Laura Elizbath Hughes


Laura Elizabeth Hughes: “A social justice fire is burning in me”

LIBRARIAN by day, ambitious and imaginative songwriter by night, Laura Elizabeth Hughes is working on the idea of her twin passions meeting in the middle. She’s always been into writing. Lyricism is key to her work, but she also jots ideas in the more conventional sense, and is working on bringing her music, and other music, into libraries, too.

Her passions make for a disparate fusion, but it’s one that’s working: the Dubliner’s YouTube channel is closing in on three million views, her music giving that sense of an ambient canvas against which her voice can paint a stark, emotive picture.

“Lyrics are something people will take different things from,” she tells us. “People connect in different ways, and it’s very personal to me. The human condition can be very individual, but also universal, so I think I just have to put myself out there and hope it connects. It’s a singles and EPs game at the moment, but I’m focusing on getting back into the game. There might be an album one day, but 8, 10, 12 tracks is a lot to ask.”

There’s a philosophy to the way Hughes has risen in recent months, and it’s one, perhaps unwittingly, that might sound familiar to fans of the comedian Danny Wallace. Wallace, feeling frustrated with life, decided to say yes to… well, pretty much anything he was asked. The resulting book led to a Hollywood movie, and changed his life.

“I’ve been of the mind, since summer last year, to just say yes to things,” Hughes says, echoing Wallace’s thesis. “It’s created some wonderful opportunities. I spend my days in Dublin libraries, telling stories to kids all day.” 

“Two years in libraries has opened my eyes. The kind of people who go to libraries, there can be a lot of outreach, and it opens your eyes to privilege and changes your worldview. I write a lot of unpublished stuff, and there’s a real social justice fire burning in me at the moment.” In fact, Hughes adds, she could easily release an album if it were only down to having the music. It’s a question of both sticking to the very highest quality stuff, and keeping some of the tracks to herself.