Laura Lewis-Paul is making strides like never before within the South West music industry. Laura is the founder of Saffron Records, the South West’s first all female record label. Here we caught up with the lovely Laura for a quick interview where she lets us know her inspirations, favourite celebs and future plans.

1) What inspired you to start Saffron Records?


 I have been working within the creative arts and youth sector over the past six years and worked for an organisation called Creative Youth Network, where I set up Temple Records, a youth record label. Through this work, it became very apparent that the young women we were working with were lacking female representation and role models in the music industry. As a mixed gender group we attended gigs, field visits and world-renowned recording studios – all of which had a very small percentage of women. I remember the point when it really clicked for me, and I asked the young women how they feel about potentially going into a very male dominant industry. They were very positive young women that replied with the fact they thought it could be used as a positive as then they would get more recognition. This is when I made the decision that something really needed to change.


2) What advice do you have for young people wanting to get into the music industry?


1- Consistently keep creative, make music for the love, not for money.

2- Be professional and polite at all times. Be punctual.

3- Collaborate, go to gigs, perform at open mics.

4- Don’t follow the crowd. Be individual. Don’t copy others. Be yourself.

5- Constantly get critiqued, listen to the criticism and learn from it. Get as much advice from different people as possible. Get a mentor.


saffron records

3) What would you say is your biggest success story to date?

Mine is definitely starting up Saffron Records. It has taken some really big steps and has completely taken me out of my comfort zone, but have never felt so happy in what I am doing. You know when it is right though as things just fall into place. I have had so many jobs throughout my life and never have I felt like something is so right. Exploration of different career paths for me has been something that has been really positive as it means you can transfer all those skills that have been built up throughout and it makes you realise your own values and how you like to work best.


4) Where do you want to see Saffron Records in the next 5 years?

I would really like for Saffron Records to be a strong progression route for young women to access the music industry. For Saffron Records to get recognition within the industry for a real platform for young women. For Saffron to have made changes in raising the awareness of gender inequalities within the industries and that we are sat within a more equal industry. Creating and releasing music from talented musicians, that is recognised for the young artists being recognised for their music, not because they are women or because we are a social enterprise. Running our schools program across Bristol and South Glos.


 5) What’s the biggest risk you have ever taken and how did it turn out?


Starting Saffron Records. Will let you know in a couple of years!!


 6) If there was one celebrity you had the opportunity to sign to Saffron Records who would it be and why?


Ibeyi. They are incredibly talented, their performance is so creative and full on digital drums, African drums, loops and beautiful vocals and. Their creative input and ability to mesmerise an audience is immense. They are very down to earth, engaging and create a community between their fans.


 7) Can you tell us a funny story about you/your journey that our audience may not know?

Oh my goodness, I thought about this for like 4 days and I actually can’t think of anything!!! I will still keep thinking, but wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten!! It’s been done for ages!


 8) What can we expect from you over the next 2 years?


To sign a cohort of young women aged 16-24 years, give them mentoring from our mentors. Open up more entry-level apprenticeships with the label, create a more diverse workforce within the industry. We are going to Palestine in August 2016 to collaborate with women through voice workshops. To see Bristol’s emerging talent getting massive recognition. Be running our school’s program across Bristol and South Glos offering Music Production, DJing and MCing to girls 11-16 years, so encourage more young women to become DJ’s, MC’s and Producers.


 If you are interested in being signed by Saffron Records or knows of a young female artist who would benefit from their support the please don’t hesitate to get in touch: