Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Sometimes what seems like a big break can be a career-ender, because big opportunities come with pressure to continue the upward trajectory. Josephine Vander Gucht, under the name Jose Vanders, shared stages with Ed Sheeran and Noah and the Whale, and racked up millions of hits on YouTube and MySpace. A few years on, and she seemed to have hit a ceiling – she could have carried on playing small gigs and releasing EPs to a steady fanbase, but clearly she has higher ambitions. She renamed herself LAYLA, developed her sound, and the rebrand seems to be paying off. She’s now a full-time musician, she’s toured with Bipolar Sunshine and Indiana, her first headline gig as LAYLA sold out, and her gospelly new single Smokestacks has the support of Radio 1 and XFM. She’s back in the game, and hopefully this time she is ready to play.