Laura Mvula: ‘This record didn’t come quickly like the first and I panicked’

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Laura Mvula: ‘This record didn’t come quickly like the first and I panicked’
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On this week’s episode of Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Apple Music 1, Elton chats with Laura Mvula on her return to music, working with producer Dan Humme and more.

Laura on her long-awaited return…

Elton John: ‘Hi, it’s been a while. I’m talking to Laura Mvula. Thank you so much for joining us on the show. It seems only five minutes ago that I phoned you up and was talking to you about ‘The Dreaming Room’, which was your last record, and it was just this amazing record, and I had to phone you and tell you how brilliant it was. Now you’ve got a brand new record, which is just as good, and it’s called ‘Pink Noise’. And it’s coming out in July. Tell me about the album. It’s been five years. Why did you wait five years to make another record?’

Laura Mvula: ‘I wish I could say that it was a waiting thing. I was grafting… It just didn’t come quickly like the first and I panicked, and I had to throw myself into new postures, which was terrifying and exciting. I switched labels and I think that whole situation, that was something I’d not experienced before, perhaps wasn’t prepared for, but glad in hindsight.’

Elton on Laura’s 2016 record ‘The Dreaming Room’…

‘The Dreaming Room was such a beautiful record. It was so ahead of its time. I mean, I thought this record would explode.Both your albums have been nominated for the Mercury Prize, and I was kind of disappointed that the album wasn’t recognized more and you must have been as well, because I thought it was really an adventurous record to make and no British artist, and I said this to you on the phone, had made a record like that, and you are kind of unique. There is a definiteLaura Mvula sound. And I love it because the way you write songs and your chord changes and the bass notes you use are very much things that I love.’

Laura on working with producer Dann Hume…

‘He comes from a completely different walk of life than my own, but that made for something extraordinary because he wasn’t someone who was sort of worshiping the Mvula catalogue. Which is probably what I am used to. He came with his very useful, slightly detached cooler than me vibe. So I think I had to work harder and he had to come with it as well, cause he’s not used to being in the room with an artist that composes and produces and gives birth to the thing and says, right, this is a real collaboration. I’m not coming with a melody and the lyric and some chords, I’m coming with the thing fully formed, but you’ve got to engineer this with me, it’s a different beast.’

Laura on appreciating Elton’s ongoing support…

‘Thank you so much. And I appreciate it and you were the only one that mattered to me with ‘The Dreaming Room’. So many people slept on it, missed it. I felt like, gosh, it was for me, such an extraordinary experience, making it with Troy Miller.’

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