A singer-songwriter from Little Chalfont has released her debut album, We Will Need Courage.

Lauren Ray moved to Buckinghamshire at the age of nine, having previously lived in Poland and Austria.

The family named their home in Little Chalfont TAMLIN, made up of each member of the family’s initials. This is now the name of Lauren’s independent record label on which she has released her album.

I wondered whether moving around at a young age affected her music today.

“I think it does in some ways,” she tells me. “Travelling so much and moving schools and homes quite a lot, what it did was made me really interested in people. There are good and bad experiences of moving and I think it just made me fascinated with people so a lot of my songs are about the people around me and my relationships with people around me.

“The song What Would I Do was actually inspired by the scene between Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman in the film Love Actually, where she has just found out he may be cheating on her. Sometimes a movie like that, with a really interesting moment between two people, will inspire me to write something.”

Lauren describes her music as “singer/songwriter pop with a nod to country”, but hastens to tell me: “I’m definitely not country but I listen to so much of it that you can hear it seeping in and I recorded in Nashville so you can hear the country vibes a little bit.”

Lauren’s music is all piano-led, an instrument she began teaching herself at a very young age while still living in Poland.

“I always liked to figure things out, my mum would buy me music books of songs that I liked and would tell me to learn them and then at the end of the summer holidays I might get extra pocket money or a treat as an incentive.

“She would keep buying harder and harder music until eventually I was at grade six or seven, just from my own enjoyment of learning songs that I liked. It came quite naturally because I was never very good at being taught music.”

Lauren was so averse to being tutored that, despite always knowing it was what she wanted to do as a career, she stopped studying it as soon as she could.

“I ended up going to Sussex University to study anthropology. I knew I always wanted to do music as a career but I knew from a very early age that I didn’t enjoy music lessons. I did music up until GCSE, I tried to do it for A-level but it just wasn’t for me.

“I knew if I studied it at university I would hate it and end up dropping out and I wanted to do something else that would interest me in different ways. I ended up putting loads of things in a hat and anthropology came out. I had no idea what it was but I really enjoyed it.”

Lauren goes on to say that was not because her school or those around her were not supportive of her talents.

“My music teacher at Dr Challoner’s was very encouraging and put me forward for songwriting lessons. I did open mics, I played at Café Africa in Amersham when I was still at school and the boys’ school had a jazz band and they invited me to sing. There were little influences here and there that got me into music and kept me encouraged.”

After finishing her degree she worked in the music industry as a record account manager, firstly for PPL and then moving to Warner Music where she found herself in a very lucky position, being able to work part time while following her dreams and spending time in Nashville writing her debut album.

We Will Need Courage is available from Amazon and HMV, or can be downloaded for free on iTunes. Details: laurenraymusic.com