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Exclusive Interview with LAUREN JAUREGUI on Her Debut Project ‘PRELUDE’

Lauren Jauregui former member of girl group Fifth Harmony, just released her first project as a fully independent artist, a seven-track EP titled Prelude, which showcases her talent as not just a singer but also a songwriter, a producer, and an artist in the midst of a reinvention. The seven-track collection of songs features some of her most personal music ever released. Focus track “On Guard” – a collab with 6LACK – sees Lauren locking into a conversational call-and-response with the singer and rapper, emerging with a beautiful live performance video co-directed by Lauren and creative director Matthew Daniel Siskin (Beyoncé, 6LACK, Florence & The Machine).

Taking full creative control and serving as executive producer on PRELUDE, Lauren’s project is further marked by the smoky spoken word R&B of “Colors” and the soaring “Scattered” – written by Lauren featuring Vic Mensa – which vulnerably explores Lauren’s mental health and is produced by Oak Felder (Demi Lovato, Brandy, Kehlani), alongside Timbaland’s legendary production for standout track “Falling.” 

Now embracing freedom of expression both personally and creatively, PRELUDE sees Lauren showcase every side of herself: “It was a beautiful process to understand I have my own voice as an artist. 2021 Lauren is a whole new bitch.”

Photo Credit: Amanda Charchian

Hi Lauren and welcome to OLC! Thank you so much for stopping by. So tell me how does it feel to finally have ‘Prelude’ out?

Lauren: Thank you for having me. It feels amazing honestly, cathartic. I’m excited that it’s out in the world and that people can listen. Lots of gratitude.

One of my favourite songs on PRELUDE has to be ‘Colors’, what inspired you to write this song?

Lauren: Thank you. I feel like I was in a space of wanting to speak to myself and music is a beautiful place to do that. Writing it out, working it out. I felt disconnected from myself and wanted to express that. Conversation between higher & lower selves as I’m here in the present self.

The song ‘Scattered’ is another one I love, which tackles the subject of mental health, what made you decide that you wanted to showcase so much of yourself? It must have been difficult writing about something so personal and putting it out into the world?

Lauren: It wasn’t, I think expressing through art is what comes most naturally to me and it’s where I feel safe. I didn’t really think about going for a particular thing it was just how I was feeling so I wrote it.

How did Vic Mensa become the perfect fit to feature on the track and how did you manage to team up with him and the amazing producer Oak Felder?

Lauren: Oak and I are friends and worked on some other songs together as well, he also produced Don’t Wanna Say and he’s just a brilliant composer and musician. His ear is crazy, his knack for harmonies, he helped me do Colors as well on the backgrounds. He’s just really talented so it was a no brainer to team up. Vic Mensa is also a friend and when I was figuring out who I wanted to be on the song he came to mind and I sent it to him and he executed a beautifully honest & powerful verse. Grateful to have talented, creative angels around me.

I love the live performance video it’s very artistic, how did the idea for the video come about?

Lauren: Well Moment House approached us with the opportunity to do a partnership with them and I just figured a virtual experience of a live concert could be a cool thing to create for the platform. So I worked with Matthew Daniel Siskin as creative director and director of the film and we used docu-style footage and edited it top to bottom together. He assembled a beautiful team for production, cinematography, director of photography. Killed it. Also the beautiful costumes and set design were essential and my friend Ashton Michael designed and created the custom looks with Jasmine Benjamin who styled the shoot. And then of course the choreography by Coral Dolphin and the dancers who just brought everything to life with me. It was a real life passion project from everyone involved and I’m so grateful for the talented wonderful artists I got to collaborate with to bring it to life.

‘Falling’ is another song I love which you worked on with the legendary producer Timbaland, it’s about you tackling depression head on, what inspired you to write this song and how did your collaboration with Timbaland come about?

Lauren: I mean, it’s a bit more subtle then head on I would say that’s part of its thing is that the beat makes it feel like you’re moving forward but the lyrics are about feeling stuck. Our collaboration came about while I was at Columbia, my A&R at the time Jenna Andrews set the session up and between him and Angel & Fede who are members of Tim’s Beatsclub we just created something honest and beautiful I think. I love Tim and his legendary self. I’m grateful that he was a part of this project and I hope we make many more songs together.

In your music you’re all about truth and authenticity, who are some artists that have influenced you and what do you love most about their craft?

Lauren: I think Alicia Keys, Adele, Amy, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Hayley Williams of Paramore, John Mayor… I also love Jhene Aiko, Summer Walker, SZA, Kehlani… really inspired by a lot of my peers actually. I love songwriters and I love people who tell stories through their music; whether it’s their story or the universal truths that we all face.

You’ve been writing songs for a few years now and were a vital part of writing all the songs on PRELUDE, how do you think your songwriting has evolved over the years?

Lauren: I feel like it’s evolved as I’ve grown. The more I experience life, the more things I go through, the more people I meet, the more I meet myself… the writing evolves

All these songs must hold a special place in your heart, but are there any which mean the most to you and, if so, why?

Lauren: Nope I love them all honestly

These songs you wrote back in 2018 and 2019 I believe? So, I assume since then you would have a heap more completed? So, can we expect another EP or record sometime soon and if so, anything you can tell us about it?

Lauren: Yeah there are definitely more completed and PRELUDE was just the part 1 of it. You’ll be getting a more complete work next year.

If you don’t mind – being a huge fan of yours – I would love to ask you some questions about some of your fave things!

So when you’re not recording music, what do you like to do to unwind?

Lauren: I love to read and write. Those are my favorite things to do. I also love being outside in nature, so hiking, walking, parks, beaches – anything water related. I love it.

Do you have a favourite TV series or a series you’re really into at the moment?

Lauren: Current favorite TV series has to either be insecure or Euphoria. I also am loving this show called Invasion. And Solar Opposites lol I love cartoons.

What’s your favourite movie of all time that you could watch over and over and over and never get sick of?

Lauren: Across the Universe or Blue is the Warmest Color.

What’s your favourite food and what do you love so much about it?

Lauren: I love Asian cuisine of all kinds, one of my favorites though is definitely Thai cuisine. It’s just delicious.

Out of all the places you’ve visited over the years, what’s your most memorable?

Lauren: I hate doing favorites because I genuinely have so many beautiful memories of so many different places. Amsterdam and Hawaii though are two of my top 5. I also love Chile and Montreal..and Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

What’s been the most memorable part of your career so far and why is it important to you?

Lauren: I think every moment has been memorable because whether exalted or not they’ve all had a part in shaping the journey which is what it’s all about at the end of the day.

Lauren I could talk to you for days lol But as a huge fan of yours since your early days I just want to say I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and it’s an absolute honor to have you here, so from the bottom of my heart I thank you. I live in the little city of Perth, in Western Australia so please bring a tour down under we’d love to have you here and I’d love to show you around our beautiful city. But before you go is there anything you’d love to say or any self-love tips or advice you’d like to share to all our OLC followers and your fans out there?

Lauren: You’re so sweet! Thank you for your support I appreciate that a lot. And as far as self love I’d say, affirmations daily where you remind yourself of your power and discipline is what I’m finding is a big one for me. Choosing yourself and what’s best for you even when it’s hard or undesirable. Also let yourself fail, it builds you.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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Written by Neill Frazer

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