Sixteen year-old Lauren Aquilina is nothing short of a little miracle in a pass the parcel package we’ve yet to unwrap the last layers of yet. Here at NEN, we’ve gone to extreme lengths to determine who our 10 Ones to Watch for 2012 should be and we don’t think it would be complete without Lauren.

Catching a glimpse of her last October at her first ever live performance in the backdrops of The Bedford in Balham, Lauren left a lasting impression we’ve been struggling to shift. Maybe a 16 year old in body, but certainly not in mind, her vocal talents were complemented by a range of self written tracks that showed depth and power.

To introduce Lauren, and as a first of many features you’ll read on her this year, we asked her some questions so as to get to know her a little better. Take a read, and if you’re still intrigued, let us know what else you’d like to know:

NEN Q: First song you ever wrote? What inspired it?
Lauren: I’ve been writing lyrics since I was about 8 or 9, I used it as a way to vent things I was feeling, and I liked poetry at school too. I think the first FULL song I ever wrote was when I was 11 and it was called ‘Just Know That I Loved You’. It was about this guy I liked and we got on really well but he was too shallow to see past my exterior, pretty deep for an eleven year old I guess! It’s an awful awful ultimate-cringe song, I hope no one ever has to hear it again.

NEN Q: Most visited place and why?
I do spend most of my time at home in Windsor because of school and things, but I try and get to London as much as I can. When I was younger and living in Bristol, I remember going to London was so exciting, I’ve always been fascinated by it. Now that I’m lucky enough to live a 20 minute train journey away, I get in as often as I can. I love the hard-working and determined attitude that the whole of London seems to have, it’s inspired a lot of songs simply from people-watching!

NEN Q: Most interesting album purchase to date? Why that one?
Lauren: Ooh, hard question! I remember with Bon Iver’s first album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ – I bought it with no idea what to expect. I think I’d heard Ellie Goulding’s cover of ‘Wolves’ and it had come up in my iTunes ‘recommended for you’ so I just went ahead and bought it. I actually listened to it on repeat for the whole summer of that year and it quickly became one of my favourite ever albums, I love it when that happens with music.

NEN Q: Thing you’ve always wanted to try, but probably never will?
Lauren: Space really fascinates me. If I ever had the opportunity to go to the moon or something, I’d snap it up instantly. I probably don’t have enough common sense to be an astronaut though.

NEN Q: What’s your guilty pleasure when you’re not songwriting?
Lauren: This is going to sound really boring but.. just being a normal 16 year old! I quite often have days where I get up at 1pm, stay in my pyjamas, eat ridiculous amounts and scroll through twitter endlessly. I bloody love it.

NEN Q: If you could write with an artist dead or alive, who would it be and where would you write together?
Lauren: I never know how to answer this question! The obvious answer for me is Ellie Goulding, I’m a huge huge fan of her writing style. I think I’d like to be on a sofa with her and for us to have a really emotional chat about life and then just write a cracking song about it. Oh and we’d both have big mugs of tea and lots of biscuits to hand, that would be nice.

To listen to one of Lauren’s own tracks, here’s one of her many youtube videos:
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