CEV Artist Interview


Lauran Hibberd

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Lauran Hibberd:
CEV talks to Lauran Hibberd

CEV:  Writers tend to be molded and forged by their surroundings and by the influences of the society they grow up in. Tell me about some of those aspects of where you grew up that are reflected in the musical path that you eventually chose for yourself.

LH:  I grew up in, and am still living on the Isle of Wight. For me, that in itself has had a huge impact on the way I write. I think we can be in a bit of a bubble here, which can be a great thing for songwriting in terms of having the time and scenery to write but in the same breath, it can be quite sheltered in terms of the pace so I get a lot out of going places and experiencing them and then coming home to write. I spend a lot of time in London even though there is a great music scene here in the Isle of Wight, with great festivals etc. To be an artist trying to make a name for yourself you have to be in the thick of it a lot of the time. I feel like I have the luxury of immersing myself in both worlds. I feel like my earlier songwriting definitely had that element of naivetť, which is something my first tracks reflect. I think now, with a lot more experience under my belt Iím really starting to find my feet songwriting wise, adopting new techniques and progressing constantly. I feel like this is really apparent in my latest single ĎHunny Is This What Adults Do?í


CEV:  For a singer/songwriter music is different than what I experience as a listener. What is it that motivates you to pursue music, to create music, to perform your music for others? What does your music give you in return?  

LH:  For me, creating and performing music is something I canít imagine not doing now. Itís almost like second nature to me. I think there is something infectious about performing live, and thereís nothing quite like others taking something from what you have created. Songwriting, is my biggest outlet and the only way I really know how to express what I feel. So for me, each song I write highlights a certain moment, or milestone Ė I guess itís like singing your diary really! In the simplest terms, I just completely love what I do and have and always will be obsessed with music.

CEV:  On your FB bio I gather that you have a love of literature that Iím sure enters into your songwriting. Tell me about some of the literature that moves you emotionally and how it influences the directions that your music and your lyrics eventually take.

LH:  Iíve always been a bit obsessed with words, and how they can be strung together to mean different things to different people. I used to write (not very good, and very short) books when I was younger hence the literature reference and thatís kind of when I started transferring that to lyrics and making songs short stories of my own.  

CEV:  When was it that you began to understand that you werenít going to be just a consumer of music but someone who created the songs that others listen to? 

LH:  I think I was 16, I played my first gig and loved it Ė performing all original songs. After weeks of nerves, I feel like I settled into making music and writing quite quickly. I was really sure that that was what I wanted to do. I went to a local music college, and really got that wide-eyed education of it and since then have been hooked.

CEV:  Why music? Why not become an author or a painter? What is it about music that draws you to it as the creative force in your life?

LH:  I started getting guitar lessons at around 14, I really just wanted a hobby as I never enjoyed school. As I started pairing that with writing and singing (something I didnít know I could even do at the time) it kind of just fell into place. Nothing else had ever interested me as much, I just felt lucky to have found something I loved and something that I was good at, at such a young age.

CEV:  Are your lyrics written more from a personal viewpoint or are they like fictional stories that express the emotions that you have observed in the lives of those that surround you both near or far?  

LH:  I have written from both viewpoints, and there is definitely a merit to both. I think sometimes writing about other peopleís stories, leaves you with more imagination and less limits as to where it can go. For example, I wrote a little song about an old neighbour of mine called ĎJackí. It was totally influenced on rumours I had heard, and none of it might have been true. The concept ran a bit wild when I was writing it. I think thereís a real freedom and sense of fun when creating like this.

On the flipside to this, writing songs from personal experience can definitely be a raw experience and can often relate to a listener far more. This is something a lot more apparent in my newer tracks, as the more I experience in life, the more I have to write about. 

CEV:  Do you find it difficult or liberating to write about events and situations that are from your own life? Does that leave you as the songwriter feeling just a little bit vulnerable in front of an audience as you sing those kinds of lyrics?

LH:  I personally find it more liberating, of course there is always an element of vulnerability but I think that is sometimes what makes a song Ė being able to hear how fragile something actually is. In a live setting, I find myself too immersed in the whole set to worry about individual lyrics. Saying that, I often explain what certain tracks are about before I play them live, I think it encourages people to listen out for the actual concept.  


CEV:  Does the Isle of Wight have a good musical community that supports artists such as yourself who are looking for venues to share your music in? 

LH:  Definitely! For a small island, we have a great local music college, some fantastic festivals and a couple of really good venues. There are so many great emerging bands, and a real sense of local support and community. We are lucky enough to have Isle of Wight festival on our doorstep, which offers opportunities to local acts as well.

CEV:  When did you decide to start recording your music and how has that whole process been for you as you took your music from something in your head to an EP that is now available on Spotify?

LH:  I recorded and released my first single two years ago, after playing my first few live shows. I loved the whole experience. It when then, that the acoustic track I wrote in my bedroom, became a proper record. I am now lucky enough to perform my tracks with a band for certain gigs, and itís so great to to be able to hear the tracks in that form live as well. 

CEV:  How do you feel about people all over the world listening to your music? Any jitters? 

LH:  Itís a great feeling, especially when you are going from writing and recording on such a small place like the Isle of Wight.
Itís comforting to know there are no limits, itís something I donít really think about until I receive messages from people in Canada asking if I would ever perform out there. I love it though!


CEV:  Where do you see your music going in the next year or so? Are you planning it out or just going with the flow?

LH:  I definitely have goals this year, I always have a rough release plan in terms of new music as you have to work months in advance. I think itís important not to over-plan anything as the writing side of it comes at itís own pace. This year, Iíll be mainly focusing on releasing new music, playing some great shows and continuing to progress and hopefully reach new and more people.

CEV:  Will you be doing some live shows in the near future?

LH:  Definitely! None of them have been announced as of yet, but will be starting up again in February. Iíll be announcing some new shows in the next few weeks!

CEV:  Any final thoughts to help introduce your music to those who havenít heard you yet?

LH:  Iíve been described as a ĎFuzzed up Indie Popí artist, but I try not to attach myself to a genre too much as I feel like each song I write leans differently to the one before. My latest single, ĎHunny is this what adults do?í came out at the end of November last year and I would love you to listen. Brand new music is coming soon!

CEV:  Well thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your music and I do wish you a lot of success in the years to come.