Hi! Everyone,
 This weeks FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK is the talented musician, singer-songwriter & band leader VIRGINIE LACOUR-PUIBOUBE from the contemporary jazz soul band LAUGHING WITH THE RAINDROPS
Photo Credit: Lutfia Mustafaev
1. Please introduce yourself
My name is Virginie Lacour-Puiboube: I am a songwriter and band leader. I play the
electric guitar and sing. I am French and moved from Paris to London a long time ago, to
form a band. I've been in the UK for quite a while. I am currently doing a Master’s degree
in popular music performance at the London College of Music.

2. How did you get into music?
My first experience of music was learning the piano around the age of 6 or 7. I subsequently got into playing the guitar in my teens because of my family circumstances and musical interests which at the time were more guitar-based.

3. What instruments do you play?
Guitar, bass and I use keyboards for composing and arranging.

4. Who are your influences?
My influences are so numerous that I wouldn’t know where to start the list. However I could say Jazz in general, some French chanson, and to name some artists: Joni Mitchell in her jazz era, Steely Dan, and Stevie Wonder. I also love Bob Marley.

5. Tell us about your latest release
My latest release was a while ago now: A very ambitious project / album in late 2016, which really counts as early 2017. Its title is LAUGHING WITH THE RAINDROPS which is also the name of my band. I am now working on a new release which should happen next year, the recording should start towards the end of this year, probably in September.
LAUGHING WITH THE RAINDROPS involved 13 musicians including myself. I wanted to create a rich layered sound with a natural organic quality. I wanted an electro- acoustic sound rather than digital. It is very difficult technically to create that sort of sound while competing with the digital / compressed commercial music that is around. So this record features real drums and percussion, a 4-piece horn section (trumpet, alto sax, tenor sax, trombone) it also features 2 guest guitarists on the odd
tracks, guest tenor sax and 3 backing vocalists, as well as pianist extraordinaire and bass player (Gabriel Keen and Alexander Keen, both longstanding collaborators) . The music is jazz influenced, features instrumental solos but it still is pop in its construction and feel.
Available as CD and downloads (also on all streaming platforms).
Photo Credit: Lutfia Mustafaev

Photo Credit: Lutfia Mustafaev

6. Whats your songwriting process?
In terms of songwriting process, I must say it really varies. I work on Cubase and with my guitar and keyboard. I sometimes start with something as simple as a bass line that's kind of playing in my head. Sometimes the idea starts with a musical theme I want to develop into a song so then I write lyrics and then the music to support the words. Sometimes it is the other way round, I write music and the rhythm and feel of the music dictate the lyrics. Sometimes I just start with chords on the keyboard, sometimes a guitar riff. I have many different approaches really. It is the lovely thing about song writing: it's

like film making, it engages a load of different skills: first the imagination, the story
telling, ambiance creation, musical and vocal techniques, and critical thinking. Of course part of the process is to sit back and listen to what you have written/recorded and evaluate its authenticity/appeal/validity. There are certain limitations sometimes so the problem solving skills have to kick in...

7. Which musician/ artist would you most like to collaborate with & why?
I am very lucky to say (but not in a smug way, rather I am grateful to say) that I already have the musicians I want to collaborate with. I have lovely people, amazing session musicians who have played with big acts. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with them so I am already collaborating with my dream musicians!

8. If you were on a desert island what 3 musical gear would you take?
Guitar, guitar amp, DAW inc. keyboard

9. Where can fans find your music (links etc)?
It is all there:
Music tracks, videos, articles, bio and band history, shop, links to other places, short articles about independent artists that I like, embeds of my weekly radio shows on blast radio at the London College of Music. My website is the place where to start.

I would like to say a huge thank you to VIRGINIE LACOUR-PUIBOUBE for taking part in this weeks 'Featured Artist of The Week'😀😀

Until next time