Growing up on a farm in Northern California, Laura Sullivan started playing piano at age 4. Understanding how early she started is key to appreciating the amazing gift that she possesses as a musician and artist. The ability to create oozes from her hands as she carefully crafts her melodies. We recently had the luxury of sitting down with the Grammy Award winning composer for an exclusive one on one interview:
Who were some of your greatest musical influences growing up?
My mom used to play the music of the Beatles on the piano when I was little. Some of the first real songs I learned to play were “Hey Jude” and “The Long and Winding Road”, mostly by ear. Later I was classically trained, so Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Chopin and the other greats were a big influence.
When and how did you discover that you had a talent for music?
To tell you the truth, I don’t know if I’m all that talented, but I enjoy music a great deal and work extremely hard on my musicianship, and at composition. I think besides divine intervention, the hard work is what has paid off for me, more than anything else.
When you are writing and composing music, from where do you draw your influences?
I think I’m influenced by the classical composers, but I try not to listen to any music at all while I’m deep in the composition process because I want to be very careful not to copy the music of anyone else. Once I actually copied my own music accidentally, and fortunately a producer I was working with pointed out to me that the new piece I had just written had a section in it which sounded very similar to a piece I had already written. I didn’t even realize it until he mentioned that. I try to let the music come through me, and I do believe it comes from spiritual energy, which we all have access to.
What motivated you to create the amazingly powerful video for “900 Voices”?
Most of the music I’ve created in the last few years is instrumental, and there are many people who have asked me if they can sing along with lyrics to my music. I wanted to give them the opportunity to be included in some way as part of the creation process. I also wanted to create a project that brings to life artistically the fact that we are really all one, no matter where we are in the world. We all have love for our families, and have a deep connection as humanity. It has been so sweet and fulfilling to find that there are many people who feel the same, and wanted to join me in this project, as the response was truly overwhelming, in a very beautiful way.
Winning a Grammy is an amazing accomplishment, how has this impacted you or your career?
The day after I came home from winning a Grammy I was scrubbing the dishes and doing laundry, and I realized that little elves didn’t suddenly appear to help out a Grammy winner, as I thought they would! This was such a disappointment! But, kidding aside, it has opened some great doors in being able to reach out to people who are just getting started in the music industry by speaking at colleges and universities and the like, which has been a lot of fun.
What are your greatest challenges as a musician today and how do you overcome them?
I think my biggest challenge is time management, and this is a big hurdle for many people these days, regardless of their career, I believe. There are a lot of responsibilities I take on for my family, and I’m blessed with these challenges because I really am glad that I can do all these wonderful things. But, there is a lot of time that is required, quiet time, for composing and practicing and doing the things that are required to be a producing artist and to keep my chops up. Because of this, I try to be really conscious of clearly setting my daily priorities so that I get the most important things done first.
What is one piece of advice you would give to young musicians who aspire to be successful in the industry?
The most important thing to do, I believe, is to hold on to your dreams no matter what happens. Decide what you want to do as an artist, and stick with it. Be patient and perseverant, because discouragements will naturally come, but one must have faith in oneself and stick to the goals, whatever anyone else may say or think. Keep visualizing your success every morning and evening, as clearly as you can, and in as much detail as you can. Always visualize the successful outcome, even when times get tough.
The importance of classical composers and musicians who create the melodies that often touch our hearts and minds in an inexplicable fashion, cannot be overstated. Laura Sullivan will continue to produce wonderfully beautiful music that will inspire us all. We cannot wait to hear what she has on the horizon. Her amazing video for “900 Voices” can be viewed below. Also be sure to follow her on social media. Her links are also posted here: