This feature is taken from our End of Summer season.

Music and photography have always had a long standing relationship, whether it's inspiration for a song or video to persuading a potential listener to tune in. For some, the visual aspect of music is perhaps even more important than the music itself. But for 27-year-old singer/songwriter Laura Welsh, images play an integral part in her musical career. In fact, photography attributes to the early stages of her career. "When I set up my Tumblr early on, when I was putting up demos, I remember spending hours just flicking through various blogs, finding new photographers. Everything was speaking to me through pictures. I would always find photos that fit the songs or short films."

Her love of photography lead her to discover The Photographers' Gallery (just off of Tottenham Court Road) which she revealed to me as her favourite place in London. "It's just a place that I got to quite a lot to see exhibitions. It's kind of cool, even just to go to the cafe. They've got a store downstairs and it's full of photography book so I can literally spend hours in there geeking out over photographs." Geeking out over pictures & cameras is something that comes naturally to Welsh, almost as naturally as music. So much so that she found herself in conversation with our very own photographer about his equipment after securing her own film camera earlier this year. "I just got a Canon A1 film camera so every spare moment I'm shooting for my own enjoyment. It was given to me as a gift and it's really cool."

You're more than likely to be familiar with Laura Welsh from her appearance on dance outfit Gorgon City's top 10 single 'Here For You,' which she co-wrote with the boys of Gorgon City and teenage superstar in the making MNEK, who also featured on Gorgon City's debut single 'Ready For Your Love.' 'Here For You,' however was born out of just one session. "We did that one day and that song came out of that session, I pretty much sung it there and then and to be honest, I left the studio and didn't think any more of it. I loved the guys; they were great to work with. Then they said they wanted it to be a single! I was more than happy with it because I felt like it still had a social element to it, even though it's a dance track."

Laura Welsh portrait
Laura Welsh portraits

Welsh's first experiences with the Photographer's Gallery stem from going to see various exhibitions they host on a regular basis. "I remember seeing there was exhibition there that I wanted to see. David Lynch had his pictures in there as well." Many of her favourite photographers have a number of their images in there and over time, she's grown to love more newer and up-and-coming photographers over time. "I remember going downstairs into this really little shop... It has so many books! Some of the people I love at the moment are Stephen Shaw and really classic and iconic photographers like Robert Frank. But then there's a bunch of new artists that I've discovered through Tumblr. They've got loads of postcards in that little shop as well; I think I've bought every single postcard they have there!"

Laura Welsh portrait
Laura Welsh portraits

She's grateful for the opportunities she's received with Gorgon City, as it's allowed her to venture into a musical world different to her usual. "It's been cool to do a bunch of festivals with them over the summer because it's given me that experience of playing those kinds of bigger stages than I wouldn't normally do. It's been a really good experience and a real learning curve."

Like many artists who have featured on dance tracks in recent months, Welsh's own material is a far cry from Gorgon City's club-ready sound, including new single 'Break The Fall,' which has seen her earn comparisons to the likes of another Welsh - Florence Welsh (they're not related, however). "I don't tend to think about it really, you can't take that into the studio with you. When you're writing, you block everything else out. I think some of the earlier song I put out; people were comparing me to different artists and with this sound, there's hints that people reflect on or vocally, if you "sing out" they kind of put you in that category. I don't tend to think it's necessarily a bad thing because at the end of the day I feel like the artists that I'm getting compared to, I personally think they are great." But as different as they are musically, the inspirations are similar.



Over the last year, Welsh released the Dev Hynes-produced 'Unravel' and spent much of her time working on her forthcoming debut album with Amanda Ghost, Jonathan Lipsey and Greg Kurstin. "Some are a bit bigger-sounding in terms of production as a progression from some of the previous stuff I've put out, a little more minimal/electronic sounding and held back. There are a couple of songs, especially 'Break The Fall', which is a bit more of a progression, production-wise and vocally I've definitely let go and sung out more on those. They still have the same tone and from a writing perspective it'll have the same tone."

She even found the opportunity to co-write with John Legend on 'Hardest Part' while 'Cold Front,' originally released in 2013 was featured in ABC's Grey's Anatomy. "I love the fact that my songs have got into TV and such, especially in America, I feel really lucky that they picked up on it pretty early. I remember the first Grey's Anatomy sync I got was with one of the very first song I put up on my Soundcloud which was 'Hollow Drug', it's a song on the album and it's pretty minimal; I produced it as well. I think that's the strangest because it was so early. So to hear it on there was really cool."

Later this year, Welsh hopes to visit America for what will be her first series of live gigs. "The response in America has been amazing and to get your music in sync, people hear it and they don't have a clue who it is so the fact that they're starting to know it's me behind the track is awesome. I'm going [to America] at the end of this year, I think October time, which will be great. I'm hoping to play a few shows out there as well, I've never played there." But between now, then and in the near future, Welsh's hopes are simple - to keep making great music. "I want to carry on writing, carry on making music, work with musicians and producers that i love and definitely tour. I'd love to get out there and play a solid set of dates with my band, that's it for me and I'll be happy!"

You can visit Laura Welsh by heading to her official website.

Laura Welsh portraits
Laura Welsh portraits
Laura Welsh portraits
Laura Welsh portraits
Laura Welsh portrait
Laura Welsh portraits
Laura Welsh portraits