Artist of the Month: Lauren Pelaia
Genre: Theatrical Pop
Bio: Lauren Pelaia is New York/New Jersey based singer, songwriter, composer and actor. As a singer/songwriter, Lauren released several tracks, including Bridesmaids: A Concept Album and Find Her, on all music platforms. She has performed her original music at venues such as Prohibition NYC, Haswell Green’s, The Bitter End and more. Branching into writing for musical theatre, Lauren orchestrated an entirely original score for the classic play, Our Town, at Villagers Theatre which has since been nominated for a Perry Award for best sound design. Most recently, Lauren wrote original music and arrangements for Steven’s Blandino’s dance narrative entitled Bridesmaids that premiered at Symphony Space.
Year In Review:
My musical year started off with the release of Find Her, an anthemic pop song produced by my dear
friend Alex Knezevic. After that, I along with a team of the most talented people created Bridesmaid’s: A Concept Album. Looking ahead, I’ll be releasing a new single Other Side of the Bed this month (more on that later!).
A little about your writing process? Where do you get inspiration from? Where do you start?
I’d say my writing process all revolves around feeling. It’s very rare that I sit down and write a song so to say. Most of the time the song writes itself and I feel a bit of imposter syndrome! Sometimes it starts with a line, sometimes it’s a word, sometimes it’s a chord progression- then it’s just a matter of telling the story. I love to pick out the fine details and expand on it. I could write ten songs about a blue shirt, but ask me to write a song about a litany of events and I’m lost!
Artists You are inspired by? Who would be the dream to work with?
The artist that inspires me most is Lady Gaga- she inspired the songwriter in me to wake up. She is the epitome of theatrical pop. I’d say A Star is Born was particularly significant in my growth as a songwriter. Each song in the show had the depth that only theater can bring with the captivating qualities that pop music provides. Then add a touch of sad girl haha. Sara Bareilles is definitely an artist that I look to as well. As far as collaborations go, I love collaborating with friends. Each time it makes something more magical than the last.
What do you want listeners to take away from your music?
Songwriting and performing is storytelling to me. If someone can listen to a song and connect with it in a way that they find a part of themselves in it, that is more than anything I could ask for.
What is your favorite release of the year so far?
Bridesmaids: A Concept Album would definitely be my favorite release of the year. Bridesmaids: A Dance Narrative, created and choreographed by the incomparable Steven Blandino, follows the intricate stories of a bride and her five bridesmaids. The show has had such a beautiful journey and, during quarantine, it offered me a space to keep creating. All of the songs on the album depict an experience from a different character but, to me, they all seem to radiate a feeling of universality- the kind that only comes from love and loss.
What's coming out next?
My next single, Other Side of the Bed, is coming out October 28th. I’m super excited about it. It still has the same performance-pop qualities, but this time it’s me and a guitar. That’s definitely rare for me, but I love it for this song. A wonderfully talented friend of mine, Meg Doyle, laid the guitar track and the rest filled itself out. I really wanted to celebrate simplicity and tenderness in this song.
What are the challenges you face in the creative process?
This may sound silly, but a big challenge of mine is trying too hard. All too often I find myself slamming piano keys trying to make the “perfect” sound. Whether that is the right lyrics or the right note, sometimes I really second guess myself and my intentions. I’ve written some of my favorite originals in under 30 minutes. It’s the ones that take me days that I hate haha!
What is something unexpected that you learned during these projects?
While the projects of the past year have given me so much, it’s the year as a whole that’s taught me more than I thought it would. It’s been hard to connect, both creatively and otherwise, and this year has showed me how much I love music and songwriting. It gives me a strong sense of purpose even when the world seems unstable. I’ve really learned how much I rely on it and how much I need it.