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It isn’t easy growing up as a Dolly Parton fan in Liverpool, North West England, but that’s exactly what Laura Oakes did. When she had to choose between lots of friends or lots of country music, country music won, and it won by a country mile. Who needs friends anyway when you have Dolly Parton, David Gates, the Dixie Chicks, and a musical family to sing along with? When it’s normal for mealtime conversations to be conducted in three-part harmony, it’s only natural to go through life singing, and it was in her teenage years that Laura really started to apply the gas with her solo performing and writing.

 

Most kids turning 18 want a party, but all Laura wanted was to visit the Grand Ole Opry and to see if the sights and sounds of Nashville were all she dreamed they would be. Her trip to Music City proved to be an over-whelming experience and confirmed for her that writing and singing country music was all she wanted to do.

 

After spending her teenage years writing songs, performing anywhere and everywhere, annoying her neighbours a bit, and then annoying her neighbours even more, she recorded and self-released her first single ‘Don’t Let It Hit Ya’ in September 2013 and landed in the Top 20 on the iTunes Country Chart. Her second single ‘Snakes and Ladders’ followed in 2014 with similar success.  

 

Since then, Laura has enjoyed live dates at some of the UK’s most prestigious festivals and stages including C2C: Country 2 Country at the 02 Arena – London and Time Out Presents: Rising Stars of Country at The Jazz Café – Camden, as well as support slots for some of the most notable talent coming out of the UK and US, including Andrew Combs, The Shires, Colm Mac Com Iomaire (The Frames) and Ward Thomas. She released her debut Self-Titled EP to iTunes in the summer of 2015 receiving great support from BBC radio right across the UK, and similarly from Digital Radio (Chris Country and Amazing Radio). Bob Harris included it in his Best of 2015 retrospective on BBC Radio 2. As the year came to an end, Laura was also awarded the prize of The British Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year.

 

Laura is now making friends aplenty as she establishes herself on the UK Country Music scene, and she is currently writing and recording new material to unleash on her growing army of fans later in 2016.

 

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