situationally driven; when I’m overwhelmed or unable to expel how I’m feeling, I channel those feelings into writing. In those moments – when I’m creating the lyrics, experimenting with melodies, trying out different instruments – the songwriting process feels like healing. It’s almost like a true physical release, letting go of burdensome emotions and turning them into powerful songs.
Often times, the lyrics come first, and everything else follows; lyrics and song themes hit me anywhere and everywhere – when I’m driving, late at night when I’m trying to sleep, in the shower, during sentimental or heart wrenching experiences. Sometimes I even go off of one specific word or idea that I want to base lyrics on, making the whole song almost like a series of metaphors or one giant analogy, similar to what I did for “Therapist”.
A song can take anywhere from 15 minutes to months to write, depending on the vision I have and the emotions accompanying the lyrics.
Before last year, most of my songs were written on the ukulele or piano, but I’ve recently been experimenting with a mixing and producing website to help advance the backtrack!
What made you decide you wanted to start writing and recording your own music?
I have always been a super sensitive and emotional person. Growing up, I had to mature pretty quickly as I was surrounded by some pretty cruel people in school. I went through a lot of change very early on and experienced a lot of pain as a child.
I wrote poetry a lot when I was younger, and when I got my first ukulele at 14, I started turning those poems into lyrics. From that point on, I fell in love with songwriting. No matter what – when I was frustrated, heartbroken, unexplainably joyful, reminiscent, etc. – I could turn to songwriting to release and summarize the immense emotions I couldn’t verbally explain.
When I realized that maybe others who have gone through similar experiences could also resonate with my songs, I started to post them on social platforms such as TikTok, and people started to comment on how it touched their hearts as well. The rest is history!
Who are some artists you draw inspiration from and why?
Where do I begin?
Jeremy Zucker, Taylor Swift, Tori Kelly, Lorde, Billie Eilish… all of these artists have left such an impact on my writing and the way I approach music-making. These artists have done for me exactly what I hope to do for others – they have pin-pointed through their songs the specific bundles of emotions that I could not express.
Tori Kelly inspired me to write. Billie Eilish got me through moving. Lorde helped me through the bittersweet feeling of growing up. Jeremy Zucker got me through numbness. Taylor Swift taught me to embrace heartbreak and turn betrayal into art. All of these musicians have greatly contributed to the artist I have become.
Should we be on the lookout for a music video for “Therapist” sometime soon?
I definitely hope so! I haven’t put much thought into the idea of a music video – simply because I don’t have the equipment for my vision for it just yet – but with the recent
encouragement of my sisters,
I wouldn’t say it's out of the picture in the slightest!
What about other music projects, should we be expecting an album at some point as well?
Yes! This is only the beginning. I would love to put an album out during this upcoming summer at some point!
Finally, what are your biggest aspirations and hopes as a rising musician?
My sole, overarching purpose through my songwriting is to serve others with the universal language that is music. If even just one person can listen to my songs and think, “Woah, this describes exactly what I have been feeling but haven’t been able to put into words”, I have accomplished everything.
I want my music to be an outlet, a comfort, a good laugh or cry for anyone who listens. Helping people by providing them with songs that resonate with their souls is my true goal.
Laura's Debut Single "Therapist"
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