Songwriting and Soul-Searching with Lauren Sanderson
Lauren Sanderson has never been afraid to walk the road least traveled. The 22-year-old Indiana native knew early on that the traditional path of going to college and getting a 9-5 was not an option for her. Following her high school graduation, Sanderson started motivational speaking and developed a passion for being on stage after conducting a Ted Talk in 2015. Shortly after, Sanderson—who used to make music in her bedroom closet—tapped into her penchant for singing, releasing her first EP, “Center Of Expression,” and hitting the road on her first headliner tour. In 2017, she released her second EP, “Spaces,” which independently hit Number 1 on iTunes. The day after, the album received attention from Epic Records, and Sanderson decided to move to L.A. to begin a partnership with the record label. On August 24, 2018, the singer—whose music merges Billie Eilish’s vibe and Maty Noyes’ powerhouse vocals—released her debut EP with the label, “DONT PANIC!,” which peaked at Number 1 on the charts once again. With Sanderson’s loyal fan base continuing to grow each day, this musical phenomenon’s career is just getting started.
How did you first get into music?
It all started when I was 19—I was depressed and had just gotten my first aux cord. It was super late one night, I was sitting in a Kroger parking lot where I grew up in Indiana, and I searched on YouTube, “G-Eazy type beat." I really just wanted to write a rap to express all the emotions I was feeling and the next thing I knew, I was searching “how to put a song on iTunes.” I’ve been in love with music ever since.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
My biggest inspiration of all time is probably Mac Miller, but some other musicians I love are Tyler The Creator, Lana Del Rey, and John Mayer.
How would you describe the style of your music?
I haven’t really figured out the genre of my music yet, all I know is it’s for dreamers. It’s for the kids with big ideas who just need that little ounce of “you got this.”
How has YouTube been effective in helping you grow your platform?
YouTube has been super dope for me to just express myself as a human and a creator. A lot of people think that if you make YouTube videos, you are put into the “cringey Youtuber” category, and that’s not true. YouTube is just another platform that I think all artists should utilize.
What advice do you have for others who want to grow their own YouTube channels?
Start. Stop hesitating, stop worrying about gear or cameras or lighting, and just put videos out.
What was the inspiration behind “DONT PANIC!,” your EP album?
When I first moved to LA, I was so confused about everything. Signing to a major label and entering this music industry with so many things unknown was scary. The cool cars, the brand names, the big city—all of it was pretty insane. “DONT PANIC!” pretty much perfectly summed that up.
What is the main message you are trying to get across through your music?
My music is for anyone who just wants to put in some headphones and feel like they can be truly themselves. That’s my main message. There are no ceilings to this life and more people need that reminder. We can be exactly who we are and do anything we want to do.
What has been the most exciting moment of your career thus far?
Moving to Los Angeles, 100%. As much as I love the Midwest, moving here was the best thing to ever happened to me.
How do you see your music evolving in the future?
As time goes on, I find myself wanting to be more and more involved in the process—every single part of it. The future of music for me involves a lot more real instruments (guitar, piano, strings, etc). I am also experimenting with mixing R&B and Alternative Pop.
What is your endgame? What do you ultimately want to accomplish?
As long as I’m creating and inspiring, I don’t see this ending.