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.
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