Lang receives rare opportunities to share original music


Laura Lang

Laura Lang (10) performs original songs “Too Much”, “A Good Time” and “Purple Lights” live at the 2019 Delta Fair. They accompany their vocals with ukulele.

The heat of stage lights or the sight of producers and professional accompanists would make almost anyone shiver with fear. However, Laura Lang (10), who prefers they/them pronouns, feels nothing but excitement when given the unique opportunity to record and perform their original songs for peers and strangers alike. 

Like many student artists, Lang began their music career alone in their room. They began writing song lyrics drawn from real-life experiences and emotions, eventually writing chords to go with them and performing at open mics for family and friends. Then, Lang received the opportunity to take their musical career one step further.

“I have always been writing songs by myself, and I still do,” Lang said. “But then I got a studio slot [through connections] and some professional musicians to accompany me. It was actually pretty simple. I went in, sang my part, then they would mix it and add the instrumentals.”

While Lang barely considered recording songs before then, Samantha Powell, Lang’s voice coach for about three years, was not surprised their musical career was gaining traction.

“I could immediately tell after she sang the first one or two songs that were her own [that] these songs should be recorded,” Powell said.

But things did not stop there. After having their songs recorded in studio and mixed with professional accompaniment, Lang received the chance to perform live at the Delta Fair. 

“I had never gone to the Delta Fair before and I didn’t really know much about it, but I knew there was a stage open, and once again, a connection thing… someone that I used to take voice lessons from heard one of my songs and knew the people who lined up the queue and just booked me,” Lang said. 

Although performing in itself comes with incredible highs, Lang also recognized some major challenges in the necessary production process beforehand. After recording vocals, their songs would be passed on to professional bassists and drummers who would try their best to mimic the sound they envisioned, which sometimes proved to be difficult.

“I don’t know what I’m doing, but I still know what I want it to sound like,” Lang said. “Communicating that without giving them exact notes and directions is pretty difficult.”

Despite their passion for music, Lang still encounters rough patches where they are unsure what sound or emotion they want to capture. Quarantine has given them extra time to explore other forms of art while they consider what direction they want to take their music in the future.

“I’ve been focused on other forms of art recently, but music is at my core. I listen to it and I make it,” Lang said. “Right now, I’m in a down moment. There’s still a lot of aspirations there; I just don’t know my direction right now.”

Although Lang has no definite idea what path their musical future will take, they still encourage everyone wanting to go down this path to put themselves out there and see where it leads.

“Don’t be afraid of going to open-mics and stuff when you’re first starting,” Lang said. “Getting started is the hardest part, but once you go, it goes.”