As a 17 year old, Holly Lapsley Fletcher began posting music to SoundCloud to share with friends and family.
Two years later, the British singer found herself performing at Coachella supporting a debut album, “Long Way Home,” that has earned her comparisons to Adele and James Blake for its mix of heartbreak-filled ballads and electronic production.
The singer-songwriter-producer, who records as Låpsley, still can’t believe her success, describing the last six months as “a million miles an hour.”
amNewYork spoke with Låpsley, 19, about the music.
When did you first start writing songs?
It was in high school. I was playing instruments for a long time, but playing music was never the center of my life. It’s not like I was in bands for years. I loved listening to music. I started writing a little bit around the age of 14, then I started producing when I was 17.
What were those songs like?
It was like emo [expletive]. But it was never meant for anyone. It was just me messing around. It wasn’t like I was writing these songs and put them out into the world to be a pop star. ... Most of my life until the age of 18 was [studying] and sport. I just managed to fit [music] in between.
“Long Way Home” is about a troubled relationship. How did putting your feelings into songs help you get past it?
It’s difficult because I wrote the album about being in a relationship with someone with a serious mental illness. One way to cope was to put it into the music I was making. I found it easier to reflect on [expletive] when I was writing down opinions or questioning something he said or trying to understand something going on. Once I went to finish the album, it was almost a way of moving on.
Who inspired you as a songwriter?
Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush, Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan. My dad was very into The Smiths and Joy Division. ... That was a good base from an early age.
You were also very immersed in rave culture. What drew you to it and what did you get from it?
I secretly rebelled. I was a massive nerd and I studied way too hard and trained way too hard and needed this outlet. ... I became addicted to going out dancing, listening to the DJs, getting immersed in music. It was so opposite of anything I had ever known. I got influenced from both sides. Strong songwriting on one side and electronic rave culture in high school.