Starting as a YouTube inspirational speaker, Lauren then begun putting all her efforts into song writing. Now influenced by the likes of Mac Miller, Tyler, the Creator and J. Cole, Lauren Sanderson has gone from strength to strength. Describing herself as the “weird kid”, 22-year old Lauren Sanderson, emerged on to the scene with her edgy RnB sound. Independently organising her first tour in order to connect with fans independently, Lauren’s DIY ethic and passion is undeniable. Her EP Spaces became an online sensation, hitting #1 on the iTunes RnB chart, making her an exciting one to watch!
Lauren’s latest release, DONT PANIC! is an emotive EP that showcases soulful yet electric tunes. Her eclectic music is fierce, bold and colourful and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this rising star!
Tell us a bit about you and your journey to where you are now
It’s been pretty crazy. I started making YouTube covers in high school right when YouTube videos became a thing and as time went on they eventually turned into vlogs or talking videos. People started to follow my journey and comment “come to Iowa” or “come to Nebraska”, so I started taking the Greyhound bus to these different states to talk to these kids. It was so inspiring.
When it came to graduating from high school, I had about 25,000 followers and I was like “you know, I could really do something with this.” I felt that in my gut that I was made for more and that’s when I looked up “how to do a Ted Talk”. I got accepted and in 2015, I did a TedxTalk to parents about the impact it could have for them to simply accept and love their kids for who they are. After that speech, I started speaking at schools and soon after turned my speeches into songs. In 2015, I put a song called ‘Oceans’ on the internet and the views started going up.
A few tours and EPs later, and I am now signed to Epic Records with a pretty amazing group of supporters who are literally the best in the world. It’s been a pretty crazy journey so far and we are JUST STARTING!
Has music always your calling?
I actually had no idea I wanted to make music until I got an aux cable for my car and started rapping and singing to beats on YouTube. Then I booked studio time and it’s been my s**t ever since.
How did it feel when your second EP Space was #1 in the iTunes RnB chart?
It literally felt insane hitting #1 on iTunes, I started jumping up and down on my bed like “IS THIS REAL LIFEEEEEEE?” I refreshed it 18 times because it felt so surreal. I can’t wait for that feeling again.
You have a DIY ethic and even independently organised your own tour, which is a serious feat. How did you go about doing that?
I feel like DIY is really just a personality of person. If you have that entrepreneurial heart, you do what you’ve got to do to get yourself to the next level. It has undoubtedly helped me get to where I am and still helps me every single day to get further and further into my craft.
Tell us about the creative process behind your EP DONT PANIC!
The creative process behind DONT PANIC! was insanely different than anything I’ve ever done. In the past, I have always just had beats already done and I’d just rap or sing on top of them.
DONT PANIC! was the first project where I was actually involved from scratch and got to make the beats with the producers and write it to the fullest potential. When I first started working on the EP, it was going to be pretty serious and dark. It is about the process of moving from Indiana to LA and how different it is here from the Midwest. But, as I kept creating, I was like “wait… what is it like to just have fun with this s**t? I’m just going to go in to the studio and create music that make me jump up and down. Exciting s**t.” Ever since, that has just been my vibe. I’m super proud of this project and I am so glad my supporters love it as well.
You don’t have a distinct music genre, rather a hybrid of alternative-RnB/hip-hop. Why do you enjoy mixing these different genres?
I don’t mean to mix genres, it just happens. I was never musically trained or obsessed with one certain genre. I kind of just go in and make s**t from the heart. Genres are slowly dying so I’m glad I just focus on the feeling and don’t worry about what category it falls into.
You have recently moved to LA, how has that been for you?
Moving to LA was the biggest change I have ever faced in my entire life. At first, I was so confused about how to manoeuvre here and where I could fit in. Being a Midwest kid, it’s always been about honesty and a real genuine connection for me. Moving to LA, it was like “ok yeah we like who you are… but what do you drive? and what brand is that hoodie? and what part of Hollywood do you live in?” I felt a lot of pressure to be materialistically appealing if that makes sense. But as time went on, I really realised what is going to make me stand out the MOST is that I AM myself and that’s all I care about. I have good friends and a good foundation now and I’m just happy I’ve adapted and am back to my DIY shit.
At only 22, you’re still young but have managed to accomplish so much. If you could give your 15-year-old self one piece of advice what would it be?
If I could give my 15-year-old self advice I would say: “Listen. There will be ALOT of people who tell you which direction to go, what you shouldn’t do, or what will come off wrong, etc. You have to listen to YOU. You have to listen to YOUR gut, YOUR morals, YOUR heart. YOU know what’s best for YOU. You will achieve every single thing you want to. Don’t forget to have fun while you do it.”