A lyrical singer/songwriter who broke through with her 2012 independent EP, Fools, Britain's Lauren Aquilina has drawn praise for her ethereal piano-based pop. Following the release of her debut album, she briefly left the music industry before returning with her 2018 single "Psycho."
Born in Bristol, England in 1995, to parents who had immigrated from Malta, Lauren Aquilina first started singing at age eight, and added piano lessons the following year. At the tender age of 13 she began uploading home recordings to her YouTube channel, where she built up a formidable fan base of admirers. Her influences were wide and varied, from the pumping house music of her younger years to the rotation of Coldplay and Stereophonics on the family car stereo, which eventually inspired her to write her own songs from a young age. As Aquilina grew, her tastes matured, with the likes of Bon Iver, Annie Lennox, and Ellie Goulding audible in her music.
In 2012, she released her first EP, Fools, during her final year of school, and went on to perform shows across the U.K. Her meteoric rise to fame continued — in a journey not too dissimilar to Internet sensation Gabrielle Aplin — as she surpassed two million YouTube views of piano-led covers of pop songs by artists such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran, and she released the video for the lead single "Fools." Praise came from many different outlets — noticeably from Take That star Gary Barlow — and eventually she received airplay on BBC Radio 1. In 2013, her second EP, Sinners, arrived and the title track spawned a U.K. charting single.
After releasing a third EP in 2015, Aquilina retreated to the studio to record her debut full-length album. Isn't It Strange was released in 2016 on Island Records. On the heels of the album's release, Aquilina fell into a depression resulting in part from uncertainty with her career and issues with her management. In October 2016, she announced on Twitter that she planned on leaving the music industry. Following an extended period of self-evaluation, during which she even contemplated becoming an airline stewardess, Aquilina returned to her music. In 2018, she issued the single "Psycho." ~ Scott Kerr