Laura Cole ~ Dirty Cheat

Laura Cole

Laura Cole

Canadian soulful and bluesy singer-songwriter Laura Cole is adorable. Her debut album Dirty Cheat is a smash success. I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura last weekend, and she’s quite charming and wise beyond her years.

My favorite tracks from the Dirty Cheat album are Sweet Escape and Let It Roll. I asked Laura if those songs represented the beginning and the end of the same relationship: “A lot of people ask that questions. Yes, essentially, with Sweet Escape, I started with that one night stand idea. With Let It Roll, things fell apart after they got more serious. Sometimes it happens; you get those feelings and then you lose them and then you have to sing a sad song about it. Whether they are about the same person or not, they are definitely bookend songs.”

Laura Cole produced Dirty Cheat with two Grammy award-winning producers: Steve Bigas and Daniel Lanois. How did the three connect? “My parents went to high school with Danial Lanois, who produced U2, Neil Young and Bob Dylan. They hooked me up with Dan as a mentor. I’ve known him my whole life. Dan and I were in Louisiana together, and he recommended that I use Steve for my personal record. That’s how we got hooked up, and now we’re one big musical family.”

Actually, Laura Cole is from a musical family. Here’s more about her music background: “As a kid, I was forced to take piano lessons. I never took many singing lessons. I joined choirs and things like that. My dad is a phenomenal piano player, and so is my mom. My dad still plays in bands, believe it or not.”

Aside from her family, who are Laura Cole’s music influences? “My influences are people like Sam Cooke, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. The real divas of that time are number one on my list. My more current influences are Gin Wigmore and Amy Winehouse, singer-songwriters like that.”

Laura Cole is young and new to the music scene. How does she use social media to connect with fans? “I keep updates rolling almost daily, as much as I possibly can without annoying them. I use Twitter a lot to keep fans in the loop. I find Twitter is a really great tool. I also use Instagram and I have my website. With social media, I find it’s easy to grab people’s attention. All people have to see is one thing they like and they follow you forever.”

She gave a recent example about one of her song videos going viral: “Recently, I wrote a tobogganing song, because there’s a tobogganing ban in Canada right now. That one song and video went somewhat viral at 28,000 views in the past week. It’s interesting to see what you can put up and see how people engage. The simplest idea can become viral.” What a great idea to write a song and produce a video about an extremely emotional and exciting current event! It also helps that the song and video are terrific.

Laura Cole has some great advice for other young singer-songwriters: “Young singers: just keep at it. Keep singing. Keep writing. My biggest advice is for writers: you’re not going to write a hit every day. Not every single song is going to be your best song ever. Don’t pressure yourself so much that you form a writer’s block. Don’t give up on this dream.”

Laura Cole looking upShe also gave some tips for song ideas: “I use my iPhone recorder. When I have a song idea that pops into my head, I record it right away. Don’t let anything slip from your mind. If you aren’t crazy about a song when you first write it, go back. Nothing is garbage. You may later get one line or one hook or one riff off that song. There’s always a piece of gold stuck in the dirt.”

Laura continued, “Say you write 20 songs that you’re not crazy about. If you go back to those songs and pull one line or two lines from each of them, you can put together an amazing song if you add a new riff or idea. If you let that flourish, the possibilities are endless, right?”

What’s up next for Laura Cole? “We’re starting my second record. My bass player, Chris Chiarcos, and I have written some amazing songs. We wrote most of the second record together. The topics of the songs are different and yet similar. It’s still the story of my life. Things are going from Dirty Cheat to where I am now. It’s a lot more positive, but it’s still really sassy.”

Laura Cole plans to go on tour and release new music in Canada around March. She is also making plans for the US too. Laura is also releasing the song Come Be With Me Love, from the indie film 88 starring Christopher Lloyd.

I expect good things to continue happening for Laura Cole as she follows her heart.

The Amused Now Featured Artist Series

Laura Cole singing to circleLaura Cole

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now