Gemma Laurence Credit Lexi Yob
Celebrity Interviews

ON THE RISE: Singer/Songwriter Gemma Laurence On Breathing Life Into Her Sophomore Album!

Singer/Songwriter Gemma Laurence is a force to be reckoned with! After releasing her single “Adrienne” last year, the Coastal Maine-raised, Brooklyn-based DIY artist was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. She has received glowing praise from Under The Radar, EARMILK, Audiofemme, Country Queer, and Northern Transmissions, to name a few. She played packed rooms across NYC, from Rockwood to Mercury Lounge, selling out The Bowery Electric and The Broadway. NPR Music called her an “Up-and-comer” in the Sapphic folk music scene. To top it off, she recently had the opportunity to perform one of her original songs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. 

After a whirlwind few months, Laurence recently announced that she would be releasing her sophomore album, ‘Lavender,’ this November. This ambitious new album marks a new chapter for the Sapphic folk artist. Without forgoing her signature lush acoustic soundscapes that drew listeners into the world of “Adrienne,” Laurence is going electric with her latest offering. And she’s not going back. Recorded, mixed, and produced by Charles Dahlke (of The Brazen Youth) at Ashlawn Recording Company in Lyme, CT, mastered by Andrew Goldring (Juliet Sunflower, Billy Martin), and workshopped with Steve Varney (of Gregory Alan Isakov), “Lavender” features Will Orchard on lead guitar, Micah Rubin (of The Brazen Youth) on drums, and Charlie Dahlke on bass, backing vocals, and piano. Marking a departure from the songwriter’s previous stripped-back solo work, “Lavender” feels expansive yet intimate, setting the stage for the artist’s new chapter in her story.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Gemma Laurence to discuss all aspects of her blossoming career. Along the way, she offers an inside look into her creative process, her evolution as a songwriter, and breathing life into her forthcoming album, ‘Lavender.’ 

You’ve been making quite a name for yourself as an artist. So let’s go back to the start. First, tell us a bit about how you grew up.

I grew up in Maine, which is where I am right now. I’ve been playing piano and guitar ever since I was a kid. I took up the banjo as a camp counselor, where I taught music to kids when I needed a second instrument to accompany them. I was teaching them the guitar. I would give them my guitar, and they would play, and I had a little banjo to play alongside it. That’s when I started experimenting with new instrumentation and began writing more music because I was no longer just thinking in guitar or piano terms. I learned how to layer all these different instruments and arrange a song. My first album came out in 2019. That was all banjo, very folky, Americana, stripped down, simple songs. It was all songs that I had been working on for years. Now, I am working on new materials with drums, bass, and all of these different arrangements. It’s been a big arc to learn what my style is or signature is when it comes to songwriting. Growing up in Maine around a lot of nature and other folk musicians was highly influential to me.

What is one of your fondest memories of your early days as a songwriter?

That’s a good question. The first time I ever wrote a song, I was 12 years old when I went to summer camp. I guess I’m a big camp person! [laughs] I got extremely restless at rest hour. I’m sure you can hear it in my voice, I talk very quickly, and I’m always doing things. I’m just a very hyper person! [laughs] So, a few of my friends and I went out to the baseball field and would write songs during rest hour. I wrote a song called “Got No Mail,” which was a song about not getting any mail from my parents while I was at camp. Side note! They sent me a lot of mail but just not every single day! [laughs] Props to my parents for being like, “We’re going to set expectations and send you one extremely thoughtful note a week…,” as opposed to daily care packages daily with notes saying, “I love you, I miss you, come home!” I wrote that song, which was very silly, but people seemed to like it. That made me think that I should start doing it more often. I wrote many silly songs like that as a kid and kept doing it through high school and college. As I moved forward, I started developing my style and writing much more personal stuff. So, writing “Got No Mail” at summer camp was a highlight in my early career! [laughs]

Gemma Laurence - Photo by Beatrice Helman 8
Gemma Laurence – Photo by Beatrice Helman 8

When did you choose to pursue your passion for music professionally?

