Lauren Aquilina

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Lauren Aquilina
Birth name Lauren Amber Aquilina
Born (1995-06-23) 23 June 1995 (age 23)
Bristol, England, UK
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active
  • 2011-2016
  • 2018-present
Labels
Associated acts

Lauren Amber Aquilina (born 23 June 1995) is an English singer and songwriter. Born in Bristol, she gained popularity by independently releasing a trilogy of EPs (Fools, Sinners, and Liars) whilst studying at school. Her debut album Isn't It Strange? after being signed with Island Records and Universal Music Group, which was released on 26 August 2016.

In October 2016, she revealed that she'd no longer continue releasing music.

Life and career[edit]

Aquilina was born on 23 June 1995 in Bristol to parents from Malta. Her musical origins began with her playing piano in school.[1] She has been singing since she was eight years old and has been playing piano since she was nine. When she was thirteen years old she attended her first open mic event and sang "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga while her mother filmed her. Aquilina's manager(at the time), Ryan Walter, came across one of the videos and the two began working with one another putting together Aquilina's initial EP "Fools".

"I uploaded the video to my Facebook page just as a kind of test to see what people thought and my manager [Ryan] spotted my first video within two days of uploading it even though it had less than 4 views, I was very fortunate."

Celebrity supporters include Perez Hilton, who posted a blog entry praising Aquilina in January 2012.[2]

In December 2011, Aquilina uploaded a cover of Brenda Russell's song, "Get Here" which she recorded at home to raise money for the Meningitis Trust.[3] She said that she was "trying to raise as much money as I can for a good cause, especially at Christmas time."[4]

In August 2012, Aquilina announced her independently released debut EP Fools through her management label Interlude Artists which was released on iTunes on 22 October 2012. It reached the Top 50 iTunes singles charts in its first week on pre-orders alone. To promote her EP, Aquilina performed an eight-song set in Tromsø, Norway and was noticed by a Norwegian newspaper[5] who called Aquilina "a great, talented songwriter who plays piano to accompany her beautiful voice." In September 2012, Aquilina announced on both her Facebook and Twitter accounts that she would be headlining her very first UK tour in early 2013.[6]

Aquilina has received significant popularity in Malta since the release of her debut EP, Fools. She has topped the Maltese iTunes chart, above Adele, and has been noted in several Maltese newspapers and websites and on Malta's National TV channel, TVM, as of October 2012.[7] The title track from her first EP Fools received its first UK national radio play on BBC Radio 1 on 15 October 2012 on the BBC Introducing show.[8]

It was announced on Thursday 15 August 2013 that Aquilina will headline the BBC Introducing stage at Reading & Leeds Festival 2013. Lauren also played her first ever show in the United States on 21 August 2013 when she played a sold-out headline show at Manhattan's Rockwood Hall.

Aquilina released her final EP Liars in the Fools, Sinners, Liars EP trilogy on 10 March 2014. Having asked to hear Lauren's third EP Liars, which she recorded and marketed with her manager, Island Records & Universal Music Group signed Aquilina as a new artist.

In June 2014, Aquilina collaborated with Scottish band Prides on one of their tracks, "Strong Enough".

As of October 2014, Aquilina's trilogy of EP's have sold over 100,000 copies between them. Aquilina also put on a mini-tour of three UK shows as a special thank you to her fans for their support. Dates included Manchester, Bristol and London where the mini-tour ended.

Aquilina's song 'Time to Say Goodbye' was also featured in the season six advert for British drama Downton Abbey.

Aquilina released her debut album Isn't It Strange? under Island Records & Universal Music Group on 26 August 2016.

On 10 October 2016 Aquilina announced on her Twitter and Facebook accounts that she was no longer going to be writing music or performing for herself and that Isn't It Strange? would be her last album. [9][10]

Artistry[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Music reviewing website "Sound Of The Day" praised Aquilina's vocals in her cover of Lana Del Rey's "Born To Die":

"[She] took this cover and exploded it, and took [Del Rey's] vocals to another level. She has convinced me that with her very touching and emotional feel to her voice, she can change the course of many up and coming musicians. She is just in her room with a mic and keyboard, and has something to say, imagine her in an actual studio with better equipment. This girl could be a force on whatever label she signs with. The song and Lauren remind me of the beautiful Adele. Adele has a very powerful voice and people know when she is in the room. Lauren has that presence with her beautiful voice and amazing talent."[11]

Fortitude Magazine writer Maxie Molotov-Smith, complimented Aquilina's musical approach and rated her third EP, "Liars", a five out of five star rating. Praising,

"Lauren’s sound is beautifully crafted soul-inflected Piano Pop (a sound that Sara Bareilles, Chantal Kreviazuk and Regina Spektor have been known to dabble in) that conjures lifting atmospheres, honey-sweet vocals and some of the wisest lyrics that any teenage songwriter has ever written".[12]

WPGM Recommends Lauren Aquilina's unique style and inspiration:

"Taking inspiration from her own life experiences, Lauren Aquilina expresses great talent as a songwriter on this new EP and her voice is almost beyond her years as she is able to vary the moods of her songs and have her voice match them so perfectly while carrying the listener along via every note and every word sung. Do yourself a favour and purchase Lauren Aquilina’s Sinners EP right NOW and while you’re at it, get a hold of her debut Fools EP too."[13]

Influences[edit]

Aquilina has covered many artists on her YouTube channel and at her live performances including Bon Iver, Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Release date
Isn't It Strange? 26 August 2016

Extended plays[edit]

Title Release date
Fools 22 October 2012
Sinners 22 July 2013
Liars 10 March 2014
Ocean 9 October 2015

Singles[edit]

Year Single UK Singles
chart
position
Label EP/Album
2012 "Fools" 72[14] Self-released/Interlude Artists Fools
2012 "King" Fools
2013 "Sinners" 66[14] Sinners
2014 "Lovers or Liars" 58[14] Liars
2015 "Time To Say Goodbye" 197[15] Island Records N/A
"Ocean" Ocean
"Low"
"Echoes" N/A
2016 "Kicks" Isn't It Strange?
"How Would You Like It?"
"Midnight Mouths"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Featured Tracks[edit]

  • "Strong Enough" with Prides (2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Julie PeaPod. "17-year-old Lauren Aquilina releases her debut EP – 'Fools'". Gozo News.Com. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Perez Hilton blog entry". Perezhilton.com. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Get Here review". Fakewalls.com. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Get Surrey entry on local bands". Getsurrey.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Lauren Aquilina in Norway (from her official facebook page)". Fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lauren Aquilina Tickets – Buy Lauren Aquilina Concert Tickets". Nme.com. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "United Kingdom: An Unknown Talent is Discovered". Escflashmalta.com. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 1 – BBC Introducing with Jen and Ally, 15/10/2012". Bbc.co.uk. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Lauren Aquilina [@laurenaquilina] (10 October 2016). "💙" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  10. ^ https://www.facebook.com/laurenaquilinamusic/posts/1298132746897860
  11. ^ "Lauren Aquilina Born To Die cover review". SoundOfTheDay. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Lauren Aquilina EP Review: Liars". Fortitude Magazine. 
  13. ^ Shode, Halimat. "WPGM Recommends: Lauren Aquilina-Sinners EP". We Plug Good Music. 
  14. ^ a b c "LAUREN AQUILINA". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chart: CLUK Update 19.09.2015 (wk38)". Chart Log UK. zobbel.de. Retrieved 12 September 2016.