Laura Mvula

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Laura Mvula
Singer - Laura Mvula
Portrait by Walterlan Papetti, Feb 2015
Background information
Birth name Laura Douglas
Born (1986-04-23) 23 April 1986 (age 28)[citation needed]
Birmingham, England
Genres Soul, jazz
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Years active 2012—present
Labels RCA

Laura Mvula (née Douglas; born 23 April 1986)[1] is a British soul singer-songwriter from Birmingham. Her debut album Sing to the Moon was released on 4 March 2013, with an orchestral re-recording released on 11 August 2014.

Early and personal life[edit]

Mvula grew up in the Birmingham suburbs of Selly Park and Kings Heath with two younger siblings, and was influenced by the girl band Eternal. Her mother is from St. Kitt's and her father is from Jamaica In 2005, Mvula sang with Black Voices, an a cappella group set up by her aunt.[2][3] In 2008, she formed a jazz/neo-soul group called Judyshouse, singing lead vocals and writing material for the band.[4] Laura was Director of the Lichfield Community Gospel Choir, founded by Black Voices and Lichfield Festival in 2009.[5] She has also previously directed the Alvechurch Community Choir.[6] Laura graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire at the Birmingham City University with a degree in composition.[7][8] While she was working as a supply teacher in a Birmingham secondary school, she started writing songs on her laptop.[7] She was working as a receptionist when she sent out two demos to several people in the music industry. One of them, Steve Brown, heard the songs and sent them to his manager Kwame Kwaten who would become Laura's manager.[2][8] In a podcast for The Daily Telegraph, Mvula admitted to suffering from "crippling stage fright".[9]


2012–14: Sing to the Moon[edit]

Main article: Sing to the Moon

After several showcases, Laura Mvula was signed by Colin Barlow to Sony subsidiary RCA.[8] She released her debut extended play, She, on 16 November 2012. The title track, "She" is the first song Mvula ever wrote.[10] Her debut studio album, Sing to the Moon, was released on 4 March 2013.[8][11] She worked on the album with producer Steve Brown[12][13] and mix engineer Tom Elmhirst.[14] Paul Lester from The Guardian described her music as "gospeldelia", calling it a new musical genre.[1] The album was preceded by the single "Green Garden".[8] The song is an elegy to her home in Kings Heath.[2] On 6 December 2012, Mvula was shortlisted for the Critics' Choice award at the 2013 BRIT Awards.[15] On 9 December, she was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, and finished in fourth position.[16] On 1 February 2013, she gave her first live TV performance on The Graham Norton Show on BBC One, singing "Green Garden".[17] Mvula stated her influences include Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill.[18]

Sing to the Moon reached number 9 on the UK Albums Chart and within the top 100 in seven other countries and has so far reached 173 in the US Billboard 200 In October 2013, Mvula won awards for best female act and best R&B or soul artist at the 2013 MOBO Awards.[19]

In March 2014, Mvula re-recorded an orchestral version of her debut album Sing to the Moon in collaboration with the Metropole Orkest, conducted by Jules Buckley. This was released on 23 June 2014 as a high quality download via Bowers & Wilkins' Society of Sound[20] and on CD on 11 August 2014.[21][22] On 19 August 2014, Mvula performed with the Metropole Orkest at the Albert Hall as part of the 2014 BBC Proms Season, supported by Esperanza Spalding and ElectricVocals.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
Sing to the Moon 9 33 26 40 93 15 11 16 15 173
Laura Mvula with Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley at Abbey Road Studios[34]
  • Released: 23 June 2014 (digital download)
    11 August 2014 (CD)
    18 August 2014 (LP)
  • Label: RCA
  • Format: Digital download, CD, LP
61 184 97

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
iTunes Festival: London 2012
  • Released: 16 September 2012
  • Label: RCA
  • Format: Digital EP
  • Released: 16 November 2012
  • Label: RCA
  • Format: Digital EP


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"She" 2012 Sing to the Moon
"Like the Morning Dew"
"Green Garden" 2013 31 3[A] 40 50 46 74
"That's Alright" 52[A]
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director(s)
"Green Garden" 2013 Wendy Morgan
"That's Alright"
"She" Alex Southam

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Category Result
2013 BRIT Awards Critics' Choice Award[15] Nominated
BBC Sound of 2013[16] Nominated[A]
Barclaycard Mercury Prize (Sing to the Moon)[36] Nominated
MOBO Awards Best Female Act[37] Won
Best R&B/Soul Act Won
Best Album (Sing to the Moon) Nominated
Urban Music Awards Artist of the Year[38] Nominated
Best Female Act Won
Best Newcomer Nominated
Q Awards Best New Act[39] Nominated
2014 Brit Awards British Breakthrough Act[40] Nominated
British Female Solo Artist[40] Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding World Music Album[41] Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards Album Award[42] Nominated
BET Awards Best International Act: UK[43] Nominated
A^ Fourth place

Concert tours[edit]



A ^ Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts. Added 50 position to actual Ultratip position.


  1. ^ a b Lester, Paul (31 December 2012). "Ones to watch in 2013: Laura Mvula". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Jones, Alison (22 February 2013). "Birmingham singer songwriter Laura Mvula singled out to be music's next big star". Birmingham Post (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Black voices". 
  4. ^ "judyshouse". 
  5. ^ "lichfield choir". 
  6. ^ "alvechurch community choir". 
  7. ^ a b "Laura Mvula to support Jessie Ware on tour". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Cosyns, Poppy. "Brit Awards nominee Laura Mvula: Everything’s gone at 110mph". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Louisa Poocock, "Laura Mvula: 'I still suffer from stage fright. I'm terrified I'll be found out’", The Telegraph, 14 March 2013.
  10. ^ Bedian, Knar (9 April 2014). "Honesty Is Their Policy: PHOX And Laura Mvula". Sound of Boston. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Sing to the Moon out now". 
  12. ^ Alexis Petridis, "Laura Mvula: Sing to the Moon – review", The Guardian, 28 February 2013.
  13. ^ Neil McCormick, "Laura Mvula, Sing To the Moon, CD review", The Telegraph, 1 March 2013.
  14. ^ MacKay, Emily (5 March 2013). "Album Mixing for Sing to the Moon". The Independent (London). 
  15. ^ a b "Brits Critics' Choice tips three new acts for 2013". BBC. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Sound of 2013 Profile: Laura Mvula". BBC. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Laura Mvula performs 'Green Garden' live on Graham Norton". The British Blacklist. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  18. ^ Lachno, James (29 November 2012). "influences". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Laura Mvula on recording an orchestral version of her debut album – audio interview". Q the Music. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Laura Mvula with Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley at Abbey Road Studios (Live)". Amazon. Retrieved 25 June 2014. >
  22. ^ "Laura Mvula with Metropole Orkest at Abbey Road Studios". Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "Laura Mvula > UK Charts". Official Charts Company. 
  24. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Laura Mvula". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  25. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discografie Laura Mvula". Belgium (Flanders) Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  26. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Laura Mvula". Danish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  27. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Laura Mvula". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  28. ^ a b Peak positions for Ireland:
  29. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discografie Laura Mvula". Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  30. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Laura Mvula". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  31. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Laura Mvula". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  32. ^ "Laura Mvula – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Laura Mvula – Chart History: Japan Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Beyonce & Jay Z Lead 2014 BET Awards". Billboard. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 

External links[edit]