The name Lauren Aquilina sounds as Maltese as any other – but this 17 year old girl is no average teenager. A singer and songwriter, she is causing a wave with her music in the UK and in Malta, and in spite of her tender age, her hopes and ambitions are big

Lauren Aquilina considers music to be a constant in her life – an important part of her that budded at a very young age. She was born and bred in the UK, although her father is Maltese and moved to the UK with his family when he was young.

“I’ve always loved singing and music in general. I remember I used to really annoy my parents by singing, or perhaps shouting, around the house when I was a toddler,” she says. “We had an out of tune piano that I always used to mess around on. I started learning properly and writing my own songs when I was 8.”

Lauren says she frequently listened to Stereophonics in the car with her mother as a child and involved herself in choirs, singing groups and performances as much as she could at school. “Music gradually became more and more present as I grew up…and it is all I think about now.”

Music at heart

She recalls one of her fondest memories, when she performed at her first open-mic night. “I was thirteen years old and there were only a few people in the audience, but I’d never really performed in front of people before. I was nervous but I got an amazing reaction from the audience, and I think that’s what sparked my new wave of confidence whenever I got on stage.”

While most of her free time is taken up by music, Lauren says she still leads an ordinary teenage life. It has changed her in that she is a lot busier now, but she has so far managed to strike a balance between school and music. “The change in direction has definitely been for the better. But I’m still a normal teenager – I still help out with the laundry at home and have to revise for my exams.”

In spite of her schedule, she has also managed to visit Malta every year since she was born. “It is my favourite place in the world,” she says.  “I love it.”

Making music

Musically, I’m inspired by everything I listen to, especially artists like Coldplay and Ellie Goulding. Lyrically I’m inspired by my own life experiences, things I see on TV, things I read,” she says.

Lauren, whose musical style is a mix of pop and folk, considers herself to be constantly immersed in a creative zone – it could take one word overheard in conversation to encourage her lyrics. And her style, she believes, is emerging as a refreshingly popular one.

“The music scene is going through rapid changes at the moment. In the UK especially, folk/acoustic music is on the rise, and maybe even overtaking pop music – with artists like Ed Sheeran. People seem to have this constant attitude of being ‘against’ music in the charts but I believe it is in the charts for a reason.”

Lauren’s future looks nothing short of promising. She recently had her first headline European show in Norway, something she never thought she would do, and her new EP, called Fools, got to number 1 in the Maltese iTunes chart on pre-orders alone. “That is something I’m extremely proud of. It made me love Malta even more if that was possible.”

Her first EP, Fools, will be released on October 22, and is available to pre-order in iTunes.