British recording artist, songwriter and composer
Birmingham’s Laura Mvula is a soulful vocalist known for her inventive, atmospheric mix of R&B, jazz, classical and pop. Nominated for several awards including the prestigious Mercury Prize award, Laura has proved that authenticity continues to be recognised in commercial music. With her live performances often described as ‘brilliantly fierce and fiercely brilliant’, she is a fabulous headliner for any corporate event.
In 2016 Laura delivered her sophomore studio album, The Dreaming Room, which featured collaborations with rapper Wretch 32 and legendary R&B guitarist Nile Rodgers. A critical success, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and won the Ivor Novello Award. A 2018 project saw Mvula composing music for a London production of Antony and Cleopatra and in 2020 she contributed the song “Brighter Dawn” to the film Clemency.
This was followed by a wave of releases in 2021. First, she reworked material from her first two albums for 1/f. The ’80s art-pop direction of the EP indicated the approach taken with a handful of subsequent new singles that culminated with the album release of Pink Noise, released that July after her new deal with Atlantic Records.
Born in 1986, Laura grew up in the suburbs of Birmingham, where she was raised by her mother (who was from Saint Kitts) and father (who was from Jamaica). Introduced to jazz by her father, Laura began taking piano lessons at age eight and violin lessons at age ten. Growing up she also played in local youth orchestras and, influenced by her love of Disney films, aspired to be a film composer.
In her teens, Laura began listening to R&B and gospel music, and eventually joined her aunt’s a cappella ensemble, Black Voices. After high school, she enrolled at the Birmingham Conservatoire at Birmingham City University, where she graduated with a degree in composition. She then worked as a supply teacher in the Birmingham school system and as a receptionist, during which time she also began writing songs on her laptop. Her demos eventually caught the ear of manager Kwame Kwaten, who helped Laura sign a recording contract at RCA.
Her debut EP, “She “followed in September 2012. The EP quickly grabbed the public’s attention and by October. Mvula had been long-listed for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, ultimately finishing in fourth place. In 2013 she released her debut LP “Sing to the Moon”. The album met positive reviews, peaking at number 9 on the UK charts and launching several singers including “Green Garden” the Top 40 single. “Sing to the Moon” also gained Laura a mercury prize nomination and Best female act and Best R&B/Soul artist in the MOBO Awards.