Aidin Vaziri | Just over a year ago, Laura Mvula was working as a receptionist, answering phones for the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. But after sending out a handful of demos of her home recordings, the 27-year-old British singer’s life has been in full whirlwind mode. She released her debut album, “Sing to the Moon,” performed in Glastonbury, and began her first major headlining tour of the United States. We spoke with Mvula, the daughter of an elder in a Pentecostal church, during rehearsals.
Q: From playing Glastonbury to supporting Prince in Sweden, I imagine this year has been slightly more exciting for you than the last one.
A: It’s definitely going too fast to process. Those moments are so surreal. I met Prince just before he performed, literally just before he stepped onstage. He took a few steps backward and introduced himself. Then I sat at the side of the stage with my mom watching him. He introduced the band, and then he introduced himself as Laura Mvula.
Q: You never wanted to be a pop star. What did you expect when you sent out your demo?
A: It really was a bedroom project. It was a transition time for me, where I finished school and my mom said I should do teacher training just to have something to fall back on. I wanted to write music for groups and maybe do my master’s. If anything, I thought I would do the intimate jazz club thing. I thought, “I’ll do that, and I’ll teach part time or something.”