A performer and record producer from north Herts has contributed to Gary Barlow’s latest chart-topping album.

Lauren Deakin Davies worked on Barlow’s Music Played by Humans, which debuted and topped the Official Albums Chart earlier this month, becoming the Take That singer’s third solo number one album in the UK.

So how did a musician from Walkern end up working on Barlow’s latest CD, being spotted on the Graham Norton TV show, and inducted into Danny Fullbrook’s ‘Hall of Legends’ on BBC Three Counties Radio?

We’ve previously reported on the career of local music producer/musician Lauren Deakin Davies on these pages, starting with her successful all-girl group, The Folk, who were from Freman College in Buntingford.

The Folk evolved into pop duo Delora, and then in 2018 Lauren started her solo pop-punk project DIDI.

Running alongside this, Lauren was producing for Folkstock Records, a Walkern-based label championing singer-songwriters.

She went on to become the youngest producer to have a track played on BBC Radio 2, originally for Kelly Oliver, but also Kate Dimbleby and Emma McGrath.

Gaining recognition from Tim Willett’s NMG Awards and Dan Gumble’s Pro Sound News producer awards meant she was frequently networking.

“I was chatting to Fraser T Smith (Stormzy/Adele/Craig David) and Manon Grandjean at the PSN awards when they invited me to the studio,” said Lauren.

“Manon asked if she could put me forward for a role with Gary Barlow as a studio assistant for him and his producer/engineer Ryan Carline.

“Gary was looking for someone who could play guitar, write songs as well as produce using Logic Pro X.”

This was just under two years ago.

Lauren continued: “One afternoon Gary asked me if I had any songs that might fit the album vibe, and so I made a track up and worked on it with Gary. Then Ryan bossed those amazing middle 8 chords. That then turned into Let’s Get Drunk.

“It was great to watch the album come to life, to add guitar to one of the other tracks, and to help with the massive live orchestral recordings.

“You can imagine the excitement when the album debut at No.1.

“The whole team were over the moon and honestly, I feel so overwhelmed and lucky to be a part of it!”