Singer serves up a musical cocktail
LIKE Jessica Rabbit before her, singer/songwriter Bec Laughton looks like a retro, red-headed pin-up.
But behind the '50s retro style, the Brisbane singer has a voice that has a lot of soul, which can be heard on her latest EP By the Fire.
The EP has seven safety fire matches, which in this case are her singles; her cover also models the iconic Redhead Matches silhouette.
But the retro and quirky CD cover isn't the only thing that takes a step back in time; so too does Laughton's voice and music.
It has no timeframe, but it does move you to another place.
Raised in a musical family, her father was a musical director for theatre shows and her home life was centred around a piano which her father played while she and her sister sang and danced.
While her first lead role was in the Motown-inspired musical The Wiz, where she played Dorothy, she found some musical theatre was good while others were a bit cheesy.
It was from there she fell into a montage of soul, gospel and reggae music.
"My music is a bit of a cocktail of all those genres.
"It is a lot of soul; I like to be called sophisticated pop, which is a mixture of blue-eyed soul and an element of funk.
"I love soul music and the '50s was when soul music took off, so I guess that is why I love the look of that era."
Laughton admits she is an old soul who likes to draw her inspiration from a bygone era.
"I think I could have been born in another era like the 1920s, when tap dancing was all the rage.
"I love the whole vintage package from what I wear to the graphic design of my album."
"I want to tell the whole story."
She said soul in her music was not just about shaking her booty, but about speaking life through music.
She said growing up she idolised Lauryn Hill, whose CD was the first she bought.
"I remember singing one of her songs for a recital at school and I was disqualified, because I went to a Christian school and I sang Baby.
"I always wanted my music to be in a similar vain to Lauryn Hill's - I loved that she was in Sister Act II," she laughed.
Laughton is making a name for herself in the music scene after being nominated in the 2012 International Independent Music Awards and the MusicOz Awards.
She also scored number 11 in the Triple J Roots charts for her song Loop de Loop.
"I always knew that I had a good package to do well in the industry, it was just getting my music out there.
"I have often heard musicians say it takes a good five years of trying and that there is no short road for an artist."
"If you have the goods it will be a long ride. I am 21/2 years in so I have another 2 ½ years to see what happens," she said.
For more details on Laughton and her By the Fire EP, visit beclaughton.com.