I expected good things from Lauren Alaina at SummerTyne Americana Festival but she lived up to my expectations and flew beyond them with her eclectic and energetic set. I've seen artists do some good covers and even some good mashups but Lauren Alaina took it to a new level not to mention the iconic original material that sandwiched it, Ladies in the 90's, Road Less Travelled and singing solo the duet Lauren and Kane brown took to number 1 a couple of years ago! I was more than impressed with Lauren and was delighted to catch up with her backstage at the Sage, this was a real fun interview!
I wondered if you could start at the beginning and tell me about the first moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I get asked that question a lot but I don’t remember making the choice, music was always my thing, Mum said I started singing when I was about two or three, I was singing from a very young age. I remember being six and telling people I was going to be on American Idol someday. I just always knew I’d do music!
When you was growing up, what did your parents make you listen to like on car journey’s and what are you choosing to listen to now?
Well my Dad raised me on a lot of rock and roll, his favourite bands were Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, Poison, Cinderella, Life House, all these truly awesome legendary rock bands and we do a few covers of some rock songs in our set. My Mum was more into Pop and Country music so I grew up listening to Britney and Christina Aguilera, Whitney, The Dixie Chicks, Reba and Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and Shania Twain! So I was introduced to all types of music, I was really lucky. When I was 11 I sang in a 60s show where we sang all kinds of music from the 60s so I have an appreciation for all kinds of music. When you listen to my music I don’t sound like a traditional country artist because there are rock elements and RnB elements so it’s pretty evident I listen to all kinds of genres but now I do listen to Pop radio and Country radio and throwback rock.
If you could pick one artist to duet with who would it be?
I’m a big Shawn Mendes fan, he’s current but do you mean of all time?
Yes of all time!
Sorry Shawn I might have to take that back haha, dead or alive?
Yes dead or alive which makes it harder to pick one I guess haha!
This will be a surprising answer then but probably Elvis because my grandmother was the biggest Elvis fan of all time and my childhood, when I think of my grandmother, I see her driving down the driveway blaring Elvis with her really big sunglasses and her really big hair so there wouldn’t be anything I could do that would make her more proud than duetting with Elvis! Haha.
So when it comes to your own songwriting where do you draw inspiration from lyrically, is it mainly personal experience?
Mostly personal experience or someone who’s close to me. No one in my life is safe, if you’re in my life I’m going to write about you, now that I’ve met you, be careful cos I might write about you! I walk around all day and I see things and I jot it down in the notes section on my phone but mostly it’s about my friends and family and the things that happen in their lives.
What’s your favourite song that you’ve ever released?
Three. It’s about my dreams and my career and my family and fans, it’s about the sacrifices I’ve made to be here right now. I don’t see my family very much and I’m constantly travelling and trying to get adjusted to the new time zones and flying across the country and flying to a new Country! That moment on the stage makes it all worth it though and I would do it over and over again and that’s what Three is about.
Who are your favourite people to write with?
I have a lot of favourites, Jesse Frasure who I wrote Road Less Travelled with, and a few songs that are going to be on the new album I wrote with him! Emily Weisband is someone I really like to work with, she wrote like 6 of the songs on my last record, she’s young and really creative and has a fresh approach, when we’re together we finish each others sentences. I write with Emily Shackleton and Nicole Galyon a lot, David Garcia. I’ve been really fortunate, I have a good group of people that I know I can jump in with!
So a few silly questions, what’s the strangest thing you’ve written a song about?
Gucci’s… this is very funny, I never splurge, I don’t like to spend money, where we’re from it’s called a tight wad, what do you call someone who doesn’t like to spend money?
Frugle or stingy maybe?
Haha, I’ll spend money on instruments or show clothes but for my personal, everyday life I buy my clothes from H&M and Forever 21. But I went through a bad breakup and I bought myself a pair of very expensive shoes, Gucci’s and I’m very embarrassed to say how much they were because I was sad and was walking through the mall and I’d seen these shoes a hundred times but something really good had just happened like I won an ACM or something so I was like I’m buying the shoes and then I wrote a song about it!
Haha that’s great! When you’re on stage are you completely focused or do you let your mind wander?
My mind wanders the whole time I think! I don’t have to think about the performance because we do it so much but I’m looking at the fans and taking them in, I’m looking at the venue and thinking of all kinds of things. I am focused on what’s happening because I don’t want to miss any cues or anything but we do it so much that we can just get into the zone and think, oh I like that girls shirt or look at that guy what’s he doing.
I have a little mascot, Ellie the Elephant who goes everywhere with me, and I was wondering if you have a mascot that you take on tour with you?
Hmm, well I always bring Onesie’s, they’re like for babies but they make them for adults, I like those, I like the sense of comfort. Plus everyone around me likes it cold and I like it warm so the onesie is a nice way to compromise as they all like it colder than me.
And finally, what’s next for you?
We’re going on our first US headline tour which we’re excited about and then we’re in the studio recording album three and we have some really cool gig announcements coming soon but we’ll be putting out new music at some point this year.