LAURA Duckworth's and Michael’s Mierzejewski's hard work seems to have finally paid off.
After years of saving, emailing, recording and travelling their band Scarletta has been noticed by a music producer who has worked with some of the best in the business and things are starting to look up.
Laura Duckworth, 22, lives in the Broadway, Stanmore, with her boyfriend and fellow musician Michael Mierzejewski , 26, and they have just returned from a trip to Los Angeles where their gigs were buzzing and music execs were excited about their up-coming album.
The former Stanmore College student said the next year was going to be really exciting for the band.
“It is really good we got a producer who has worked with so many people, he has got some really good songs. We had some great gigs in LA,” she said.
The producer, Adam Moseley, has worked with the likes of The Shins, The Cure and Lenny Kravitz and, coincidentally, his mum lives in Edgware.
The music business has not been easy but as Laura knew this was what she always wanted to do she stuck at it.
The singer, who has a distinctive on-stage persona, said: “We emailed thousands of people last year and went over to New York to do some gigs. We emailed loads of people and three or four got back to us and he was one of them.
“We had done quite a bit here – lots of music competitions and we were on television a couple of times, but nothing really stuck.”
When they got to the US, everything fell into place.
“It was maybe the fact that we were going and paying for the whole thing ourselves, he thought that was really impressive.
“Being a British band over there is quite cool as well. The reaction in LA was amazing, we stood out a lot. If you are a UK band and going to the States people are interested in you a lot more. It seems to be a selling point that you come all the way from London, so you must be good. There are so many British bands who are the best in the world and they have paved the way for others like us.”
Although the band cannot be compared directly to some of the most recognisable British bands from the last 50 years their catchy synth-pop is distinctive, modern and vibrant.
Laura writes most of the melodies and Michael puts together the rest of the music.
She studied English Literature at Stanmore College then pursued it at university, which helped with her songwriting, but she also draws on life experience to form the inspiration for the catchy songs.
“It all took a long time to figure out what we really wanted to do as a band,” she said. “But this is the best thing to be in a band and to have our own sound, it has taken quite a while.
“I was doing solo stuff first but now I think the band thing makes more sense.”
As the band’s sound has become more defined, her songwriting has also improved she said.
“It is probably a little easier as I have got older and have more life experience. I base it on one really horrible relationship I had when I was quite young. I was with someone for quite awhile who wasn’t a very good person. I find it interesting to think about relationships that aren’t working but you stay in them.
“It is a way of being aware of what happens and learning from it, then you can look back. It is quite a cathartic way of dealing with it all and it makes all the hard stuff worthwhile.”
The name of the band is based on Scarlet, an imaginary friend Laura had when she was younger.
She said: “The name is meant to be like an alter ego.
“I think it is important to have that when you are up on stage. The performance is probably just part of me that comes out, it is part of being in a band, you want to stand out a lot so people know what you are, and so people know what to expect.
“I quite enjoy finding new ways of grabbing people’s attention.”
As their upcoming album is called Naked, Laura hinted that she is not afraid to live up to the name and perform completely stripped down, which is certain to grab attention.
The band is planning to release an album early next year and hope to tour in the US and the UK, including in Harrow and Brent.
* For more information and videos of Scarlletta’s songs go to www.scarlletta.com.