Imagine a girl from small town Tennessee, with a burning need to write and sing songs, who leaves the comfort and security of her family to try and make it in Los Angeles. Things go awry, a combination of bad luck, a relationship gone wrong and no money. She’s just about to go home when she’s offered refuge by Lisa Marie Presley (more on whom later).
She sticks around in LA, playing in bands, earning a crust, before heading to New York. There she’s signed up to play a leading part in one of the most acclaimed musical theatre pieces in recent years. Suddenly things are moving in the right direction. She signs a deal with major label. Only problem is, they see her as a pop artist. The relationship ends almost before it’s begun. Restless as ever her journey takes her to London where she meets and immediately hits it off with Eg White. With a notebook full of self-penned lyrics, she sets about making the stunning debut album that is Wasted In Jackson.
Lauren needed to get the hell out of Dodge. Well, out of Jackson, Tennessee. She’d grown up there, surrounded by a loving family and a busy recreational life revolving around playing piano, community theatre and amateur musicals. But this was small-town, Deep South USA. ‘I played rock music and I felt a little bit weirder than everybody else – even though when I look back I really wasn’t.’
Tanya: Putting aside your favorite musicians, what are the influences behind your folk like sound?
Lauren: I never listened to a lot of country music growing up. I was always more of an r&b/rock girl, but it was always playing everywhere in Tennessee. I credit my “folky” sound to always being surrounded by country & bluegrass music. There was a plectral society in my hometown, Jackson, that played at a place where I’d have breakfast with my grandparents, being around music like that is what made me look into folk artists like Joan Baez.
Tanya: What LP are you playing at the moment on your stereo?
Lauren: Constantly spinning are Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero’s “Up From Below”, I bough a greatest hits of Motown and it’s been blasting as well, Professor Green’s EP
Tanya: What’s the hardest part of being a musician these days?
Lauren: There are so many media sites that we use these days, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace & all of our free time goes into blogging and such, so we’re either making music or tweet-ing…it’s a weird imbalance.
Tanya: Mumford and Sons are pretty new to the circuit and a band that are set for major success this year, What was it like strumming chords with Marcus Mumford? (Mumford & Sons)
Lauren: It was a great 3 days in the studio working with Marcus, he’s a great guy and I’m so thrilled with how the song turned out. I also have been a fan of their stuff from the beginning and am so happy they’re getting the success they fully deserve.
Tanya: Your debut EP is set to be released within a matter of day (Apr 26th)’The Jackson sessions’ how would you describe the sound, Essence and story behind the tracks?
Lauren: The EP is out on 3rd May which is still only a few days away (can hardly believe it)!!! The sound of the EP is a lot like the record will be, old school influenced, soulful tunes, honestly written about my life and the things I’ve been going through.
Tanya: You were fortunate enough to write a song with the very talented singer/songwriter ‘Ed Harcourt’ how did you find it?
Lauren: Ed is one of the best, most creative people to work with and it’s also a blast while it’s happening! It was a privilege and an honour.
Tanya: What are your plans (musically) for 2010 and the near future?
Lauren: I just want to be able to make music & write for the rest of my life, so I hope things will go well so I can keep on focusing on only that I’m excited to be releasing a record this year, I haven’t really thought beyond that because it’s taking all my focus.
Tanya: Which artist or band would you rate this year?
Lauren: I love Bombay Bicycle Club and I was SO glad they won the NME awards. A new band Kassidy is wicked as well! I also really like Ellie Goulding.