Kal Lavelle - For the Loved and Lost debut album

KAL Lavelle won her first talent show with her self-penned song ‘Catch Me I’m Falling’ as a teenager attending Sancta Maria College in Rathfarnham, and could only dream of touring with other dedicated and talented musicians when she grew up.

Fast forward a few years, and those dreams have become a reality as the London-based musician has played as a support act for Ed Sheeran, Bastille, and The Beach Boys, while receiving radio play on numerous BBC radio stations and soaring to the top of both the UK and Ireland iTunes singer-songwriter charts with her confessional, melodic sound.

Kal Lavelle Photographer Credit Radek Bayek HIGH RES RGB Kal Edit B60A3556 1edit2

The Ballyfermot College of Further Education graduate has already released two well received EPs and is now preparing to release her debut album ‘For the Loved and Lost’ this summer, with a sound that recalls Jeff Buckley, Sinead O’Connor and Glen Hansard.

Kal took some time out to speak to The Echo about crowdfunding her second EP, her friendship with Ed Sheeran and what it was like to see her face emblazoned on the back of a London bus.

You bought your first guitar after you won £1,000 in a Mars bar when you were a child. Had you wanted to buy a guitar for a while, or was it a spontaneous decision?

I definitely wanted a guitar for a long time. I used to try and make a guitar from bits of wood and elastic bands – I seemed to have this strong urge to own and play an instrument. When I bought my first guitar, I didn’t actually know how to play it. So, from the ages of about 11 to 16, I wrote songs on the first bass string as I had broken all the other strings!

Back in 2013 you crowdfunded your second EP and raised substantially over your target, achieving a funding level of 137 per cent. How did it feel to know that so many people were backing your music?

I was shocked that so many people felt like they wanted to support my career and invest in me. I was really taking a risk trying to raise £4,000. I only put that number on it as my friends persuaded me that I could reach that, and then when it hit over £6,000 you could’ve blown me over with a feather. The realisation that people cared about my music and wanted me to do well was so overwhelming.

You previously performed as a support act for Ed Sheeran's first headlining UK and Ireland tour. What was that experience like?

I was so excited when Ed asked me to go on tour with him. I’ve known Ed since he was 16-years-old. I’ve seen him grow and develop both as a person and as an artist, so to be a part of his first UK and Ireland tour, and then to support him the year after in front of 10,000 people in Thetford Forest, was a dream come true. We regularly stay in touch and I saw him a few weeks ago for drinks and jamming. It was great to hear his new songs, and just talk about life and stuff. He’s still very much the same guy I met ten years ago – very grounded and very decent.

Your face was recently on the back of two London buses as part of an initiative by the Mayor of London to support young musicians in the city. What was it like when you saw your picture on the back of the buses?

It was an extraordinary feeling. It was something I never would have thought was possible. I’m an independent artist and I’m not famous, and things like that only happen to famous people. I went to a wedding recently and three separate people said, “Did I see your face on the back of a bus recently?” It’s just so funny when people spot them around London

You held a sold out album listening party this month in advance of your album release in June. What was the atmosphere at the party like? Did you expect it to sell out?

I hoped that there would be enough people that would be interested in hearing the album three months before its release, and be interested in myself and Peter Lyons, the album’s producer, speaking about the making of the album. I was really doing something that could fail spectacularly or be a huge success and luckily for me, the atmosphere was incredible and the event was sold out. So many people said it was a really unique experience to sit and listen to an album, without any distractions, and actually take it all in.

What can you tell us about your new album?

My new album is called ‘For the Loved and Lost’. It’s an album of very emotive and heartfelt songs. It’s got the epic-ness of Florence & The Machine and the intimate, confessional nature of Damien Rice’s music. There’s also a few seemingly up-beat songs in there to break it up.

Kal’s debut album will be released on June 1, and you can find out more details about her music online at www.kallavelle.com

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