Freshman Featured Interview
The place where we feature Singer-Songwriters, Bands & Instrumentalists who record and/or perform with our instruments.
Laura is a prolific session vocalist and singer/songwriter and has had her original acoustic tracks featured in Universal film releases as well as being scouted by BBC introducing to perform live on the radio and promote her releases. She has also been touring major festivals and gig venues across Europe and Australia for many years, working in a variety of different genres and projects including Breakspoll award nominated live act FireFarm, chart topping electronic act Lustral and critically acclaimed Psy duo E:Clipse amongst many others.
More recently Laura has been back in the studio and focusing on recording material for her new acoustic solo project, as well as lending her vocals to some fresh and exciting collaborations. Her single "Lay it Down" is out now.
Laura has been using Freshman guitars in her musical output for some years now and like most Freshmaneers, sticks with the brand as her choice of instrument.
We caught up her, as she launches her new Single "Lay It Down" this week.
Q: How did you first become involved in music ?
"I was always interested in music, dance, performance and from a very young age, I was singing & dancing on stage with theatre groups and dance schools."
Q; What instrument/s did you learn first and did Songwriting/Singing come later ?
"Throughout school I played the clarinet and sang in choirs, but it wasn’t long before I started writing my own songs with the guitar. By the time I got to Uni, I was out performing with an acoustic guitar and working with various bands and ensembles."
Q: Did you first perform solo then progress into joining bands and performing that way ?
"Yes I started working on my own projects first, but as soon as I could play guitar well enough, I was chomping at the bit to join a band, many bands were formed from that point onwards haha."
Q: Who inspired/influenced you initially, musically and what music inspires you now ?
"Wow too many to mention mmm... I used to be really into the tap style guitarists like Andy Mckee and Eric Mongrain but songwriting/vocal wise, I have have always had and still have an affinity with the 70’s. My Dad used to play us his old vinyl collection to us growing up, which I have now inherited. I love the likes of Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Dire Straights, Pink Floyd, Joan Armatrading, all the classics. But am also really into new music like Tash Sultana, Alice Phoebe Lou, Angie McMahon, Angus and Julia Stone, Fleet Foxes Billie Eilish, Arlo Parks, Polythea the list goes on. I’m also pretty into heavy electronic psychedelic music such as Opiou and Birds of Paradise. I have such eclectic tastes the list would be very long to name them all."
Q: Do you write on your own, with the guitar or with anyone else ?
"All of the above. I am in lots of different projects with producers and other musicians, I like the flow of creativity to come however it comes and sometimes that involves working with others. but since lockdown, I have definitely being writing alone more, which has spurred on with my single release."
Q: Any plans to record an album ?
"Yes the solo album is being produced as we speak."
Q: How many Albums/Singles have you released and what is your songwriting process ?
"Oh wow, well I have released most of my music with bands or as a featured vocalist. I would say on major platforms, there are probably about 25 or so tracks spread across various different bands and projects, but this single release will be the first time I have released a solo track independently without a band, management or a label. The music industry has changed so much in the last few years it’s really liberating to be able to do all this for yourself now and I’m stoked to finally be releasing music, with just me and my Freshman as the main features.
My current songwriting process involves using the loop pedal and guitar to create layers of guitar parts, vocals and percussive hits on the guitar. The lyrics are then generated over a number of days and can sometimes take weeks to perfect, unless it’s one of those cheeky little tracks that just pops out in one go, I love it when that happens! Once the music is written on the guitar, I then take the tracks into the studio and get to work on the productions, with the help of my partner Adam Goodlet (an awesome electronic music producer and all round golden egg) and together we flesh out the production with some light electronic elements, which has really helped define my sound as an alternative indie artist."
Q: How / when did you first hear about Freshman Guitars and what model/s do you have – what is it about the Freshman guitar/s you own that you like , why not another brand/manufacturer ?
"Funny story. I was working with my vocal coach Stevie Vann Lange in North London about 10 years ago, when I got off the tube, my soft case strap broke and dropped my old guitar which smashed into pieces. I arrived at my lesson in such a state. Stevie felt for me and swiftly took me upstairs to the music shop and let me try some guitars to use for our lesson. I instantly fell in love with my Freshman, I knew it was the one as soon as I picked it up, she sang to me lol. Stevie then called up Freshman and explained that I had some exciting stuff going on and that I could be a good candidate for sponsorship. I later received a call from Sean at Freshman and he agreed I could have a guitar. I was overjoyed to say the least. It is still my main instrument and really do cherish it as if it were my own child haha! The model I play is a FA500DCE"
Laura with her Freshman FA500DCE
"...I feel like the Freshman brand is truly authentic and comes from a genuine place, where people really care about music and make the highest quality instruments with the best materials and intentions... They’re made with love, you can feel it when you pick one up....."
Q: Which songs of yours features your Freshman guitar ?
"Well all of them haha, hundreds in fact but the ones that can be found online currently….
Suddenly- Featured in Universal film release ‘Get Lucky’ (Youtube- The Laura Jenkins Band)
Falling Leaves (Youtube- Laura Jenkins)
Sing (Apple Music)
Don’t Pacify My love (Youtube- Laura Jenkins Band)
Holding on to you (Youtube- Laura Jenkins Band)
Love and Let Live (Youtube- Laura Jenkins Band) ....
And now of course Lay it Down (out on all major platforms)."
Q: Why choose the Freshman brand/guitar to help you convey your music/songs ?
"Because it’s a real guitar with heart, soul and body. Me and my guitar have merged into one over the years and I am over the moon to be able to feature her in this next body of work. I feel like the Freshman brand is truly authentic and comes from a genuine place, where people really care about music and make the highest quality instruments with the best materials and intentions... They’re made with love, you can feel it when you pick one up."
Q: You’re new single is out, how did that come about, what was the impetus for writing it and where did you record it ?
"Recorded at my home studio, Lay it Down is about the struggles faced in these uncertain times and how that has affected our mental health as musicians. It marks the start of a series of songs written from a deeper darker and more authentic place. It only feels right to share this work with the world at a time when we can all relate to such struggles. I love that music can take something negative and turn it into something really beautiful and positive."
Q: It's been a tough year for performing musicians – How have you coped and what’s planned for the future ?
"Music has been my therapy mostly, but you know the usual... Netflix, gin and tonic and shopping smart haha. But yes things have been really hard with the cessation of gigs, live music, socialising and the usual various income streams. The best thing to come out it all has definitely been having more time to write and in turn start releasing new material and getting my head down preparing a new live show for when we can get out there again, got to be ready, it will come people have faith!!! "
Freshman Guitars wish Laura every success in 2021 and beyond...
Laura Jenkins - Lay It Down
New single by Laura Jenkins out now - Click Here
The 20th Anniversary upgrade of Laura's FA500DCE is our FALTDENGDC