La Grange’s new album ‘Ashes’ was released at the end of July on a Sony label. But the 26-year-old singer from Watford has been on the music scene for five years since graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in philosophy.
Fresh from having headlined at The Guardian‘s New Band of the Day event, and doing a gig with Friendly Fires, La Grange has her biggest performance ahead at London’s legendary Scala in October.
‘I’ve been chipping away at [achieving recognition] for the last five years. So it’s nice to be at the point now where I’ve got an album out and gigs lined up. It feels like I’ve been waiting a long time,’ says La Grange, who trained at the Watford School of Music to learn violin and classical singing.
La Grange is known as something of a miserabilist due to the subjects she sings about – mainly obsession and heartache – something she openly admits. ‘The new album doesn’t really have any specific influences in terms of books, literature or music. I was really just writing for me, when I was angry, or stressed. I was getting all those feelings out. There’s not really any happy [aspects] to it,’ she says.
Did she always dream of moving to the city? ‘Yes. Growing up I always wanted to go to London. It seemed like a really cool place to go and there wasn’t much to do in Watford apart from hang around on the streets. As soon as I was old enough I’d go up on the weekends although I didn’t have much money to spend there!’
She did a stint of open mic sessions in London after graduating, and was eventually talent spotted. ‘I was playing a set in West London – I can’t remember the venue – but there was a music producer there.’
But her time doing London’s music circuit was a big boost to her confidence. ‘When you are starting out you need to meet as many people as you can, so it’s good even for just meeting a couple of other musicians. And London is really great for that.’
Since moving to the city she has mainly been based around South London, in the Camberwell and Stockwell area. ‘It’s such a good mix of people and it’s a really colourful area in terms of having a farmers market and lots of parks. But having said that I do sometimes get a bit claustrophobic with all the cars and people. I do find London a bit much, sometimes.’
So now she’s almost made it, what would her dream London venue be? ‘It would have to be the Roundhouse in Camden. I just love the way it feels, when you walk in it’s so inspiring. All the columns inside make it a really unusual place.’
Watch this space.
Kyla La Grange will be playing at the Scala on Tuesday 9 October, 10 Northburgh St, London EC1V 0AT, tel: 020 7490 9900.
Tickets available on Ticketweb
Find out more about La Grange on her website.