Lauren Aquilina is an 18 year old English-Maltese singer songwriter from Windsor, England (originally from Bristol). She’s also an avid fan of Bourbons and Hawaiian pizza. She has been posting covers on Youtube since her early teens and successfully gained a large following of over 20,000 people.
Her first single ‘Fools‘ received moderately fair radio play for an unsigned artist, and was featured on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Introducing during the weeks after its release. The crazy pre-orders for ‘Fools‘ catapulted it up to #1 in the Maltese iTunes charts, #10 in the UK iTunes chart and it even peaked in the Official UK Charts at #72. It was also featured in the “Best of 2012” category in the iTunes Store.
Aquilina’s successes gave her opportunities to perform with other established artists like singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin (who sang a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power of Love‘ which was featured in the John Lewis advert that ran through Christmas 2012) and British group Bastille (whose certified Gold single, ‘Pompeii‘ reached #2 in the Official UK Charts). Other celebrity supporters includes multi-award winning artist Ellie Goulding and ex X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger who attended one of Aquilina’s shows.
After juggling education and music for the past few years, Aquilina announced her desire to become a full time musician and announced her second extended play and its title track, ‘Sinners‘. It’s a mid-tempo folk-pop ballad that highlights her impeccable skill of crafting meaningful lyrics and melodies.
A commenter on the ‘Sinners’ iTunes pre-order page stated that Aquilina is the “queen of writing power ballads” (a deserving title!) The song is beautifully instrumented, showcasing Aquilina’s many talents such as songwriting, technical piano skills and confidence and understanding in music composition.
Her vocal performance in the song is both haunting and heavenly. She sings about a forbidden relationship that society does not approve of. There have been countless ‘us against the world’ themed songs in the past. However, the lyrics to ‘Sinners‘ (and title itself) has many religious references: “let’s be sinners to be saints“/”the forbidden fruit tastes so sweet” and could possibly about religion vs. changing homosexuality laws.
When asked about the song and what inspired her to write it, she replied: “I’m not religious… there is kind of a religious vibe the runs through the song but it’s not directed at religion. It’s just a play on words.”
“I’m quite an observant person and I’ve been noticing a lot of people have been judging other people’s relationships recently. Whether it’s because a girl is going out with an older or younger guy, or because someone is in a same sex relationship or… just anything. Sinners is about saying “I don’t care what the world thinks because this is my relationship.” Love is love.”
The music video was written and directed by Aquilina herself and Kode Media’s talented Daniel Broadley. The video shoot was completed after one long day in two different locations. It was funded by the successful sales of her first EP. It features slow dreamy shots of waves crashing on a pebble beach, people drowning in the shore and beautifully framed shots of Aquilina singing in a red dress on a lone bed.
The music video has gathered over 100,000 views and has recieved very positive reviews. Comments on the video include: “I can’t stop watching this. I think I’m Aquiobsessed“, “Love your sound, love your voice. After I finish writing this comment, I’m on my way to the iTunes store!” and “This is amazing. Beautiful voice and the video is really unique.”
On the night of the release, Aquilina stated that her favourite song on the EP was the closing track, ‘Irrelevant‘ (a live version is available to listen to on her Youtube channel). You can pre-order the EP using the link at the end of this article.
Sass-queen Aquilina (Sassquilina) is on many social networking sites and she regularly enjoys talking to fans (friends) she has made since uploading her first cover to the events leading up to this second EP release.
Aquilina is going on tour this September. She’s playing in various different locations in the UK (one date in Ireland!) The tour is already half sold out so if you wish to see raw talent up close and personal and meet other Aquilovers, you better get some tickets real fast! I’ve already got mine. I wish her the best of luck and every success in the future.
Music: Lauren Aquilina
Music video: Daniel Broadley
Photo: Rosie Hardy