I never thought about doing it professionally until I got to college. I was involved with the open mic scene at Middlebury, where I went to school in Vermont. I was going to an open mic called “WOMP” every week. It became such a safe space for me! I’d show up there and could perform whatever I had been working on, and everybody was so receptive, kind, and lovely. Around that time, I recorded a song with one of my friends. When we finished recording, he said, “So, you’re going to do this professionally, right?” I was like, “What?!” [laughs] I was 18 and a philosophy major at the time. I didn’t know what I was going to do with that degree, let alone what I was going to do afterward! [laughs]

Ultimately, I changed to an English major because I couldn’t stand the people who did philosophy! But anyways! [laughs] I never really considered it, and I didn’t make much music in college apart from performing. I’ve never been great at music theory, and I’d never done any big shows. So for most of my time in college, I had been thinking about going into academia. That is what my dad had done. He is a college professor, and my Mom is a writer, so I always felt I would go the academic route.

Fast forward four years, and I was about to graduate. I moved to New York just for a summer to do an internship. I started to play open mics all over the city. I would go to Astoria on Monday for the open mic there. Then I would go down to Williamsburg to Pete’s Candy Store for their open mic. Before I knew it, I was bopping around all over, every night, five days a week, with my guitar in hand! I met many great people in the process, many of whom are still my friends. It’s such a diverse, rich community. Experiencing it made me say, “I want to do this!” I realized that all these people had day jobs but were still seriously pursuing music. I was like, “I can do that too!” That’s when I knew this wasn’t just a fancy. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. I knew I wanted to be in New York and to be performing. I didn’t know if I would ever make money doing it or if it would be a career, but I knew it’s what I wanted to do, along with whatever else I was going to do to supplement that.

Is there anyone in your family with the same musical DNA as you?

I recently discovered I had a long-lost cousin, a big neo-soul/R&B/jazz artist. His name is Oscar Jerome, and he rocks! I would describe his work as Rex Orange County meets Joy Crookes meets Hope Tala. It’s that kind of vibe! I recently found out about him. Before that, I thought I had no musicians in the family other than an aunt who does choir. My dad grew up singing hymns at the Naval Academy in the UK. He’s British! [laughs] My Mom sang me lullabies, but no one pursued it seriously other than that long-lost cousin! My parents were always really encouraging. They loved listening to music, but pursuing it professionally was never in their blood. Frankly, it’s just been a me thing! [laughs]

What I’m doing now does come down to my parents being so supportive from a young age. They took me to piano lessons because I wanted to learn. They were never the type who were like, “You need to be doing piano lessons to become a protege!” [laughs] They were very much like, “What do you want to do?” I was like, “Girl Scouts! Lacrosse! Soccer! Music lessons!” To their credit, they were like, “Okay! Let’s see how long you’ve got until you burn out!” [laughs] I did, probably around the time I was eight, but I stuck with music!

With piano, I worked on it pretty hard! It never really felt right because I did classical piano. I felt like the rigid structure of that didn’t suit me. I like listening to songs and kind of figuring it out. My piano teacher also taught guitar. So, one day I asked him if we could try the guitar. He said, “Yeah, sure. Do you have a guitar?” I was like, “Nope!” He told me to find one, and we’d figure it out. [laughs] I asked around, and this kind on my school bus gave me his half-sized nylon stringed toy guitar. I played on that for the first five years! [laughs] I continued practicing and started writing songs and listening to songs to figure out what was happening. I quickly realized that I have a better ear for music than reading music and all the technical stuff. That’s how I got here, all of these years later!

Gemma Laurence - Photo by Beatrice Helman
Gemma Laurence – Photo by Beatrice Helman

You mentioned that your songwriting had become more personal through the years. That’s a big step to take, but it’s something that comes through beautifully in your music.

Thank you! I feel like it was a very natural progression. I would describe myself as a very open and vulnerable person. I like being comfortable with that vulnerability. The more honest, open, and vulnerable I am in front of others when I’m performing, the more connection I get! I started writing more heartfelt songs when I was around 17 or 18 years old. I was in high school and going through a lot. I started writing those songs as a reaction to what was going on in my life. Something heartbreaking would happen, like loss, a breakup, or a death in the family, and I would write a song immediately afterward to process it. It was more for me than it was for anyone else. I would perform them, and people would come to me afterward and tell me that the songs resonated with them. That means so much to me, and it made me realize that the more personal and honest I wrote, the more it connected with people.

As time has passed, I’ve started writing music more as a response and less as a reaction. I’m looking back more in retrospect, and my life now is much less chaotic than it was when I was a teenager. I’m sure that holds true for many people. Now, I’m looking back on past experiences and drawing from those. I look back on friendships, how they’ve evolved, how my queerness came to light, how I came out, the people I’ve been in love with in the past, and people who have come into my life more recently. I’m sitting with that more.

