Words matter. These are the best Laura Mvula Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I got into the habit of filtering out all the good in my life, focusing on only the negative. I’m not sure why I did it, but it’s a pretty depressing state.
There’s nothing I love more in the world than layering voices.
I love church buildings, particularly cathedrals, and I like living in spaces that remind me of music or evoke that creative energy.
I respect hippos. They just look the way they do; they can’t do anything about it, but they don’t seem bothered.
‘Mvula’ is my married name, but for some reason my nan calls me ‘McVula.’ I’m not sure if it’s one of those jokey Caribbean things, or whether she’s just getting it wrong.
Limitlessness is important for me; I want to be able to use every opportunity to push me forward onto the next thing.
My parents encouraged us to commit to things, so if we wanted to learn an instrument, it was all the grades and all the theory.
I don’t think I’ve ever been chatted up, and I don’t think I’ve ever chatted anyone up. The Fresh Prince has the best chat-up lines.
It’s important for any artist – particularly female artists – to feel completely comfortable and to know what they’re trying to do.
My parents were quite strict; we couldn’t just listen to whatever music we wanted. It was very much like they monitored what we listened to.
What I wear is everything – from how I carry my hair to what I’m wearing on my feet. I have to feel comfortable on stage, so I like to wear things that have room. My mood changes a lot, so sometimes I wear 6-inch heels, and other times I’ll perform in bare feet.
I don’t think I always look in people’s faces, like, as – I think especially when I’m doing my more intimate songs that are quite personal, I always feel it’s a bit accusing if I stare in someone’s face when I singing quite a personal lyric.
I first played the Royal Albert Hall when I was 14. I was a violinist with the Birmingham Schools Concert Orchestra, and we travelled down from the Midlands for the last night of the School Proms. We played some pieces from the Harry Potter films, and the violin parts were really hard.
I had a very thorough grounding in music; I’d grown up around songs. My parents listened to a lot of music. My dad was majorly into jazz, which was absolutely a big influence on me, even if it was more subconsciously as a kid.
Lizz Wright is my favourite singer. Her voice moves me and takes me to another place. She also grows her own food, and that inspires me.
I like pastels and lighter shades on darker skins. I feel like it lifts everything and accentuates being chocolate.
You don’t have to aim to be the best of everything, thinking that one day you’re going to be the top of the world; I don’t think it exists.
I always start with emotion. That’s where I start all of my improvisations, on the piano. I always start with the mood or the feel of where I am in that moment.
I love my complexion, but like so many of us, in the early years at primary school, I grew up thinking that my dark skin wasn’t a great thing. I’ve found freedom in music and songwriting, which has given me a freedom in how I present myself. I’m glad I’ve got makeup to celebrate that with.
Being a pop star is something I don’t think I’m very good at. I’m worried it’s making me too paranoid, because all of a sudden, life has become this constant assessment. When you put something out there and people get to hear it, then those people react to it, socially, culturally.
I write songs from the heart, and I don’t hold back.
Topshop is one of my favourite shops, and I love shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. There’s a graduate fashion designer called Kate Falcus who makes me beautiful commissioned pieces – one of my favourites was the white Glastonbury dress she made me with the puffy skirt.
Taxi drivers used to ask me what kind of music I did, and I’d say, ‘Well, it’s kind of jazz, soul, classical’ – but that makes no sense to anyone.
I envy those who can wear red lipstick or any bold lip colour, really. My top lip just doesn’t seem to take colour – there’s nothing I can do to change that, so I usually just use a nude on the bottom lip.
I bumped into my cousin after she’d shaved her hair very short, and she looked incredible. She seemed so effortless and cool, and I wanted that. And, I’ve had it like that ever since.
I listen to a lot of choral stuff at home, but I’m also liking Labrinth, Emeli Sande, Tom Odell and Wretch 32.
Teaching was my first job after leaving university. It was a challenge, but I enjoyed it. Some of the kids were disruptive, but I could deal with it because I was only 24 at the time, and my own school memories were still fresh.
One of the things I haven’t been ready for is how male-dominated the music industry is. I just didn’t have a clue.
If I’m uncomfortable on stage, everybody can see it. I’m not very good at hiding it. I like long, loose jacket dresses – anything that I can literally have room to move in – not that I’m a very big dancer, but because sometimes I’m sitting down at the keyboard, and then sometimes I’m standing. It just has to feel good.
I’m not like my siblings, who are musical but can turn their hands to other professions! I’d always wanted to be involved in music – I’m a great believer in doing things that fulfil you.
‘Green Garden’ is about beauty and joy and lush green and dance and excitement and smiling from within.
I really love jazz, but I will never be a jazz musician as much as I dream. But, I think that the jazz music I love is there in my music.
I regrettably wasted time at university by being overwhelmed and intimidated by the talent of other composers. I felt stuck and didn’t know what I was doing there. I enjoyed my experience, but I didn’t grab it in the way I would now.
My songs are very personal, which means they are fantastically therapeutic to write, but performing them night after night is emotionally draining.
There was always a piano in the house when I was growing up – my dad played, and I thought it was cool – and when I was eight, I begged my parents to let me have lessons. After a couple of weeks, I wanted to give up, but my parents were very focused and made me keep going, which I’m very pleased about now.