Award-winning international superstar Laura Mvula was further recognised after receiving an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University.
The city-born music composition graduate was acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to music before an audience of music and art graduates at the world-renowned Symphony Hall after receiving the award by the University’s vice-chancellor Philip Plowden and following a welcome by the chancellor Sir Lenny Henry.
Recognised as one of the brightest musical talents to emerge from the city in recent years, Ivor Novello award winner Dr Laura, a former Alumna of the Year and MOBO Best Female Act and Best R&B Act 2013, rose to global success in 2013 with the release of breakout single Green Garden and debut album Sing to the Moon, landing her first of two Mercury Prize nominations.
In her acceptances speech, she gave a few words of wisdom, saying: “It’s difficult to describe the depth of honour and thanks I feel to be conferred an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
“I was taught to embrace the excitement and turbulence of a creative musician’s life with the goal being to make music that was honest, innovative, from the heart.
“There’s no race, there’s no rush, despite the pressures and pace of our millennial, modern life, constantly wrestling with the expectation that we should probably have it all figured out.
“There’s no competition”.
32-year-old Dr Laura, from Kings Heath, in Birmingham, laid foundations for her career following her graduation from the prestigious Conservatoire as a member of a capella group Black Voices and in the role as director of Lichfield Community Gospel Choir.
She has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the biggest names in contemporary and classical music including Niles Rogers, Tom Odell, London Symphony Orchestra, Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkestra.
Her song Sing to the Moon, taken from her 2013 debut album, will feature in the 2019 Last Night of the Proms concert, with Sakari Oramo conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall.
She released her second studio album The Dreaming Room in 2016.