Making an impression on the charts
Originally hailing from the south Birmingham suburbs, musician Laura Mvula is becoming an increasingly familiar face, having recently been named as one of Marks & Spencer's 'Britain's Leading Ladies'. The campaign for the high-street chain's new clothing range will see her feature alongside actress Dame Helen Mirren and singer Ellie Goulding. Praised as being a pioneer in her field and representing the 'best of British' by Marks & Spencer, the BMus (Hons) graduate began starring in advertisements across the UK this September.
The singer-songwriter landed her first record deal with Sony Music Entertainment's flagship label, RCA Records, and in March this year released her debut album, 'Sing to the Moon', which reached the UK Top 10.
Also a director of the Lichfield Community Gospel Choir, Laura is a rising star whose talents have seen her winning two MOBO awards in 2013 - Best Female Act and Best R&B/Soul Act - plus nominations for BRIT and Q awards. She also came fourth in the BBC's Sound of 2013 new music list. Laura wowed audiences at this summer's Glastonbury Festival and her album - acclaimed by the Sunday Times Culture as "a masterpiece" - has also been shortlisted for the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize.
She added at the time that she was speechless about her Barclaycard Mercury Prize nomination. "This means everything to me and it doesn't feel real."
When she was younger, Laura hated performing and she admits that when she arrived at Birmingham Conservatoire to study a BMus (Hons) (Composition) she was very shy and uncertain of which direction she wanted to go in musically but her confidence soon developed.
"Being around a lot of excited musicians who were happy to be doing what they're doing was an amazing experience. Studying there taught me confidence," she explained.