Soul singer Laiken Love is interviewed about her influential upbringing, studying political science, her struggle to get where she is today, and much more.
What are some of your earliest musical memories?
I have so many! I grew up Baptist, so I’ve been to many gospel concerts. I remember watching Lawrence Welk with my grandparents. With family gatherings, there would be nothing but soul and funk playing all day. I can honestly say that Sesame Street was another shaping moment for me. I’ll never forget my first time seeing Winton Marsalis on the show!
Who are some of your musical influences?
Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Any soul singer from the 70s-80s, Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Emily King.
After having many doors closed in my face and many musicians who said no to me, I finally got a gig
How did the Fellowship of Love come to be?
Well I started off on the open mic scene. I ended up working with some bands. I schlepped (not slept) my way through but I still wasn’t making good money. I should be dead from the amount of exposure I had in place of money. So one day I said “I’m starting my own band. It will be easy!” (Said no one ever). After having many doors closed in my face and many musicians who said no to me, I finally got a gig. It was a very slow and painful progress but here I am giving this interview, stocked with musicians, and the phone doesn’t stop ringing. Shouts out to Scott Jackson and his late wife Holli, for giving us our first chance to perform! Fellowship of Love was birthed at Sicilianos.
Talk about some of your favorite performances over the years?
On Stage Cabaret Series: Stevie Wonder, and Blues Trinity: A Tribute to the three Kings. These are my two absolute favorites. My favorite celebrity appearance is playing at the Mansion and seeing Matthew McConaughey and his wife on the dance floor!
What are some of your favorite Savannah and regional venues to perform in?
I love Tybee Post Theatre! I’ve played just about every venue in Savannah and can’t complain. My other favorite spot is a vegan juice bar I’ve rented out in Augusta called Humanitree. Stepping outside of the low country I love playing at Prohibition down in St. Augustine.
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Have you ever wanted to collaborate with any other Savannah artist or musician but never had the chance to?
Good question! You’re making me think here! I’ve worked with many musicians in the area. I would love to do a collaboration with Jon Lee Murphy!
Are you still pursuing a career in Political Science?
Oh no, darling. I think I pulled out a good time. I wanted to go in to see the good light in this world by working in diplomacy. Life has a funny way of giving you what you asked for but not how you asked for it. Music has become my form of diplomacy.
I’d like to see more collaborations happen along with special curated shows
How did you link up with Michael Gaster & Associates?
I’ve known Michael through the Philharmonic for years. After working in a pharmacy 10 years, I had a day where I posted that “I can’t take this anymore” and Michael said why don’t you come work here. The rest is history!
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Savannah music scene?
I think the music scene could be better. I want to be better as a musician. I’ve backed way off from the bar scene to work on that. I’d like to see more collaborations happen along with special curated shows. Maybe this is happening but I’m working too much to notice. I know a great deal of musicians in the Charleston and Jacksonville who are crushing it on their scenes and I’d love to see that happen here!
Do you have any upcoming projects, interests, or events you’d like to mention?
Stay tuned! Or go to my website laikenlove.com. You can find me through “What’s Shakin’ With Laiken” or my band, Laiken Love and Fellowship of Love.