Wednesday Q&A: Lauren Lanzaretta
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Like I said back in February, when I featured Lauren for the first time, she played hard to get and she played it well. First I had to wait for her first single to drop and now she’s been keeping the pressure on for her debut album ‘Naked Soul‘.

But dayum! It has been well worth the wait, again! And with dropping her awesome album, not only did she lives up to the buzz she created for herself but was I finally able to get to know a lil’ more about the sister with the soulful set of pipes:

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

Lauren Lanzaretta: No, but you can have $20 : )

TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?

Lauren: Sh*t…

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

Lauren: A good-hearted person who is passionate about living life authentically and touching people’s lives through love & music…

TDG: What are your (musical) roots?

Lauren: My musical roots are pretty raw, as in, I didn’t have too many influences because my parent’s only let me listen to Christian music – I sat down at the piano one day and out came a soulful voice – I gravitated toward gospel but never went to a “gospel” church, so not really sure where the soul came from! Hahaha…

TDG: How long have you been working on ’Naked Soul‘?

Lauren:Naked Soul‘ has been a process of writing, finding my sound and recording. It all happened over a 3 year period. I re-did a few songs in the beginning of the process because they didn’t have the soul I wanted – I finally found the musicians and feel I need for the album, then it was easier to record the rest…

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

Lauren: Soul/pop…

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

Lauren: In my early 20’s I was writing a lot of sad, folky music – my influences were Sheryl Crow and Jewel, etc. But I wasn’t connecting to that kind of music.

When I began to hear blue eyed soul singers like Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone, I knew that my voice was more like theirs and a light-bulb went off, I needed to be singing soul music!

So I began to write differently. I did a lot of research on Aretha Franklin and Al Green and music from that era, and the songs just began to flow out of me – they were happier sounding. It felt so natural and connected with my soul…

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on your album?

Lauren: Collaborating with other singers and musicians. Throughout this process I’ve met the most talented people who have made my sound SO MUCH better. As an artist, we tend to be very picky and controlling over our music, but when you allow the artistic process to flow and allow other people in, they contribute to bringing you UP! You can’t do everything yourself and you have to allow the talent of others to contribute to your success, you cannot do it any other way…

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

Lauren: My ever changing and complex relationship with God inspires so much of my music, my complexities as a person, my sadness, my heartbreak, and the ability to learn to love myself.

Musically, Aretha Franklin and Etta James. I’ve watched documentaries on their writing and recording process and i was surprised to find it is so similar to mine. They’d go into the studio with musicians with a song, and just CREATE…

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

Lauren: Not really fans, but the people who encourage me to keep going. They know who they are, and I have so many people in my life that give me positivity and encouragement. As an artist, you have love/hate relationship with your music. You feel like giving up, you ask yourself what’s the point. But people get inspired when you overcome, and they believe that they can do it to. It’s a snowball affect, and I just love having that relationship with people…

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

Lauren: Social media has helped me stay connected and share my music with a lot of people, but now that my album is coming out, the live shows is what will create the real connection between me and my supporters…

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?

Lauren: I’ve done a lot of research on how to use social media and if you use it the right way to brand yourself, it can really benefit you in helping people remember who you are and to promote yourself…

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Lauren: Probably that I’m not approachable. Ya know, most like everyone else, I am insecure too and really appreciate every encouraging comment and positive word. People don’t realize how big of an affect they have on me as a person…

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify playlist?

Lauren: Justin Timberlake and Lana Del Rey right now…

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

Lauren: “Be true to your own music” – Don’t care what everyone else is doing! Be a leader in your sound, don’t follow the trends of music. Be true to your sound, and people will follow…

TDG: We’re halfway through 2014, you’ve just dropped ’Naked Soul’, but what else do you have in store for us this year?

Lauren: I’ll be working on more Cleveland Soul Sessions videos, live shows, documentaries, and writing my next album…

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

Lauren: Buy my album and help support me, haha!

Check in with Lauren Lanzaretta on:
Twitter: @Lanzaretta
Facebook: /Lanzaretta
Website: laurenlanzaretta.com
iTunes: Lauren Lanzaretta’s album ‘Naked Soul’

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