R13's Adam Venton catches up with rising star singer/songwriter Laura Colegate for a quick chat about her music and major influences.

Room Thirteen:Hi Laura, it's great to speak with you. Could you start by giving us a brief history of you and your music?

Laura Colegate: Hi Adam! And thanks for interviewing me :) I've been into music, one way or another since my schooldays!(and probably even before then). I chose to follow the music path thereafter, as I went on to do music at college (B-Tech in Performing Arts) and then on to do a Vocal Diploma at Guildford's ACM. Since then I've been in various types of bands and at present I'm a solo Artist.

R13:How would you describe yourself and your music to those who haven't heard you before?
LC: I'd say....."Chilled Acoustic and Soulful Tunes!".

R13: With current popular artists such as James Morrison, Paulo Nutini and Damien Rice, acoustic music is very much on the up. What do you think is special about your sound to give you an edge over such artists?
LC: I don't try to fit in with what's popular at the moment, or try to sound like anyone else, I'm just me! I guess that one thing that will make me original and hopefully standout. Someone once described my music as "bittersweet". Sometimes a melancholy type vibe, but with a positive message lyrically! A few people have said my voice is relaxing, hey! If my voice helps people to chill out I'm all for that!

R13:As an unsigned artist, do you intend to perform on a more regular basis in established venues to build a loyal fan base?
LC: Yes, definitely!...... I'm on the case!!

R13:To date you've focussed mainly on performing in your local area in small venues. Is there any particular reason for this? And will you be trying to 'break out' by travelling further afield in the near future?
LC: No, not really, just wanted to start with popular venues around my area. I have also played a few London venues such as Half Moon Putney, Ginglik, The Bedford, Borderline and that also includes a special weekend at Shepherd's Bush Empire, that was pretty cool!! I'm booking gigs further afield at the moment along with writing some new tunes.

R13:Having studied at the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music), is there a particular process you follow when composing?
LC:ACM taught me a lot actually, mostly about using my voice in different ways etc. They did teach about various things to consider when trying to write a hit song, such as, good structure, dynamics and a catchy hook in the chorus or a good oneliner. I try to keep these things in mind, but generally the music and vocal melody comes first with me, then the lyrics, sometimes at the same time. I don't follow a set process though.

R13:What do you think about the MySpace boom, and how has it helped you personally?
LC:I think, I could spend a lot more time working myspace, but so far it's been a good marketing tool for me. Apart from the live performances section and a link to purchase my EP, it's one of the only places people can actually listen to my music online, as well as iTunes, of course :)

R13:What, or who, would you say has been the biggest influence on your music?
LC:There's been too many to mention, ha ha! I do like James Morrison and Natatsha Bedingfield among the current successes. I'm not really into a particular genre of music though, if I like what I hear, then I like and listen!! I do love music that's written from the heart, is passionate and has a real meaning behind what is written about. Whether that be about a personal relationship or just about life in general. I'm not fussy about the vibe either. I do like chilled stuff, funky tunes, music with attitude..........there's something for very mood and I'm always listening out for something new and different.

R13: Having released your debut EP in December 2006, are there any plans for a full-length album or follow-up EP as yet?
LC: I'm writing more stuff at the moment and have a few songs already recorded that haven't been used yet. So, yes, it would great to get back in the studio at some point in the near future.

R13:What are your short and long term ambitions for you and your music?
LC: In the short term, to write more songs, possibly varying the vibe a little, I believe that's important. Also to get a load more gigs further a field and a step up in venues. Longer term, I'd like to record an album, possibly and to be able to earn a living out of what I feel passionate about, whether that's a publishing deal, writing for film or TV or just being a successful Singer/Songwriter. Either would be amazing :)

R13: Thank you very much Laura, and all the best for the future!

LC:Thank you too!

You can check out Laura's myspace page here.