Introducing Ms Laura Diamond - singer/songwriter and smooth pianist. Her style is easily recognizable, hard to categorise and impossible not to love! In 1999, she released her debut album "Adonis... and other romantic delusions" which was well received by critics and fans alike.
Currently working on her second album, it is due for release on September 2001.
Location:New Jersey, USA
Music Genre:This one is always fun...pop/alternative/AAA - it depends who you ask!
When did you realise your dream to be a performer?The performing bug hit me fairly early. I started playing in my early teens. My first professional gig was at 14 at a little piano bar on the upper west side in Manhattan. Since then I've always been playing, whether solo or with bands. I started writing songs right about the same time too. It was basically a calling, rather than a decision.
Name three musical influences: Billy Joel was the big one when I was young. I learned all of his music. The Police and Sting (is that one or two?) were also big influences. All the cluster harmonies that the Police used became a big part of my musical vocabulary. And then Sting's solo project changed the face of pop music, I think.
I think another big influence on me were artists doing things that I definitely did NOT want to do. I did not want to be a product like Tiffany was in the 80's, or like some of the manufactured artists that have the hit machine behind them for a while, but have no real control over what they were doing.
When writing lyrics, what do you draw upon for inspiration? For me, writing lyrics is often an act of catharsis. It's my way of dealing with stuff in my life that I've struggled with. The song is a way for me to find closure. I draw mostly on my own personal experiences, or experiences of the people around me. Most of my songs are pretty autobiographical. Even if it's not something I directly went through, the character in the song could have been me.
For inspiration, I do a lot of different things. I drive. I doodle on the piano. I listen to records that move me. It really depends on what it is I'm writing at the time.
Have you found the Internet to be helpful/useful in fast-tracking your music career? The best thing about the Internet is the ability to reach people all around the globe. I'm not limited by my geographic area, as I would be if I were not on the web. I've made a lot of friends and contacts because of the web too! The Internet has been great, but not as great as a lot of people think it is. I think a lot of artists think that just because they build a web site and put some music up on mp3 sites, they're going to become famous. It doesn't work like that. You still have to actively promote yourself, both on and OFF the Internet!
In following your dream, who has helped you along the way?My family has always been supportive and that's important. My friends have also been great. They've often believed in me when I didn't. But the biggest supporter has definitely been my husband. He was the person who really convinced me that I could do this.
Is there anything you wish you could change about the music industry?(laughing) I don't think you want this article to be that long! The music industry is in a terrible state of affairs. I guess it's what happens when part of what you sell is the dream. Artists are being taken advantage of on so many levels. It's really a tragedy. But I think the saddest part of it all is that the consumers don't really get to choose the music they listen to. They are spoon fed by the labels and the media (who the labels pay to push the artists they choose), and they are totally unaware that there is a ton of great music out there that is not on MTV or the radio, if they only knew how to find it.
What advice can you offer to other budding young artists? Study, study, study! Not only your craft, but also the business you are hoping to enter into. Especially now, with the way the music industry is, it's really important to understand the BUSINESS of music. I've been offered record deals that nobody should ever consider signing. But many young artists think any deal is better than none.
The other thing I would highly recommend is having a plan. Several, actually. Have a plan on how to pay your bills while you're working on your music. And also to have a plan for your career. You need to know where you're going if you hope to ever get there.
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years time? I really hope that within 5 years to be working full time as a recording/touring musician. My second CD is coming out later this year, and I've learnt a lot over the past couple of years on what I need to do. I hope to put that knowledge to good use!
Where can people purchase/listen to your music?
Here's the really great part about the Internet. People can visit my website which has some audio clips. You can also click through to my page at www.mp3.com, which has full songs available, and some exclusive stuff too. My CD is available for purchase through www.amazon.com (which you can click through directly from my web site) or you can order directly from me. (Click on LISTEN for audio and purchase info.)