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Interview: LAU talks inspiration and debut record ‘Believer’



Featured Images by Yanny Tokyo

With almost a year of pandemic related shutdowns under our belts, what better way to shake off the blues than with pop music? LAU (Laura Fares), Barcelona based synthwave/retrowave artist, answers this call. Her solo debut Believer spins heartbreak into synth-y gold that’s both nostalgic, fun, and heartfelt. Getting her start as a session drummer for acts such as Taio Cruz, Ricky Martin, Sam Sparro, and Big Black Delta, Fares brings talent and craftsmanship to this must listen record. 

We spoke with LAU about her inspirations for the album, collaborating with other synthwave artists, and carving out a space for herself in the industry.

Congratulations on the record! When did Believer first start to take shape?

Thank you! I started writing my debut album Believer in March last year, it took 9 months to complete, so it kinda feels like I’ve given birth to it in some way. I went through a hard breakup last year, and used this album as my therapy to get all my emotions out. It’s been a very cathartic experience overall.

Who were some of the musical influences for this record?

Some classic 80s acts like Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Queen, Tears For Fears are some of the influences that I really look up to. And more current acts like Robyn, Christine and the Queens and HAIM also inspired this album musically.

You’ve mentioned in the past that the transition from being a session drummer and producer was a natural step, was there anything about coming to write music for yourself that was surprising?

I’ve always been a songwriter at heart, but to me it was surprising to see where my voice and my emotions could take me. This journey was very new to me. To suddenly be a solo artist took a lot of courage, as I was always “comfortably” used to being in the background.

The deluxe edition of Believer features a group of remixes and collaborations. Who would be in your dream collaboration?

I was very lucky to have some of the biggest producers in synthwave rework my tracks in their own way. Each remix is incredible. I think some of my dream collaborations would be to write songs with Robyn, HAIM or Daft Punk one day.

Speaking of the deluxe edition, the “Now I’m In It” cover is great. How did that come about?

Thank you! I’ve always enjoyed singing that song. I fell in love with all the harmonic layers and the rhythm in the vocals, and I realized that it was a very comfortable key for me to sing on, and just started recording myself for fun. I then asked Friday Night Firefight to work on the production, so we could make it a little more synthpop and added my touch to it and some extra synths. I’m really happy with the result, it’s such a great song, and I’m glad I could include it on the Deluxe version of my album.

Check out the cover:

You also co-founded Aztec Records–has having your own label changed how you approach making music?

Having a record label with one of my best friends (Ariel Amejeiras) is a fantastic experience. It definitely has taught me a lot about the music industry, which comes in handy when releasing my own music. The music business side is as important as the creative side, especially for independent musicians like myself. I think it gave me more of an insight regarding planning an artist’s career and direction. It also allowed me to connect and collaborate with some amazing artists around the world.

The pandemic obviously has changed a lot for music. What are you looking forward to most about getting back to touring and live music?

I can’t wait to start touring again. To be able to meet fans face to face, to hug them, to take photos together. That’s what I miss the most, the human contact, visiting new places and connecting with people through music. I also miss the adrenaline from playing a live gig, the buzz you feel afterwards, creating a magic moment on stage. I’m sure we will have that again… one day.

Overall, what do you want people to take away from Believer?

I’d love them to really connect with the lyrics, and to dance if they feel like it. It’s an album that portrays different emotions from start to finish, and I hope these songs resonate with people, either to empathize with a similar situation they’re going through, or to simply brighten up their day.

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