From the Italian Consulate in Rio to the serious world of Premier League football management, Laura Doyle has had a diverse career – now she is aiming for jazz-pop stardom. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpudlian Laura Doyle’s career has seen her work in the Italian Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, act as a translator for Fidel Castro, train as a clown in France and establish herself as one of the UK’s few female football agents.
Now, while still working by day representing top Premier League footballers for one of the biggest sports agencies in the world, Laura is embarking on a new chapter – becoming a musical sensation.
She is the driving force and lead singer of new jazz-pop band, Baiana, which is due to release its debut single this week. Miso Loco (it’s a fine time in the sunshine) has already proved a hit on Soundcloud, being dubbed by fans as ‘the sound of summer’.
And Laura says it was the time she spent in Rio, working at the Italian Consulate, when she fell under the spell of Brazilian artists such as Sergio Mendes, Jorge Ben Jor and Joan Gilberto, that influenced the Latin flavour of Baiana’s music.
She also credits her work in football as providing an inspiration for her latest venture. She began her work in football management after being approached by the Stellar Group to assist them in managing the Da Silva twins – two young Brazilian starlets who were both signed to Manchester United.
Something of a baptism of fire, she suddenly found herself at the centre of this new Premier League world – from translating for Sir Alex Fergusson, negotiating contracts, attending medical screenings to writing a book with former Manchester United and Everton star Louis Saha.
The calling to become a performer proved stronger still. One day, standing in front of a mirror and donning the first of her trademark headdresses, Baiana (which means “girl from Bahia, Brazil”) was born.
Laura said: “It takes a lot to become a Premier League player and its an arduous journey to the top – the hours of training, dedication, sacrifices made, the mental strength to push on when you feel you’re getting nowhere.
“I saw a lot of synergy with this and the seemingly Herculean task of starting a band from scratch when you’re no longer a teeny bopper. I studied, I trained everyday, recruited the best musicians I could find, the best vocal coaches, learnt everything I could.
“Whenever I had a bad gig, as everyone does, I would speak to the players to get their advice on how to bounce back. All those missed penalties resulted in some incredible advice to learn from my mistakes, grow and get back on the stage.”
Officially released on July 31, Miso Loco, with its infectious Latin rhythm and catchy chorus, is “sure to have you dancing your way out of the lockdown with a smile on your face”, says Laura.