I caught up with singer songwriter Laurel shortly after her set in the Hustle Den on the Saturday of the festival.
How are you? And how did you find your set?
Laurel: Yeah, great! Really chuffed. It was really nice to see so many people there, and people that I knew. It’s nice to come back here.
Have you visited Blissfields before?
Laurel: I actually met my boyfriend here two years ago! So it’s definitely a very special place for me. I was meant to play two years ago but didn’t end up playing. It was really nice to come back with my band and play The Hustle Den which is a really great tent.
So, you’re from the local area. What do you think of the music scene on the South Coast, particularly Southampton?
Laurel: I started in Southampton which was very much more ‘band-y’ for me. I kind of started there, did some gigs. I then decided to kind of start in Portsmouth. I went to college there and then I met a few people and started doing Portsmouth, which I felt was more susceptible to singer-songwriters and folk music, but that was just me at the time! [Laughs]
Where do you draw your influences from?
Laurel: I really like hip hop music, so I’m influenced by a lot of that which I think you can hear in the songs somewhere with the beats and bass. I love Florence and the Machine. I think my music’s probably a bit of a mix between Florence and hip hop.
Is there anyone you’ve really enjoyed performing here this weekend?
Laurel: I’ve just come from Cosmo Sheldrake’s set. He’s a friend of mine, and he’s awesome!
Do you have any festival highlights, or standout festival moments?
Laurel: For me, a highlight is playing. That’s when I get the most buzz. It’s fun to be at a festival and I love it, because I love festival vibes, but the most fun is to play them. For years, I’ve been coming to festivals and watching, and being like ‘I wanna be on that stage!’. So this year, it’s really nice to start playing festivals.
Do you have any dream festivals you would like to play?
Laurel: Oh yeah! Bestival! To headline at Bestival would be my dream come true. And obviously Glastonbury. But Bestival’s my favourite festival so I’d love to do that.
After this summer, what’s next for you?
Laurel: My single Blue Blood comes out in October and my album will come at the start of next year. It will be more touring, more gigging. Just trying to get people more aware of what I’m doing really.
Laurel will be playing at the Southsea Fest in September. For more information see http://www.southseafest.com/.