When it’s normal for mealtime conversations to be conducted in three-part harmony, it was only natural for Laura Oakes to go through life singing. Her love for Dolly Parton, David Gates and the Dixie Chicks may seem an unusual music taste for a teenager from Liverpool, North West England but in her teenage years Laura really started to embrace her influences performing anywhere and everywhere.
A visit to Grand Ole Opry in Nashville at the age of 18 proved to be an overwhelming and life-defining experience, driving her to realise her dream of writing and singing country music.
She recorded and self-released her first single 'Don't Let It Hit Ya' in September 2013 which featured in the UK top 20 iTunes Country Chart. Her second single 'Snakes and Ladders' followed in 2014 with similar success.
Laura released her debut Self-Titled EP to iTunes in the summer of 2015 receiving great support from BBC radio across the UK, and similarly from Digital Radio (Chris Country and Amazing Radio). Bob Harris included it in his Best of 2015 retrospective on BBC Radio 2.
The UK country scene is one that is growing at a rapid pace and Laura has been at the forefront of it, winning ‘Best Female Vocalist’ at the British Country Music Awards for two consecutive years. Laura has enjoyed live dates at some of the UK’s most prestigious festivals and stages including C2C, The Long Road, Liverpool Sound City, The Great Escape, Black Deer, Cottingham Folk Festival, Secret Garden Party, Cornbury Music Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival and Camp Bestival. As well as support slots for some of the most notable talent coming out of the UK and US, including Devin Dawson, Lauren Alaina, Lauren Jenkins, Andrew Combs, The Shires, The Wandering Hearts, Catherine McGrath, Twinnie, Colm Mac Com Iomaire (The Frames) and Ward Thomas. As a songwriter, Laura has had cuts with Una Healy, Sony Music Sweden artist Wiktoria, Georgia Middleman and Jess and the Bandits.
Her last EP was an acoustic special “Nashville Stole Your Girl” which was released at the end of September 2017 and achieved number 3 in the iTunes UK Country Music Chart receiving critical acclaim and an invitation to perform a live session on Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 show. 2018 saw Laura return to Nashville repeatedly to co-write with some of the world’s greatest songwriters including Jeff Cohen (The Band Perry), Beth Nielsen Chapman (Faith Hill), Leslie Satcher, Ray Kennedy, Jenn Bostic, James T Slater, Philip White, Mike Fiorentino, Chris Lindsey, Ketelyn Clampett, Jason Lehning and Palmer Green. On her return to the UK with a bundle of fabulous songs ready to perform to hungry audiences, she began the task of recording and
co-producing the tracks alongside Alex Lanyon to create something truly magical ready to release in spring 2020.