Musical Discoveries: Your Soul Deep album was released in 2003. What can you tell us about what you've been doing the past ten years?
Laura Turner: I have been doing a lot of writing--songs as well as my first book--and reflecting, as well as raising my children, my biggest blessing! I have had the awesome opportunity to record some of my songs with various producers throughout my time out. I have written a Christmas book for children, based on my own experiences, that will include a CD of Christmas music. I'm very excited about that.
What happened to your recording arrangements with Curb Records?
Curb Records and I parted ways very amicably. I have great respect for Mike Curb, never forgetting that he gave me my first opportunity as a recording artist.
What did you make of the remixes that were done of the title track?
The "Ash Howes Remix" was probably my favorite, but Signum did an amazing job with the dance remixes! The Signum mix charted #1 in the UK.
Has there been a change in your musical direction and vocal style?
As mentioned, I had been writing a childrenís Christmas book, and I was inspired to include music to accompany the book. Throughout the years I have dug in deep and have done much soul searching and my writing has definitely changed. My first record was who I was then, but it is not the person or artist who I am now. A lot has happened since the release of Soul Deep. The songs on my first record were mostly about love and relationships.
But I soon felt like I needed to sing about faith and Godís love, especially in a time with such a lot of bad stuff going on: natural disasters, violence, terrorism, poverty, human trafficking, so my writing was going in a different direction and in so was the change in musical genres. If my new music can inspire faith or bring some peace into peoples hearts I feel like I would have served God well.
As far as the vocal change, I have been using my lower register and more of a belting voice combined with the upper register. I have included the "Lordís Prayer" on my new EP. Because The Lordís Prayer demands a classical background, I chose to record in that specific key.
How was the material for your Christmas EPs developed and recorded?
I worked with Keith Thomas on the Christmas material. He is a Grammy and Dove award winning producer who has worked with Amy Grant, Ce Ce and Bebe Winans, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, and Gladys Knight.
I recorded "Voice of Heaven," "The Lordís Prayer," "Mary Sweet Mary" and "Come As You Are." The last two were recorded for my book, A Christmas To Remember, which will be released in time for this Christmas. These were produced by Keith Thomas.
Why did you select these songs?
I chose "Voice of Heaven" after hearing it for the first time because I thought it would be an awesome prayer for the World today. In the bridge of the song is a pleading lyric "Wake our Hearts, Break our chains, Please meet us here with endless Grace." This sounded like a wake up call to pray.
We'd really like to know more--primarily because there is so little presently written--about your debut album Some Horses and the style shift to Soul Deep?
Ha! Interesting that you ask that! When I was a little girl, my parents listened to all kinds of music, from country to blues, classical, rock, pop, everything! I think I was influenced by all and am blessed to be able to dabble and sing different genres. Some Horses was just a beginner's attempt to try country music. It was really a recording that was done for my husbandís Dude Ranch. I sang at campfires for their guests. I can't believe you found that! (smiles).
Soul Deep was inspired by my love of classical and pop. We decided to stay in my upper register vocally so that I could make the soprano classical passes that threaded through.
So how would you contrast the sound of the tracks on Voice of Heaven and Soul Deep?
As I said before, the Voice of Heaven EP incorporates my lower register where I am better able to belt out such a plea for help. "Voice of Heaven, Be our Guide, May we go where You lead, Echo through our darkest night, Voice of Heaven, Speak." Soul Deep utilized my upper register head voice and classical passes.
Recording Soul Deep was a wonderful experience, but I was quite young and was really kinda like a little tumble weed and went where the wind blew. I compromised a lot along the way. It eventually lead to a truly heart breaking time for me, I was headed down a road I should not have been on. But I am back on track, and my priorities have changed. The experience was painful, but I learned so much and grew in my faith and love of God by leaps and bounds.
I believe the experience gave depth and emotional range to my music because I'm finally writing and singing songs with true purpose. I really am inspired to spread faith, hope and God's love to all who might have an ear to hear.
Who did you work with on your new material?
"Voice of Heaven" was written by Jeff Peabody, and Scott Krippayne and produced by Keith Thomas. I co-write "Perfect Trinity" with producer Jeremy Bose. I wrote the lyrics to this song and we both came up with the melody. It is a song that shines a light on my struggle through the last album cycle. It is a song about rising from the ashes and finding redemption after huge conviction, and just being grateful for a second chance. It is a song about being convicted of all the things I had done wrong and realizing how full of grace and mercy God truly is, and that His love brought me back into His arms."Arms of Love" was written by me and Allan Hall of the group Selah. My lyric was inspired by just trusting the Lord to guide my feet no matter what. "Through the fire, through the rain, there's a peace that appears when I say Your Name. Fear and doubt just fade away, when You are in control of my days." A faith song!
"I Cry" is a song that I wrote with producer David Huff. The lyrics I wrote express some of the ugly things that we deal with in this world: from addiction, gang violence, anorexia, starvation. The chorus says "heart ache brings on redemption/ there is power in conviction." This song points out that unfortunately, sometimes hearts have to break before we realize we need to wake up, and be convicted to make a change.
This will be an independent release.
Will there be a tour or promotional videos to publicise the new EP?
Yes! I have an amazing video on "Voice of Heaven"! I am so excited to share it! Amy Houck director of social media marketing for 440 Artist Alignment, has done an outstanding job on putting this together. I pray it is a true call for our Nation and our world to pray.
How important would you say image is to a female recording artist these days and what are you doing to manage yours?
As I have said before, I went through some really tough years before I found the direction God was pointing me in. When I finally got the message,and was so inspired and excited I just have not really thought about a new photo shoot till now! Funny you ask, because I just had a new shoot done yesterday!
Is the EP meant to stand alone or is it part of a run up to your next full length album?
One step at a time, I have painfully learned. I of course am writing all the time, but always wait on God's timing. I have learned it is best to do nothing if you don't have clear direction! For now, this EP is the plan, but I pray more music that I have been working on will be shared.
Please take the opportunity to tease our readers with the details of your forthcoming book.
It is a childrenís Christmas book based on a true story; a wonderful memory of mine when I was a little girl spending time with my grandmother on holiday, in the country. This story is so cool because everything she says in the book to the children was what she said to me and my brother. It is a story about the true meaning of Christmas. It escapes materialism and focuses on family time away from video games, TV and technology. And it gives a true reason to celebrate God's true gift to us; love.
How important is internet presence and social media to getting the word out?
Internet presence anymore is huge! I am grateful to be working with an awesome team! 440 Artist Alignment, and Fiona Bloom have done a crazy awesome job! And I must give a shout out to my sweet manager Paul Zamek, as he has been my champion encourager throughout the years, especially through the rought times!
As we wind down, besides the music, what else rocks your world these days?
As you can see from the interview, I am continually amazed in how God moves to restore. My sweet husband and children rock my world. They are such a blessing and proof of God's love. I pray that my music reaches people's hearts and inspires them to keep or find their faith.
Is there something else you'd like to tell our readers?
Just wanted to thank you for another opportunity to share with you, and thank you for you interest in my work.