Open Mic UK is the UK's biggest search for unsigned talent and has a strong pedigree behind it. One lady who has been gathering a lot of attention after progressing to the regional finals is 30 year old singer/songwriter Lara LouX.
Lara has a great energy and enthusiasm for what she does and her passion comes across when I talk to her. Lara tells me that she's "a bit of a perfectionist, I like everything to be in tip top condition." When I spoke to Lara she had recently spent the day in the studio putting the finishing touches to her début single, which she plans to release in the new year.
I was curious to find out what preparations she was making to ensure that her performance at the final is spot on. "I've spoken with a choreographer to learn about how to use the stage and give the song a little bit more drama. I'm singing in front of audiences as much as possible so I can get feedback on my music and I am just making some final tweaks to my songs with my producer."
Lara comes from a musical family and her Grandfather was a professional opera singer. She plays piano and saxophone and wrote her first song aged 15. "Music has always been part of my life. I've always sung at charity gigs and weddings, but I've always had something else going on too."
She has a background in business, a degree in Psychology, is studying for a Master's in Mental Health Counselling and is an avid fitness fan. "I originally wanted to do psychology because I wanted to help people and have my own counselling practice." Now that she is focussing on singing and writing the need to help people comes out through her music.
Lara describes herself as "an emotional writer," who writes about what happens in her life and hopes people can relate to her songs. Another way she helps people is through charity work. "I'm a huge advocate for Help the Heroes and did a concert a few years ago which helped raise over £4000 and have done a lot of fitness fund raising for them too." She has also written a song for the military which she performed at the concert and hopes to record and release. (Gareth Malone and Military Wives are you reading this?)
In July of this year she auditioned for London based record company Downtown Artists and secured a recording contract. "Music has been my passion since I was a little girl. It's only in recent times that I'm now concentrating purely on my music... it's my life."
Her unique style has been described as jazz meets rock, encompassing modern blues and soul. She lets me hear an unmixed version of her song My Heavy Heart which she plans to perform at Open Mic UK.
Lara LouX certainly has a strong, powerful voice and bags of talent. Fingers crossed that the judges will put her forward to the next round. Look out for her single and EP to be released next year.