'Interview with Laura Misch: the DIY artist' / Margarita Bassova

'Interview with Laura Misch: the DIY artist' / Margarita Bassova

Laura Misch is a young DIY artist situated within the heart of London’s electronic and jazz-influenced music scene. As predominantly a saxophonist, Laura has performed impressive collaborations with the likes of friends Alfa Mist, Jordan Rakei, Carmody and brother Tom Misch. Within the last few years, however, Laura has placed more emphasis on the DIY and solo-artist life with growing use of vocals and electronic music tools within her work. She has seen quick success and managed a busy year spent touring countless venues all over Europe and the UK accompanied by her wistful voice, saxophone and trusty tools of music production.

Nevertheless, Laura can be described as more than just a musician – instead, she is an artist in all senses of the word. This can be seen in her eagerness to learn about stagecraft or lighting or painting or any forms of art which she can integrate into her performance such as her token use of a big balloon as a stage prop for hypnotising visuals to projected onto, or her creative use of breath sounds within her song Lagoon. With no doubt, Laura incorporates all her emotional expressions and inherent curiosities about the world into her performances, opening inspiration to all avenues of life – even if they stem from her previous learnings in her biomedical science degree. All of this combined make Laura’s performances an interesting and all-encompassing experience full of visual and auditory presence, leaving the audience engrossed within the imaginative space she creates.

I was lucky enough to ask Laura some questions regarding her recent success, her status as a DIY musician and her creative process. 

You have gained success in the music industry in an eclectic and unforeseen way and as you previously mentioned you never imagined yourself being a full-time artist.  Do you ever still wake up surprised by the turn your life has made?

Haha, that is very kind. Although, I think that success is such a loose term – success means so many different things to different people and, for me, it is a feeling that you’re growing in whatever you choose to do. So, it’s more a state of mind than a place. I wake up most days thinking about what I want to learn, and how I want to grow in that day. 

Being a DIY artist gives you a unique freedom while performing. However, being alone on stage also means you can’t feed off the spirits of other musicians. In which other ways do you energise yourself while performing to create the dynamic show you do? 

I feel like performing alone brings other interesting interactions as you find yourself responding to the space, the audience and the technical teams in significant ways since you’re not in this self-contained band bubble. It’s the same as travelling alone I guess, as you’re often much more open to meeting everyone around you from the people working at the bar to the sound engineers to people who have come to watch. Gigging is this whole day experience: the travel, the get-in, the soundcheck, etc. It all feeds into the essence of the show. I certainly find myself channelling conversations I’ve had with people during that day into the performance. There’s also a big technical aspect to what I do, it’s pretty meditative because I’m building layers and layers, so in a way sometimes being solo allows you to completely zone out. I definitely don’t play solo all the time though, I really love playing with other people as well. 

I love how you focus on all forms of artistic expression whether it be stage design, projection, painting or your big balloon. Is there anything you’re currently putting particular focus into?

Hmmmm - that's always shifting! but I think I’ve really gotten into exploring movement recently. I am so restrained because I have about 20 XLRs running around my set up, IEM'S 2 mics, 2 synths and a midi controller to all be aware of spatially. I am so restrained, but when I watch FKA Twigs, or even St Vincent perform I’m really fascinated by how they use their bodies to communicate, it's super hypnotising. 

You mentioned that if you as an artist gain more traction, you would love to delete all forms of social media and exist artistically-detached. Do you think the overbearing presence of social media can be detrimental, and, if so, how do you overcome this notion?

I feel like there’s no right and wrong to this – no one correct way of doing things. Though there is a lot to be said for trying to really question the value we get out of being hyper connected. I think it’s all about balancing consumption with creation. Currently, I am trying to balance the amount of time I spend consuming music, looking at art or watching films with making, drawing, writing or having a face-to-face debate. 

Do you think you’ll be making your way down under to Australia (Melbourne) any time soon? 😊

No plans at the moment, but I would LOVE to. who knows! 

Definitely listen to Laura’s latest release ‘I Adore { rework }’:

Cover image taken by Margarita Bassova

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