Music Q&A: Lauren Ray

Kicking off her autumn tour, the singer-songwriter gets put on the spot about who she most enjoys playing with

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Without wanting to sound too much of a cliché, my life. With a few exceptions where I am inspired by a movie or book, it’s my relationships that inspire my writing. It’s not just my romantic relationships though, I am inspired by my friends and my family and the real life challenges that we can all face.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I definitely think I have evolved over the years. My writing has certainly developed over the years as I have been working hard to be more vulnerable and honest in my writing and working with other songwriters has been great as it gives me someone to bounce ideas off and it takes you somewhere you probably wouldn’t get to alone. Finding writers I like to work with and trust has been so great. With each release I have also worked to develop my sound and figure out slightly different ways of telling the stories.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I have just finished recording my second album, which has been so exciting. I’ve been working with producer and writer Julian Emery who has worked with a number of amazing artists, including Lissie. I can’t wait to share all these new songs with everyone.

What’s on your rider?
I pretty much only ask for access to hot water pre-show and then still water for on-stage. Sometimes if I am feeling extravagant I’ll ask for a lemon.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
I don’t know if I have a particularly interesting embarrassing story to tell. Surreal though is going whisky tasting in Orkney with Lucy Spraggan and Newton Faulkner – that was random.

You’ve supported Lucy Spraggen, Rebecca Ferguson and Anastacia. Which tour was your favourite and why? And if you could duet with one of these artists which would it be?
Haha – don’t make me pick a favourite! That’s hard. They were so different and great for different reasons so it’s hard to compare. Lucy Spraggan was my first big tour support opportunity so I learned so much across those 31 shows. Then I loved the beautiful UK venues I got to perform at with Rebecca Ferguson. Anastacia had me driving around Europe on my own, which was an experience in itself. I got to see so many beautiful places for the first time and see how my music translated. I think I would choose to duet with Rebecca as our musical styles are possibly more closely aligned and I would love to write with her.

What song do you wish you’d written?
There are so many incredibly beautiful songs out there that I wish I had written it would be hard to pick. But let’s be honest – we all wish we’d written an amazing Christmas hit like All I Want For Christmas Is You or It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. That’s your mortgage paid for every year, which would give you more time to write more songs.

What’s your worst lyric?
Something terribly cheesy or cliché on a song that will never be recorded or released.

Why should people come and see your new tour?
If you already know me and like my music and want to hear released and also new unreleased songs, or you have never heard of me but want to discover some new music.

Lauren Ray’s tour kicks off in Manchester on 25 October at the Kings Arms. For full dates visit

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