Take one listen through Tamara Laurel's debut LP Runaway, and you'll find it hard to believe that it was almost never made. Growing up in ?a small town in Washington, the southern-infused singer-songwriter's childhood dream of becoming a musician was inhibited by debilitating stage fright. Hiding her voice in choruses and theatre ensembles, she never found the courage to step into the spotlight. Newly 18 with a seemingly impossible dream, Laurel headed off to USC to earn a business degree instead. Nevertheless, she quietly took guitar and voice lessons after class, just in case. After graduating, starting a company, and unsuccessfully trying to convince herself she belonged in corporate America, Laurel happened upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform her original songs at Hollywood's legendary House of Blues. The blue-eyed songbird officially segued from the sidelines to the stage in front of a large crowd on LA's Sunset Boulevard. Her performance shattered a lifelong fear - but more importantly, gave her the confidence to officially begin. Right away, Laurel booked studio time, landing Grammy Award-winning Philip Allen (Adele) and Grammy-nominated Luke Tozour (Katy Perry) as co-producers/engineers on her 2014 folk debut Lightning. Together they yielded a striking EP that secured loyal listeners in the country and city alike.