Why did you choose Dubai to launch your singing career as opposed to Europe or the US?
I moved from London to Dubai in 2013 and I started working as a waitress. I realised that there wasn’t very much happening here musically and that the competition is quite small. If you’re willing to work hard here, you can get noticed and make it happen.
How have you found performing in Dubai, and do you think it’s enough of a musical hub for you to stay?
Everyone knows that Dubai is an up-and-coming place and within the past year, people in music have been popping up here, getting gigs and shows. But I think it’s a very male-orientated country, there aren’t a lot of female artists here and it’s quite difficult for women to take a step forward and be paid attention to. I want to work with local artists and get them to collaborate on projects, but I do want to move to America eventually and pursue my ultimate dream. I’m going back to the UK in June to work on my album and hopefully release it by the end of the year.
Which musicians or artists inspire you?
I was brought up listening to Etta James, Barbra Streisand and Amy Winehouse. Since the age of 12 I’ve written in journals. I have a book full of lyrics that I’ve had for years and I could potentially use those on an album.
Are you currently signed to a label?
No, I’ve pretty much done everything myself. I used a music distribution company based in the States and I do my own press. I’d love to get signed by a label. Local artists are all trying to get recognised here, anybody who is trying to make it must really push and go all out.
You’ve just released your first single in Dubai, ‘I’m Not Giving Up’. What’s it about?
It’s very much a house track and I love that style, but it’s not my forte, so I made an acoustic version of the song, too. It’s about relationships today. We’ve evolved so much as a society and people aren’t able to stay together. But this song is about people in strong relationships who are willing to fight for each other and don’t give up.
Have you ever considered entering a talent show such as The X Factor?
I haven’t, because I feel that it’s a fast route. If you are a true artist then you need to work hard and you need to be told ‘no’, because it builds up your strength. I don’t think you become that successful from The X Factor. Your creativity doesn’t get paid attention to, it’s more about press and publicity. I’m always going to do something spontaneous.
To find out more about Laura James aka Pimms Brooke, go to www.pimmsbrooke.com or www.itunes.apple.com