Alum nominated for GRAMMYs, JUNOS and ECMA in 2022
Laura Roy (Music Arts ’12) has come a long way from her time singing at the Legion in Canning, NS, to attending the Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas earlier this year.
“It was pretty surreal, to be honest,” says Laura. “I have home videos of me when I'm 11 or 12 pretending to accept my Grammy Awards in my bedroom.”
Laura was nominated for two Grammy awards, Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year, for her contributions on Doja Cat’s Planet Her album. She also received a JUNO award nomination when Planet Her was nominated for International Album of the Year.
“Although we didn't win this year, it's still just incredible to think that coming from such a little town in Nova Scotia that this has happened. It motivates me more to just keep pushing and improving,” says Laura.
Laura’s writing contributions and backing vocals are featured on the album’s song, Alone.
Driven by music
Laura says she is grateful for the nominations and having her hard work recognized, but she doesn’t create music for the awards.
“Honestly, I feel more accomplished about the music that I've written and put out,” says Laura. “The accolades and stuff are great on paper but knowing the amount of work that I've had to put into my own music, and how much time and energy it takes to release the body of music – that's something I feel most proud of.”
Laura has established herself as voice in alternative R&B with multiple singles, two EPs and an East Coast Music Award for an EP titled Forte. She earned another East Coast Music Award nomination this year for her Tides EP.
“I've always had a belief in myself,” says Laura. “For me it's more so been a knowing that this is what I'm meant to do – it’s to sing, to write music, to express myself, to connect to people through that.”
Following her heart
Laura always loved singing from a young age and began taking her passion for music seriously when she started studying guitar at 13.
“When I graduated high school, I was kind of torn on whether to study marine biology or to go to NSCC and study music. But the calling was quite strong in my heart to do music, so I couldn't really deny that.”
In 2010, Laura Roy took the first big step in her career by moving to Halifax from rural Nova Scotia for NSCC’s Music Arts program. She describes this as a big deal at the time because it was the first time that she received any vocal training or took public transit in the city.
“Once I got to NSCC it was kind of the starting point of my professional career,” says Laura. “The program was a huge learning curve for me, but I was able to develop a lot of skills that really did help me in the long run.”
“Also just having the opportunity to have more of an in-depth mentorship through my instructors like Jeff Goodspeed and Tom Easley. I still love them so much and keep in touch with them - they've had such an impact on me as a person and as an artist and are so supportive of me.”
A leap of faith
After graduating, Laura lived in Halifax and Toronto where she worked various jobs while self-releasing and self-funding a lot of her music. In 2017, she made a career defining move and bought a one-way ticket to London, England, to further pursue her music career.
“I moved to the UK because I played a small show here in 2017 and I basically just fell in love with the city,” says Laura. “I saw all the opportunity here and the level of musicianship and I felt like I had to take that leap of faith.”
“I worked in a lot of bars for years in London while doing my music stuff on the side. And now, I'm in a position where I'm doing music full time. I tour with different signed acts in the UK as a backing vocalist, which is how I'm making my bread and butter.”
Laura spends her time wearing many different hats in the music industry, which includes studio sessions, writing, producing her own artist projects and working as a vocalist. She has either directed or shot and edited most of her music videos.
Laura is always working on new music and hopes she can continue to travel with her music. She doesn’t see herself staying in London for the long term and thinks the next natural step will be LA.
“Eventually, I'll be releasing more new music. I've got a couple other collaborations that I think will be coming out within the next year and I'm kind of planting some seeds in LA now,” says Laura.
“The dream is to have a beautiful house and home studio in Nova Scotia. The goal for me is to have a base in Nova Scotia, but to always be traveling and working.”