Indie Artist Spotlight
Don’t be fooled by her popstar looks. At a time when the music industry seems to churn out one identical female artist after the other, this young singer-songwriter breaks the mold. Laura Cheadle has got the funk.
This young artist writes about love, lust, and everything in-between. From beneath her graceful lyrics and sensual sound emerges Laura’s soul, which enraptures her listeners as she effortlessly commands their attention. She calls herself a “funky white girl who’s got soul.” However, Laura sells her self short with this description, as she blends many genres both within and among her songs. Laura creates her own unique style of song-writing by giving rock/pop a soulful twist with a splash of blues.
Laura practically came out of the womb with a desire to create music. This Pitman, NJ native officially first stepped into the music world at age 5, starting first with singing and playing the piano. Her father created the Appreciation Choir for the Persian Gulf War troops in the early nineties. Laura’s dad produced a song and created a music video that was aired on VH1 and MTV. Along with her two older twin brothers and various other children, Laura toured around the United States singing for audiences. At age 11, Laura picked up the drums under the instruction of her father. From the ages of 11-15, Laura and her brothers created a band named Sibling, and they played at local spots including restaurants, churches, music venues, private parties, and parades. To this day, it is not uncommon for Laura and her family to have jam sessions. One minute she’ll be tapping a beat with her brothers and father, and the next minute they’ll be in the studio working out a new song. Music is in this girl’s blood.
Laura’s musical style changed from bubblegum pop to soul with a rock/pop influence at age 16, when she first picked up a guitar and taught herself to play. “I was heartbroken at the time, and the guitar was a perfect outlet for me to express my thoughts and ideas. At this age, I became more independent musically, and the guitar allowed me to become more introspective and relay my feelings to the world.” Because Laura taught herself to play, her chord progressions are entirely unique. Her highly original finger positions on the guitar arrive at very unconventional and jazzy chords. She never fails to stop at least a few people in the crowd who are unaccustomed to her finger picking and distinctive way of strumming the guitar. Laura shrugs her shoulders and says, “Because I taught myself to play solely by using my ear and deciding what I thought sounded right, I created an entirely new way of playing that people have told me they’ve never before seen. My only influences were my father and what I heard growing up, which were Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, and jazz.”
It wasn’t long before Laura exploded into the local coffeehouse scene. Her acoustic sets would pack each and every house that she played. She released her acoustic CD, Maybe One Day in 2003, which was produced and recorded at her father James Cheadle’s studio, 9 South Productions. In March of 2004, Laura’s music graced the national radio waves, being heard on the well-known Philadelphia station B101. She has also had the honor to perform in front of thousands of people at a VH1 Save the Music Benefit Concert in February of 2004. In March of 2005 and August of 2006, an editor from the South Jersey Weekender wrote a cover page story on Laura with an excellent review. This article raved about Laura’s large and ever-growing popularity in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. Recently, Laura Cheadle’s song “Wrapped Up in You” won 10 days in a row by listener votes on the Delaware radio station 93.7 WSTW’s “Two Song Throw Down.” To name a few, Laura’s song beat national acts such as The Fray, Staind and Hello Goodbye. In addition, Laura Cheadle has had the opportunity to perform at The House of Blues in Atlantic City through a contest she won by fan votes. Laura is no stranger to winning competitions through fan votes. Laura Cheadle got the chance to open for The Spin Doctors, Sister Hazel, The Jonas Brothers and American Idol Star: Constantine Maroulis where she was highly praised. It is not unusual to see high school-aged kids, soccer moms, and seasoned musicians simultaneously mouthing Laura’s lyrics to her as she performs.
Laura has gained many fans through use of the internet and radio, but her biggest supporters always seem to be the people who have watched her perform live. Whereas many singer-songwriters are content to idly sit on their chair, strumming their guitar as they hum a song, it seems to take all of Laura’s will power to keep seated, as she soulfully belts out a chord and loses her self to the music. Finally, when the audience least expects her to do so, Laura rises from her chair and dances, unabashedly shaking her hips and engaging the audience. Laura is very interactive with the crowd and always tells humorous anecdotes to get people interested in and excited about the songs. Among Laura’s many positive qualities, stage presence and charisma are two of her greatest assets. Laura couldn’t be more excited for her promising future. “I feel like I’m at a crossroads right now. I’m almost where I need to be, I just need to keep on singin’ and bringin’ the funk.” And Laura’s fans are coming along for the funky ride.