No SXSW music festival would be the same without the familiar face of Laura Bettinson putting in an appearance. She previously performed her special brand of visionary alt-pop at the Austin festival, on more than one occasion, under the stage name of FEMME. She has since undergone a rebrand. Her former moniker FEMME is out and lau.ra is in, but also along with covering vocals, these days she is turning her hand to production and DJing more. Intrigued by the new direction she is taking, when covering SXSW this year. We knew we had to check out her mini online showcase as we were wanting to learn more about her whole new sound for ourselves.
Lau.ra performed as part of the British Music Embassy lineup for the 2021 virtual edition of SXSW. At first, we had some reservations, but we needn’t have worried about how a DJ set would pan out when transferred to online streaming. Taking both from her previous SXSW experiences and her live performance work as FEMME, has ensured Lau.ra is a dab hand at connecting with an audience. If anything from behind a deck set-up, she proved herself to be super hot and powerfully engaging. Her beat-making is juicy. She flips super heavy basslines out, similarly as fast as we might cook up a batch of pancakes. lau.ra is without a doubt a production force to be reckoned with.
With no hesitation, we had to find out more. We put our correspondent on the ground in Austin, Javi Lopez on the case. Here’s the interview Javi filed in.
EQ: Can you tell us about the music that inspires you?
I’m inspired by any music that turns unexpected corners. I like big filthy basslines and UKG garage influenced beats. I’m also a sucker for a really, catchy vocal hook. If tracks have all three of those elements I’ll usually fall in love at first listen. I’m inspired by producers that push the envelope and don’t just churn out paint by numbers house music. I like to be surprised.
From live music to live streaming, how was the process of adaptation in a pandemic world for you?
Ironically, despite a global pandemic and shut down of live events and touring in the UK I’ve had one of my best years ever for releasing music. I’ve always had a studio in my home in London so my workflow was not disrupted when the world shut down. I carried on as normal and was able to produce more new music than ever before without the distraction of travelling for meetings, shows or shoots. I’ve had a ton of BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music support for all my releases these past 12 months which I’m incredibly grateful for but I’ve missed dancing and the opportunity to DJ the songs I’ve been making to audiences.
We love the sound of “Get Creative” (w Nova), but we want to know what is a favourite song of yours?
My favourite song of my own is hard to pick because I love each new one more than the last but I’m very proud of “Wicked” feat. Eliza Legzdina. That song came together very quickly and when I pulled that bassline out of the bag I knew we’d written a monster tune that was absolutely massive and fairly unique. My favourite song of all time by another artist? I wouldn’t be able to pick just one.
What are some of your goals in your artistic journey?
I’d like to be able to share the music I’m making with as many people as possible across the globe. If I can bring them some joy and a desire to dance that’s what drives me. Every year I’m able to continue to exist as an artist professionally brings me great pride and I hope to be able to continue on this path till I’m old and grey (but still making dirty beats).
Any parting words for EQ Music readers?
Get your vitamin D and turn your favourite tunes up just one notch louder than you think is acceptable.
Thanks, lau.ra, that sounds like sound advice to us, you’re a girl after our own heart.
If you like unpredictable, club flavours stick with lau.ra. We feel we know with, this girl, she will keep on with the trailblazing. Forge ahead and show both the realms of DJing and music production, that the ladies have got this down, as good as the fellas.