Laura Mvula has revealed how she never saw herself as a singing star and how putting herself at the front of the stage was something she had always tried to avoid.
The Birmingham-born chart star has found major success with her debut album Sing To The Moon, but revealed she suffered from major anxieties at being in the spotlight.
"I've always had this passion to be creative, and wanted to sing or be in bands and make music, but I didn't have ideas as to what format it'd be, or how I'd do it. I'm not very good with plans," she said. "I didn't think it would be me at the front either. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that was something I'd prevent."
She added: "Lots of people think I'm telling porky pies when I say how nervous I get about singing. I was good at working out how music was put together, and I was good at being at the back, but if you asked me to sing upfront then I looked like I was going to pass out."
Laura also revealed that her first album wouldn't be on her own playlist.
"I have listened to it a couple of times," she said. "I have these moments where I engage with fans who've told me things about my songs, and I want to hear and feel what they do, so I'll listen and think about what they've said. But no, I don't listen to it for pleasure."
In a few weeks' time Laura will start her biggest-ever UK tour, but she confessed there has been little time to prepare.
When asked if she's been practising at all, she burst into laughter.
"Well yes, of course we should be rehearsing," she said, catching her breath. "But we're not. We've got so many things going on that to put any time in the schedule for rehearsals just feels impossible."
:: Laura Mvula's album Sing To The Moon is out now. She begins a UK tour this month.