Salford University graduate and singer-songwriter Finnlay Kulavuz is releasing a charity Christmas single that is set to battle for the top of the charts this Christmas.

The 23-year-old, known as Finnlay K, has recorded the single “Laura’s Gone” with the comedy podcast ‘Have A Word’, and they’re aiming for a Christmas No.1 chart-topper.

“A few months ago, just as a joke, I kinda wrote this song,” he said, explaining the songs origins. “There’s a running joke on the podcast that Dan [Nightingale’s], who’s one of the presenters, that his wife’s left him and we just kinda come up with elaborate reasons as to why she’s left. They always start with ‘So Laura’s Gone…'”

Finnlay, the Assistant Producer on the podcast, sent the song to the podcast team, and the song grew from there.
“I’ve performed it at a couple of the live shows, and the fans have really taken to it. So, we decided that we’d push for the Christmas charts, and it’s gone a lot better than any of us could have expected, I think.”

He shared that the song’s namesake, Laura Nightingale, initially really liked the song but has since been “bit weirded out” by the massive response from fans. One admirer even got the song title tattooed on his leg.

The single’s success will only grow as it’s tracking to chart in the Top 40 this festive season, challenging music legends for the top spot.

“It’s very surreal to be mentioned in the same breath as Elton John, [Ed Sheeran], or Adele; it’s kinda crazy.”

The singer hopes to raise money for two children’s charities close to the podcast team’s hearts. All the profits raised from purchases and streaming will be split between Zoe’s Place and Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. The latter was selected by a listener.

He said: “One of our listeners [Gina Hickson] got in touch and has been personally affected by the charity and just said would there be any chance you’d be able to give some of the money or even give a shout out for the charity.”

The song was recorded at the Liverpool’s Motor Museum recording studio, which has seen artists like Oasis and Arctic Monkeys record there. Finnlay, who both wrote and performed the charity song, said about the experience: “It was kinda funny to be recording a joke song in the same place as some of the biggest songs in British music.”

The musician studied Broadcast Journalism at the University of Salford but has said that, despite loving media, music has always been his true passion. He’s hoping that this song can “open doors” for him within the industry.

“Laura’s Gone” has amassed over 46,000 views on YouTube and will be available for download and streaming on Friday, December 17.

The Official Christmas Number One will be announced on Radio 1 on Christmas Eve. We will be eagerly listening to see where the Salford University graduate places.

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