Additionally, I’m reading more poetry and novels to develop more vocabulary to create a narrative around the song that’s more than, “Oh, you broke up with me, and I’m hurt now!” [laughs] Instead, it is more like, “I remember golden hour. 4 o’clock in October in Morningside Heights. Walking down the streets with this person, having free whiskey samples at a farmer’s market, and getting accidentally super drunk!” I want to write a song about that! I’m leaning more on the sensory parts of memories now than the emotional gut reaction.

What lessons did you learn early on that resonate with you as you move forward in your career?

That’s an excellent question. I talked to a lot of people that I looked up to. I think the best advice I got was to be humble and to ask questions. You’ll never figure it out on your own, so you need to ask people for their advice and insights. I constantly talked to the people I looked up to at college who ran the open mics or did other shows. I’d ask stuff like, “Hey, what’s your secret? How did you get to where you are now?” Essentially, they told me that practicing all the time and treating it as a business was essential. I don’t think that can be emphasized enough. If you’re trying to do music professionally, taking it seriously and treating it like a business is essential. You want to get the right team behind it, even if it’s just yourself. You must dedicate weekly time to practice, working on setlists, reaching out to venues, or performing to get your chops up!

Once you’ve done all that, you have to keep at it! I took a few music marketing classes during the pandemic. I went to Berklee Online to do some research because I knew I wanted to work in the industry and learn more about it from that perspective. I learned so much! That class made it crystal clear — It’s not going to be a hobby. It’s going to be a lot of work, and it’s not going to happen overnight. So many people think they have to wait for their big break or until their “Tik-Tok famous,” and then it’s all going to work out when you hit X amount of streams. That’s not how it works because it’s such an ongoing process. You have to have a lot of endurance. I think perseverance, endurance, and humility are crucial elements.

You’ve been hard at work on your sophomore album, ‘Lavender.’ So how did the ball get rolling for this one?

I’m so excited to release this album! I’ve been sitting on it for a while now. Apart from the single I put out in October of 2021, I haven’t released any new music since the Summer of 2019. So, it’s been a minute! [laughs] I wrote all these songs over the pandemic when I was holed up on the coast of Main at my parent’s house. I had planned to move to New York after graduating in February of 2020. Bad timing! [laughs] That led me to move back to Maine and take several music production/business classes online. I was also working on my stuff along the way. Many of these songs are very nostalgic and have a lot of yearning. As I mentioned, much of it draws these images from memories. For me, it is about taking these sights, smells, and textures, drawing all of those things together, and quilting them into this fabric or soundscape. It’s slightly different from the stuff I’ve done before just because it’s a little more fleshed out, lush and atmospheric. Additionally, many more musicians, instruments, and collaborators are involved in creating this world.

I recorded one track on my own. It’s a song called “Canyon Moon.” That one I produced on my own and then met producer Charlie Dahlke (The Brazen Youth) through a friend online. He loved my stuff and that song. I had all of these iPhone demos, and he said, “Do you want to come down and record?” I was like, “Heck, yeah!” He has this beautiful farmhouse recording studio out of Lyme, Connecticut. He said, “Just come with the songs you want to do, and we will do the thing!” His band, The Brazen Youth, is genuinely great. They are folk-rock, so it’s a similar palette to what I do. So I collaborated with him, guitarist Will Orchard, and Micah Rubin, their drummer. It was just fantastic! We recorded the whole album in a week, and now it’s almost here! I released one of the singles, “Adrienne,” this past Fall. I just sat on it for a while to see how it resonated as I brainstormed about how I wanted to put out the album. I ended up deciding to work with Better Company Records, who’s this excellent indie label. They are putting out the album in November. I couldn’t be more excited because they are fantastic people! Everyone involved in making this record has been amazing and is excellent at their jobs!

Tell us about “Adrienne” and how the song began to take shape.

That song is inspired by an Adrienne Rich poem from “21 Love Poems,” a collection in “The Dream of A Common Language.” A lot of these songs are inspired by poets. As I mentioned, I was an English major in college, so I’ve been into reading poetry for a while. I got into it during my year abroad at Oxford. I was introduced to Adrienne Rich by a person a couple of years ago, and, honestly, it changed my life. Adrienne Rich, the way she writes feels like she is just getting right into your brain. It’s like she’s drawing on memories that you didn’t even know you had. She does it by streaming these images together like driftwood and a bottle of whiskey on a stack of paper. Suddenly, you find yourself immersed in this world. I love how that writer does that, so I wanted to write a song that does the same thing.

