Girl Talk: Laura Marling for The Independent supplement

Girl Talk: Laura Marling for The New Review
"No one starts playing my kind of music to make a fortune. But I do want to keep doing what I do and I do want to continue selling records. And I would, eventually, quite like some money."

  So says Laura Marling – 21 years old, 300,000 combined album sales, a Brit Award (Best British Female Artist), two Mercury Prize nominations, and "the most extravagantly gifted young singer-songwriter operating in Britain today", but still too skint for a flat of her own – talking to Fiona Sturges of The Independent's The New Review supplement.

Marling is a curious character but exemplifies so many of the peculiarities of her generation's music greats: self-deprecating, honest, authentic, vulnerable yet strong, and a little glum, like Adele, she possesses an acute awareness of the transient nature of success (her "antidote to the illogical life" is to retreat to the peace and quiet of farm life and live off the land, skinning rabbits to eat and such).

Despite the innately creative nature of her work, the former teen recluse is a neurotic control freak, so the fact she can't understand where her song-writing ability comes from is a point of contention. "I'm quite a rational human being, and the only part of my life that I can't rationalise, or can't make sense of, is how a song gets written or why."*

She also sees her music career, in some ways, as a creative vehicle for passing time on the way to motherhood. Of her friend, Ruth, who plays cello in her band, she says:

"She told me that though she loved what she was doing she was basically just passing time until she could have children. It was the first time I'd heard someone of my generation say explicitly, 'I'm a woman, and I want to be a mother.' And in some ways, I'm just passing time until I can have children. I love music and I will make music always, but this lifestyle is already getting to me."

And, of course, motherhood – the fantasy realm of so many wistful young things – can get to you, too! Which is not to say, 'Get real, girls, enjoy this wonderfully creatively productive and free-wheeling stage of your life!', but that in all seasons we have to be prepared to roll with whatever we've been given to work with, and make the most of it, with the realisation that all of life is work in some way, shape or form, and each new chapter provides ample opportunity for expression of the self (and worship of God), together with the ongoing negotiation between our inner Peter Pans and pragmatic Wendys; what the world says you can be and what you feel you really could be.

See also: 
Nikki Gemmel's 'You go, girls' for The Weekend Australian Magazine
Anne Voskamp's 'Do you feel broken and fragmented?' for Qideas

Girl With a Satchel


Anonymous said...

love her voice!

B said...

The expression of 'passing time before having children' resonates with my wishes as a woman too. But I love the way you have mentioned that while anticipating motherhood we should enjoy the period before it - to grow in character, challenge ourselves in terms of career and experience a way this period of discovering oneself through different types of work and roles becomes a preparatory step to become a happier and more influential mother. Certainly something I'd like to be aspiring towards!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of Laura Marling's music, but I do enjoy reading honest and candid interviews with artists. However, I feel like Lilly Allen was doing this way before anyone else was. It's just that her potty mouth and overt brashness was seen as intimidating, so people either loved her or hated her. She's honest about the recording industry, money and the celebrity lifestyle. Laura Marling is by no means less honest, but she is a little softer so I think she's a lot more palatable for some.

On another note, I firmly believe that if you do what you love, the money will flow. Passion attracts abundance =]