UK artist Laura Bettinson has been finding considerable success with her lau.ra project over the last year or so, and not for the first time. We caught up with her to discuss her music, a recent move from the city and her experiences as a new mother.

Lau.ra 3

Lau.ra - Interview with MinimalMag

Hi Laura, great to chat to you! You are known as Femme, one third of the band Ultraista and most recently as the brain behind lau.ra, an impressive CV. Could you tell us who your latest sonic incarnation lau.ra is?
I launched my new project lau.ra from a desire to flex my muscles a bit more as a producer in dance music after having become a little frustrated making pop music as FEMME. I’ve found that self-producing artists in the electronic scene are celebrated and supported where as before when I was making pop music the fact that I was the performer and the producer was met with confusing looks or usually disbelief. My output as lau.ra is beat driven and bass heavy music designed for the dancefloor. I love working with other vocalists and MCs which bring a dynamic personality to every track I make.
You recently revealed a new bass heavy single, ‘Body Go’, which will be backed by a remix from Lawrence Hart. What were your aims for this release?
Body Go is a fun track I made to make you move. Every single I release I want it to make your ankles loose and your knees wobble. 
You have a unique take on electronic dance music sprinkled with many UK flavours, seamlessly taking elements from a range of genres.  Are there any artists or styles you’re particularly influenced by at the moment?
I look up to producers like Chris Lake, Chris Lorenzo, Justin Martin, Four Tet, and also take a lot of influence from old school UKG. I’m also a big fan of a great vocal hook, a vocal can make or break a tune and I have a good ear for lines that’ll stick in your head forever. 
Your last ventures on Needwant saw Cousn and Nightwave on remix duties. Both brought very different styles of breakbeat to the table – I dare say left field leaning – now we have Lawrence coming in with a 2step twist. Can you share something about the thought process behind bringing in remixers?
I’m always looking to collaborate with the newest and most exciting people on the electronic scene. A lot of the remixers who have jumped on my singles have been making some of the most forward looking electronic music on the UK scene in my opinion and I always look forward to hearing what direction other producers take the tracks in. I never have a brief for the remixers, every release is an open book for them to take it where they want to.

Lau.ra - Body Go

Congratulations on welcoming your newborn son into the world! How are you finding working on tracks and playing parties while being a first-time mom?
haha. Working on tracks? Good one! In all seriousness it’s getting easier. I didn’t step into my studio until he was 4 months old and the first time I did I found it very hard to get my head back into a creative space and find my flow – which previously came very easily. Sleep deprivation likely doesn’t help! Now i’m able to consistently work uninterrupted in my studio for two long mornings a week and that’s been enough time to get some projects off my list and create some new ideas. I was always very decisive with my creative decisions as a producer but now i am even more brutal as I have less than half the time to work on things in the studio!
You’ve traded London’s city life for the countryside, has the move and change of scenery had an impact on the way you work?
It’s generally made my pace of life and work more gentle which is likely partly due to moving but also because of the enforced break with the Pandemic. There’s less distractions in the countryside so life is less frantic, and there’s no pressure to be in 100 places at once. I work in the studio, I hang out with my son, I walk the dogs everyday and occasionally I’ll fly somewhere to DJ. That’s about it and I love it. 
You’ve stated more than once we’re not seeing the return of Femme. I’ve definitely noticed elements present in tracks under your old moniker in your current work. Do you feel like lau.ra is its own project entirely or rather the logical evolution of Femme?
My last two releases as FEMME were already moving in a dancier/more electronic direction but were still rooted in song-writing structures. With lau.ra I really wanted to break free of those restraints and be able to use vocals more as samples and instruments in the arrangement rather than having to write an entire song every time. lau.ra is likely a natural evolution of FEMME but I wanted to launch a new project as unlike in FEMME, I am no longer singing on every track. In fact I very rarely sing on any lau.ra tunes, it’s my opportunity to work with other vocalists and just be producer and editor. 
As lau.ra we’ve seen you work with countless other artists, both by lending your voice to other acts for their productions or working with other vocalists in your own arrangements. Can you give us any hints on who you’re working with next, or perhaps some dream collaborations you’d love to do?
There’s a big track in the bag which I’m hoping will be on what will inevitably be a massive album in electronic music and i’m waiting to see if that will all go ahead and other than that I have my own EP coming out very soon followed by a vinyl physical release of all my singles and some new stuff so far in 2022. I’m always vocaling bits for the big names in dance music so alongside those and my own releases that are planned I think 2022 will be fairly large.

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