I wanted to string together a bunch of images and create a scene of this moment to draw people into it. It’s so specific to me and my experience with this person that it’s about who introduced me to this writer. It also feels universal in the sentiment, yearning, and nostalgia. It comes down to the question, “How is that person doing?” [laughs] You know that person so well in that short time. Maybe you spent one night together or went on a few dates that felt special to you. Then you look back and think, “I wonder how you’ve been?” It was about reflecting on that experience and passionate moment and all its details! Everything from the sunlight dancing on the walls the next morning to the coffee brewing on the stove. It’s about that, and it’s about Adrienne Rich. So, it felt like an enjoyable departure from my past stuff. It wasn’t “And I want to get back together…” or “and screw you!” [laughs] It was about honoring that moment!

“Lavender” is another impressive track. What is the story behind this one?

“Lavender” started as a banjo song. I wrote it for my best friend after she came out. It’s a song honoring her transition and celebrating her and celebrating the trans and queer communities. It honors the hardships of coming out and how difficult it can be for many people. I feel fortunate that when I came out as queer, I was met with a lot of love. My parents, friends, and family were super accepting, but many people have a much harder go of it. I wanted to write a song about that for people who didn’t necessarily have those songs growing up. As I said, the song began as a banjo song, but when we went into the studio to record it, it was becoming a little too sing-songy. It was banjo and guitar and felt like a campfire song! [laughs] That’s my comfort zone because I love campfire songs. Charlie said, “Okay, what if we made it a rock song?” I thought about it and was like, “Yeah, that’s what we have to do!” It’s an anthem! It’s powerful and big!

So, we dimmed the lights and lit some candles in the studio. It was around 10 PM, and we had just started jamming. Our drummer was drumming, Charlie played bass and piano, and I played acoustic guitar. We changed the chords around a little bit, and the song completely transformed! It feels more like the songs I like to listen to from Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, or Skullcrusher. We did the song in one day, and it came together well. It’s probably my favorite song on the entire album, so I’m excited to share it with everybody!

What special moments come to mind from these incredible recording sessions?

Ashlawn Recording Company, where we recorded with Charlie, is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life! It’s so stunning! It’s a farm on these rolling hills with horses grazing outside! We recorded in March when there was condensation rising off the grass. It was misty somedays, beautiful and sunny but still had this cool chilliness. It felt very cozy. It was initially a farm before becoming Charlie’s Mom’s coffee shop, Ashlawn Coffee Company. Then they moved locations, so he turned the coffee shop into a recording studio. It felt so cozy, and we huddled up there every day, drinking coffee that his Mom gave us! That was so nice of her! [laughs] It felt so safe and loving.

To be honest, I’ve always felt a little afraid to record. I say that because I don’t really know the lingo. I just write the songs, most of which are in an open tuning. Charlie made me feel so comfortable, and the atmosphere was terrific. It was like a bunch of pals mucking around and making some music. It couldn’t have been more laid back! That experience gave me more confidence as a recording artist. As I mentioned, I took some production classes in the past and wanted to do the album on my own. I kind of quickly realized that production wasn’t my thing. I recorded some parts and did the homework for the class, but it never felt quite right to me. I love making the music, but I don’t love having to plug in and constantly think about where it goes into the computer and how the interface works. Then, if I mess up on an engineering thing, I end up having to redo the whole thing. That was a bit of a bummer because I was hoping that I might continue to do audio engineering and production for other people. I quickly realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do.

Going into the studio and having someone experienced and who has worked on so many records care for me gave me a lot of confidence. It was like, “Okay, I might not know how to do those technical things, but I know enough of the vocabulary to articulate what I want.” Someone who has that type of experience can translate that pretty easily. The recording process is not as scary as I thought it would be! It’s not this intense process with all these people huddling over you and plugging things in. It can just be some friends making music and sound amazing even in a low-key setting! That felt special.

What did you learn about yourself by bringing this album to life?

I realized that I could be more of a leader in my music than I thought I could be. This speaks to the recording process and the band as well. After I had recorded the album, my goal was to make a band when I got to New York and start playing shows. I had never played with a full band before. Making this album was the first time I recorded or played with a band. I went into it very nervous and had all of these little hangups in my head. I feel like I’ve always been a singer/songwriter, so with my first album, I struggled a lot with keeping time with the click and stuff like that. So, we didn’t use a click, and I was speeding up a lot in the recordings and had to do it a bunch of times. I was just figuring it out, and I got very frustrated with myself.

