4S Resident Roppé’s ‘Watershed Moment’ Changes Her Path
by LORI LUM
Ever since she was very little, Laura Roppé has been a performer. From her family’s living room to high school and college, she took every opportunity she found to be on stage. But suddenly, after college she decided to go to law school.
She became a wife and a mother of two – and a successful lawyer. Her path had changed.
But then, in 2006, she decided to run a marathon, and it became what Roppé describes as a “watershed moment”. She had accomplished a seemingly impossible task with hard work and determination, and she wondered what else she might accomplish if she only put forth the effort. “The answer was very clear: sing,” she said. “I wanted to sing.”
She joined a cover band and was having the time of her life when inspiration struck again during her second marathon. She felt a melody form to the rhythm of her pounding feet and by the time her run was complete, so was a song. When she got home from the run, she asked her husband, Brad: “Is this a real song, or did I just make this up?” He listened and said, “I think you just made that up.”
That’s when she realized she was not only a singer…but also a songwriter.
In 2008, she recorded her first album, “Girl Like This”. Within a couple weeks, the local radio morning program “Jeff & Jer” played one of her songs (“Float Away”) on their show and also asked her to perform at their annual listener party. Shortly after, a London-based label contacted her and said they wanted to distribute the album overseas. Roppé jumped at the chance, but as she was getting ready to leave for England to shoot a music video she made a major discovery. A lump in her breast turned out to be a rare form of breast cancer.
Her big break would have to wait.
It was a tough road, but Roppé said something came from the experience. “All throughout chemo and radiation, and in the months right afterward, songs kept pouring into my head: songs about love, hope, perseverance, and strength,” she said. In 2009, when her treatments were complete, she won Song of the Year at the Los Angeles Music Awards (for “Float Away”), and she finally made it to England to film that music video.
Later, in 2010, she recorded those songs that had come to her during her battle, and in early 2011 she released her second album, entitled “I’m Still Here”, to rave reviews. When asked what advice she would give to aspiring artists, she replied from the perspective of a woman who has seen and been through a lot. “You have to work harder, longer, and more passionately than everyone else,” she said. “You have to believe in yourself, even if no one else does, and more than anyone else. And, last but certainly not least, recognize the love and kindness you receive from others, give it back, and show your gratitude in word and deed. Success is not worth having if you have stepped on or hurt others to achieve it.” Hers is a story of creativity, and transformation, one that she continues to craft and share passionately with the world.