Laura MvulaView In iTunes
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Laura Mvula, a native of Birmingham, England who trained at the city's Conservatoire, arrived in late 2012 with a unique orchestral pop sound -- a mix of classic pop, jazz, and soul with creative and accessible twists -- that attracted accolades months before the release of her first album. After Mvula signed to RCA, she had an EP-length document issued in September 2012. The artist then made a proper debut in November, when RCA issued the She EP, featuring the uplifting title song. A month later, she was long-listed for the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll and finished in fourth place. The album Sing to the Moon arrived in March 2013 and peaked at number nine in the U.K., while one of its four singles -- "Green Garden" -- reached number 31 on the singles chart. That October, she won MOBO awards in the categories of Best Female Act and Best R&B or Soul Artist. Her next move wasn't a studio album, but a session of Sing to the Moon remakes recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the Netherlands' Metropole Orkest. That set was released in 2014. ~ Andy Kellman