I was at home in Maine for 15 months. I took those 15 months to be really intentional about writing the songs and learning more about the business side of things. The result is that I feel much more confident as an artist and recording artist. When I got to New York, I found a guitarist, drummer, and bassist. All of these people have become my best friends. They are all incredibly cool and talented. I remember our first band practice. We all get in, and they say, “Okay, so what do we do?” I was like, “I don’t know. What do you think we should do?” [laughs] They were like, “well, you’re the band leader!” [laughs] I said, “You’re right! I do have opinions! Here’s what we’re going to do!” [laughs] I gained a lot of confidence from that. I realized I had all the skills to do this.

I think many women in music feel this way that we are trained to second guess ourselves. I learned it’s okay to say, “Here’s what I want from this.” I now have more confidence in my decision-making regarding how the songs sound, the arrangements, and how they are recorded. I’m also not afraid to say no sometimes if something isn’t going to work for me. That doesn’t make me a jerk; it makes me a musician, a leader, and an artist. That’s okay to do! So, that’s something I’ve learned over the past year of making this album.

What does this album mean to you personally?

It’s a significant album to me. It explores my queerness a lot more and different expressions of queerness. Looking at the album, it feels like a collection of short stories or vignettes to me and the way I wanted to write it. These stories explore different moments in my life, expressions of queerness, femininity, and sexuality. There is a story about my best friend, and there is the story about Adrienne. There is a story about one of my more difficult breakups, moving to New York and reclaiming myself and my agency. It’s a love song to myself, and it’s the song that closes out the album.

The songs on this album focus on myself, the people I love in my life, and the queer community, all from different lenses and perspectives. Each song is really about somebody meaningful in my life. I spent a lot of time on the lyrics to truly capture what I wanted to capture in each piece. None of the songs feel like a throwaway or as if one of them is just there as filler. Each is a different expression of my identity, and it feels so meaningful to put that out into the world!

Gemma Laurence - Photo by Beatrice Helman
Gemma Laurence – Photo by Beatrice Helman

How do you view your evolution as a songwriter? Are there clear milestones for you?

Yeah! As I mentioned, these songs were all written over the pandemic, except for one I wrote right before graduating. That is the last track on the album. It’s funny because that one feels more like the songs on my first album. It’s a little more simple. It’s in 3/4, which I love. That song is about myself, whereas the other songs are about somebody else, as I mentioned. “In The Rearview” was very much me looking at myself. I’m asking, “Okay, this happened to me, but what does that say about my growth? Where does that leave me? Where do I want to go from this?” I think that inward turn was beneficial and a massive shift in my transition as a songwriter. I went from reacting to things happening to me to going more inward and reflecting on that feeling. That led me to reflect on other incidents and impactful moments in my life. So, that was a huge turning point.

“Canyon Moon,” the song I mentioned producing by myself, was also a big turning point. That was the first time I had ever recorded on my own. It’s kind of a stomp and clap song. Recently, I badly sprained my ankle on a run and couldn’t walk at all. I had already done all these stomps and claps, but my music professor at Berklee suggested that I do more. He said, “This sounds great, but I think we need it a little more fleshed out. I think you should do a couple more layers on top of that.” I was taking notes and said, “Yes, of course!” I’m on crutches at this point! I put them down and started stomping my good foot and clapping on my own in my childhood bedroom! It sounded great in the end! That is also thanks to Hill Kourkoutis, who is fantastic! She’s the first woman to win Best Recording Engineer at the Juno Awards. She rocks, and she’s so incredibly talented! We worked remotely, so she used all of these stems I was making and worked with me on it. I recorded all the earlier stems on my own. I did the banjo and the guitar, which was so empowering. I was listening to what I was doing and layering on top of that, which I had never done before. We used all of those original stems in the final recording even though we remixed it a little bit. That one feels very special to me, and it isn’t one I can perform live, which is cool. Usually, all the songs are guitar-based, and I can perform almost all of them with a band. However, with that song, you’d need at least three different people stomping and clapping like you were in a church. It’s really cool, and it feels very different. So, those are some of the bigger shifts in my songwriting and my attitude toward myself as a creative person.

Where do you find yourself looking for inspiration these days?

