Paisley-based singer, Evelyn Laurie, has just self-released a whole album of jazz numbers, titled A Little Bit of Me, a broad selection of songs that mean something to the West coast musician.

Evelyn spoke with The Fountain about self-releasing as well as what inspired her to play jazz.

TF: A new album, how exciting, what is the concept?

Thanks, yes it is my debut and very exciting although it has been a bit nerve wracking along the way navigating through all the various agencies that you have to register with, get permissions from etc.

It’s called A Little Bit of Me as every song on it means something special to me, including a few tracks that I wrote or co-wrote. Being my first album it was hard to narrow it down to just ten tracks and also have a good balance of material but I’m happy with the final selection. Leaves plenty more for the next one!

TF: And you have decided to self-release this record, what made you choose to release it this way?

For various reasons: I hadn’t been gigging much over the past few years so I’d kind of dropped out of public view. Also, I really wanted to work with some of the best jazz musicians in Scotland and to do the songs my way. Doing this independently allowed me the freedom to do this. As I mentioned though, I didn’t know at the outset all that this would involve! It’s been a big learning curve.

TF: What influenced you to perform jazz music?

I’ve enjoyed singing as long as I can remember and love all kinds of good music from classical to folk to country (I think that shows in my album!). It was only around thirteen years ago that I went on my first jazz vocal workshop run by the Grandmummy of Scottish jazz, Fionna Duncan and got hooked! The workshops were a great way to find your own voice and your own way into the music. Since then, I’ve been lucky to work with some great teachers and musicians who have all helped me develop as a performer.

TF: And can we look forward to seeing you perform live soon?

I’ve been so busy with getting the album out and promoting it that I’ve not got the date pinned down yet but I’m planning a proper launch gig at the start of the year, with all of the original band. Details will be posted on my Facebook page and website.

TF: What has been your favourite gig to date, Evelyn?

I was asked to deputise at a few hours notice for a gig at Glasgow’s Butterfly and Pig to sing with a quartet led by the late, great pianist, Sandy Taylor. I just turned up with a bundle of charts and we busked through them – even if the other players hadn’t played them before. It really feels like jazz when it’s as raw and exciting as that but still somehow sounds as if you’ve been rehearsing for weeks. Love it!