Laura Fotovich is an aspiring singer-songwriter and musician from Olathe, Kansas. Citing Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles as her strongest influences, Fotovich began writing her own music while attending the Johnson County Community College in 2017. She is currently finishing her final semester at City College of New York where she's studying music and journalism. Enjoy our interview with Fotovich about her music, influences and life as a young artist under quarantine.
Introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.
Hi, my name is Laura Fotovich, but you can call me “Laurafofora.” I’m a 20 year old singer/songwriter from Olathe, Kansas with a passion for playing the piano and guitar. I’ve been playing piano for 13 years and guitar for 6 years. I currently attend the City College of New York where I’m studying music and journalism, and this is my final semester. Due to COVID-19 I had to come home and finish my classes online but I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family. I would describe my music as pop, indie-pop or perhaps indie-folk.
When did you start composing your own songs? Who were some of your earliest inspirations?
I began composing my own songs in 2017 when I was finishing my last year of prerequisites at JCCC. I made plans to study music school in New York and knew that it would be a good place to perform my original music. One of my earliest inspirations was Ingrid Michaelson, an indie-pop singer/songwriter. I have been a big fan of hers since I was in middle school and her style was something I wanted to emulate. Another one of my early inspirations was Sara Bareilles. She has a similar style to Ingrid Michaelson, and they both have incredible voices.
Describe your creative process. How often are you writing music?
I typically write the lyrics of my songs before I write the music. When I’m writing music I like to sit down at the piano and play around until I find any chord progressions or melodies that I like. Then, I like to build upon them until I get something that I like for the chorus. After that, I create the verses and bridge, although sometimes I write the verses first and then the chorus comes later. I make improvements as I go. I have a similar process when I write songs on the guitar--I like to try different combinations of chords to see what works with the lyrics of the song. My last year of college classes has been pretty intense and has given me a greater understanding of the different components of great songs, so I’ve been trying to put those tools to use in my music. Once I graduate I’ll have even more time to write original music using everything my professors taught me.
What has life been like for you as an artist since COVID-19 hit?
Since COVID-19 hit I’ve had a lot more time to practice piano and guitar and work on more original songs. While I still have to take online classes and complete assignments, I’ve had more time to hone my skills. In terms of performing, things have been a little more difficult since I haven’t been able to book any gigs due to restaurants and bars being closed. On the bright side when things get back to normal I’ll have plenty of new material to perform.
What artists currently inspire you?
Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles both still inspire me, but I’ve recently been loving Hayley Williams from Paramore. Her new music is fresh, and I love her voice. She also has a knack for writing powerful lyrics. I love Billie Eilish’s latest album as well. Again, she has an incredible voice, but I really like how her music has the ability to create entire worlds of sound. She’s another big inspiration to me.