A lot of my ideas stem from reading. A lot of them happen when I’m reading poetry or a book. I have a collection of D.H. Lawrence short stories on my desk, my journal, and my coffee! [laughs] I often have ideas that spring from reading a phrase or a word that will stick with me for some reason. I will write them down, and I’ll just do a free association in my journal and write all of these different images that attach to that. I think I’m a pretty visual songwriter, so I think of a scene, a place, a person, a feeling, and a time. I write all of that down.

As I mentioned, “Adrienne” is from an Adrienne Rich poem. Another song on the album comes from a Frank O’Hara poem. When the song was written, I had been reading a lot of his work. I am just so in love with great poetry! I read all the time, and I’m constantly updating my Goodreads! [laughs] That’s often how it begins. I start writing about it, start free association, and then begin writing a poem. Then, I get my guitar and start fiddling around in open tuning to see which chords best evoke that feeling. I fiddle and futz around until I start singing the words. Eventually, everything comes into place! That’s how the songs on this more recent album went, as they are very visually based. All of them are in open tunings, so it’s got a huge, dreamy, ethereal sound.

Gemma Laurence - Photo by Beatrice Helman
Gemma Laurence – Photo by Beatrice Helman

I also have all of these musical heroes that I still look up to all the time. They are people like Phoebe Bridgers, Adrienne Lanker, and Soccer Mommy. I also listen to a lot of 70s folk like Joni Mitchell. I just went to see Phoebe Bridgers and MUNA live! I have gone to a lot of shows, but this was spectacular. The visuals were crazy! She’s done so much to get to where she is now. She is an incredible artist, songwriter, and producer, and she also puts on a show! That is such a dream to get to a point where you can have a full band with violins, crazy drums, and huge sound! Going to that was inspiring! I hope to see a lot more live music in the coming months. I also saw Norah Jones recently, and she rocks! I’m obsessed with her. She was the first artist I ever saw live when I was eight. All these years later, she is still killing it! I also love going to my friend’s gigs because I have so many pals in the city doing amazing stuff! People like Partygirl, Reliant Tom, and Camp Bedford Rescue Squad. There are so many bands doing incredible things right now. I feel like they will all blow up any minute. So, I’m trying to go to all the shows, be in the front row, singing and dancing along! That always feels so inspiring to me!

What do the next few months look like for you as we move closer to the album’s release date?

It has been such an overwhelming whirlwind of a year! One morning someone told me I was on NPR. I looked it up and found myself in an NPR article, which was very surprising. I also randomly ended up on Jimmy Fallon a couple of months ago! [laughs] That was a life-changing experience. So, all of these things are happening! I have no idea where all this momentum will take me, but I hope it amounts to some fun stuff!

I finished recording this album in March of 2021, so it’s already been a year of doing promotional stuff. I’ve also been doing more shows in New York. We had a Mercury Lounge show scheduled, but I had to cancel it when I got Covid. That was a big bummer, but I hope to return there soon. I also hope to return to Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos, and the other iconic New York City stages! I also hope to maybe go on tour. I’m kind of looking into that. Nothing’s official, but I think it would be fun to go back up to Burlington or maybe Maine, where I’m from, in support of the album. Maybe do a little Northeast thing following the album, so stay tuned on that!

Most importantly, I hope the album connects with people! Since I’ve been sitting on this album for a while, I’ve written many songs since then. I’m hoping to start recording those soon, so there may be more music coming after the album. I’m excited to be signed to Better Company Records. They absolutely rock, and I can only imagine the awesome stuff that will come from that collaboration!

Your story can inspire so many people. So what’s the best lesson we can learn from your journey so far?

If there is any advice I would give to up-and-coming singer/songwriters, it’s to keep at it! Keep pushing forward, keep performing and keep trying new things. Keep making music, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. I’m not a rock star or a pop star. I’m just a gal making music, and it feels great. I love music and performing, but I’ve got a long way to go before I can make this a full-time career, and that’s okay! I’m still keeping my head down and working hard to make music that connects with other people but also feels genuine to me. That’s the biggest lesson, I would say. For anyone trying to get their foot in the door, don’t value your worth based on streams or press. What matters is that you are making music that is authentic. If you are making music that feels genuine to you, it will connect with people eventually. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen! Also, keep making connections because you never know where that may lead. You may go to a show and meet someone; years later, you are on tour with a superstar. You never know where those connections might take you!

Follow the continuing adventures of Gemma Laurence via social media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Website | Instagram | Bandcamp | SoundCloud | YouTube