LAURA EL­IZ­A­BETH HUGHES

She started singing in her bed­room with a we­b­cam, says Joanna Kier­nan, now she’s a star with a mil­lion-strong au­di­ence.

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - PEOPLE LIKE US - Pho­to­graph by David Conachy

She’s a YouTube sen­sa­tion. From her bed­room in Terenure, 22-year-old Laura had been record­ing her­self singing orig­i­nal songs and cov­ers on a cheap we­b­cam and putting them on­line, un­til one day she went vi­ral. In ex­cess of a mil­lion peo­ple have now seen her, but she hadn’t per­formed live un­til re­cently. “I started do­ing it while I was at school,” she ex­plains. “I didn’t have the con­fi­dence to do it in front of peo­ple. So my first per­for­mance in pub­lic was only last March.”

She’s only re­cently man­aged to open her eyes. When the ini­tial of­fers of gigs out­side her bed­room started to roll in, Laura found it hard to keep her eyes open. “It was re­ally bizarre!” she laughs. “Gig­ging in front of peo­ple was very strange — even in some of my videos, my friends say, ‘Your eyes are closed! Will you make a bit of a con­nec­tion with peo­ple?’ I’m al­most over that now, though.”

A favour to help with a friend’s love life turned out to be her big break. “There was just kind of an aver­age re­sponse on­line,” she says. “Then one of my friends asked me to do the Lana Del Rey Video Games song; he wanted me to record it for him for a girl he liked. I put it up that week­end and the re­sponse was absolutely phe­nom­e­nal, but sadly he didn’t get the girl.”

She has an eye for pho­tog­ra­phy. By day Laura, who has a de­gree in pho­tog­ra­phy from DIT, is a clin­i­cal pho­tog­ra­pher. “I fin­ished col­lege last year and I’m work­ing as a clin­i­cal pho­tog­ra­pher three days a week,” she ex­plains. “I work in the Eye and Ear Hos­pi­tal as a reti­nal pho­tog­ra­pher. It’s great and it keeps me in pocket!”

Mu­sic runs in her fam­ily. This sin­gle lady is too busy for ro­mance at the mo­ment, but her fam­ily are her big­gest fans. “My mum and my dad would have been quite mu­si­cal when they were my age,” she says. “I have a lit­tle brother who’s 19 — he plays gui­tar as well, and he’s absolutely fan­tas­tic. My dad was in a load of folk bands and what­not when he was grow­ing up. He’s a ra­dio pro­ducer, so there’s al­ways mu­sic about the house, but I didn’t re­ally find mu­sic un­til I left school when I was 17. Then I just fell in love.”

‘Fear Of Fall­ing’, Laura’s de­but song, is avail­able free to down­load from www.lau­raeliz­a­beth­hughes.com, which also has de­tails of her Fund it cam­paign to crowd­source fund­ing to in­de­pen­dently record and re­lease her de­but EP. Laura will be per­form­ing in a free show at Roisin Dubh, Gal­way, on Fri­day as part of her Ir­ish tour

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