Thanks to a wide and seemingly-non-stop array of online dating apps such as Tinder, plenty of fish and even Instagram, dating is no longer a human interaction, be a left-right swipe hookup culture in choosing a partner. While there are many highs in online dating, you have many perils in the form of catfishing and ghosting.
Make no mistake, dating is a challenge and an ever-growing battlefield to have to deal with and maneuver. One such person who has decided to address the difficulties of online dating is Los Angeles-based recording artist and singer, Lauren Carter.
Carter, who just released her new single, ‘Chase the High’ on March 20th, marks a departure from her previous soundscapes, moving towards a collaborative, beat-driven effort in this single. ‘Chase the High’—that evokes a Lana Del Ray-type of sound with more of a up-beat pop sound—that chronicles the culture of online dating obsessed with ‘swipe’ and ‘insta’ culture that can be as addicting as it is isolating in the virtual worlds we’ve created. The song will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, as well as other platforms worldwide.
In 2017, Lauren released her debut EP, ‘American Dream.’ The title track was co-written and produced by Andrew Williams, multi-platinum producer and song writer known for his work with T-Bone Burnette and Jessica Simpson. The song “Rule Breaker” was written and produced by longtime Ludacris collaborator, Josh ‘Igloo’ Monroy. A Thomas Godel remix of the track peaked at #6 in the Swiss dance charts along with receiving commercial radio play in German and Switzerland.
Alongside her musical proclivities, Lauren has been featured extensively as a model. Thanks to her a dark, sultry and classy look that evokes glamour with a bit of modern edge, she has appeared in magazines the likes of GQ, Esquire, Maxim, Runway Magazine, and Le Fair Magazine. Lauren’s additional credits include a licensing deal for her composition ‘Around the Globe’ for a Volkswagen radio spot in 2016. She has a classically trained voice with a Master’s degree in opera from Southhampton university in the UK and earned a Bachelors degree in Opera from Northwestern University.
Below is a quick Q and A with Lauren, as we talk about music, Insta-culture and living and recording in L.A.
Hey Lauren, thanks for taking the time to chat. You’ve been hard at work on your new single ‘Chase the High.’ Can you tell us what the song is about? The song is about the pitfalls of chasing instant gratification. I speak towards swiping on a dating app, searching for an elusive match. In my experience, a lot of the men on dating apps are lured into a state of perma-swiping. Always looking for something better. It goes hand in hand with the culture of instagram. It’s a dopamine hit, a temporary high. Not as fulfilling as the real thing, just like any addictive behavior.
What was the creative process behind this new single? I was hung up on an idea of using a song with drums and bass in this particular style, with this groove before I came up with the material for the lyrics for the song. I was thinking about creating a song in this vein before I decided what it would be about. I was dating a bassist, Jason Speerbecker, briefly.
While I was dating him, I asked if he was interested in developing the concept with me. We sat down and patched it out, and I think at that point, I had been thinking about the frustration of dating apps, Instagram culture. I took the demo to Jason and I made one for my go-to producers, Josh Monroy of Studio 1 Zero. I called up lyricist Debra Gussin and she helped us write the final version of the lyrics.
What would you say has been the difference between crafting ‘Chase the high’ and your previous EP effort ‘American Dream’? Oh, great question!! Number one is the song style. ‘Chase the High’ is much more beat-driven, electronic song. I normally don’t start a song from the beat up. I start out with lyrics and a chord progression on the piano. Right away for me this was a difference in approach.
Where I was at in my life and the topic of the song are also totally worlds apart. ‘American Dream’ (the song) was written as a love letter with a lot of nostalgia written in. ‘Chase the High’ is a lot more forwardly sexual. ‘American Dream’ (within the subtext) it is a love letter to an unsustainable relationship and/or a love letter/goodbye to rock n roll and an unsustainable dream or lifestyle.
I was also in a relationship when I put out ‘American Dream.’ I was trying to make that relationship work and looking forward to a new phase of my life. ‘Chase the High’ is about the frustration at a situation, at aspects of current culture, and at other people. You can hear the desire to break into something more concrete or meaningful. If there is a similarity between the songs, it’s that there is a warning in both of them.
Like….beware this behavior, beware this situation. I guess I think about this type of thing a lot. Be careful what you wish for, who you are associating with and what you are looking for because you bring a lot of what you project into your own life.
All of my songs are going to be a little sad or ironic. That’s just how I write. It doesn’t matter if they are sexy, yearning, or nostalgic — the topic and the tone is never going to be straight forward.
In the time between these two releases, what do you think you’ve learned about the songwriting process? I’ve learned there is great value in collaboration, though you need to write with people who truly understand your ideas. I like to come up with the poetic kernel of the song and the basic music concept on my own. That’s me alone, brainstorming, tinkering at the piano. Whenever I hear something really cool that stirs off an idea, with my notebook or with a bottle of wine mulling over ideas.
I love collaborating to bring new subtleties to that initial idea of mine, to flesh out what I can’t see or can’t finish, and let them riff off of each other. I also appreciate working with people who are experts in instruments I am not, especially if I’m writing with it in mind!
Between the two releases, I have learned to trust my songwriting abilities and bring an idea to the table. All of my best songs are based on something I started writing at home, and finished with a team. I have learned to trust my ability as a trained musician to know what makes a good song, to have a great ear, to bring good ideas as a poetic writer, to draw from my life and make a song people will respond to, yet also the value of working with awesome and accomplished musicians, writers, and producers to make a song the best it can be. It’s a great pleasure.
Of all the people you’ve worked with on a song, is there anyone you’re most proud of or surprised you got to work with? The most surprising collaboration was with Andrew Williams on the song ‘American Dream.’ Andrew had a knack for completing my musical and poetic sentences on this track.
Are there any future collaborations in the works? I’m working on another track with Studio 1 Zero that will go to recording soon.
If you had your pick, who would be your musical dream team to work with and produce your next album? I think Tame Impala is quite a genius. I love Post Malone’s heart on his sleeve style, mix of genres, and amazing vocals. I would love to write a song with Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen’s son) because I think he has a knack for the same kind of poetry that inspires me. Thom Yorke for me is today’s Beethoven – I will forever be inspired by him. Jon Brion (who produced Mac Miller’s posthumous album) is a musical genius as well. I’ve been a bit entranced with his work since I heard the album.
How has your classical musical background influenced you throughout your path as a recording artist? It’s given me discipline, vocal range, and massively influenced the way I write music. I had to study music theory during my degree path which also gave me the ability to view my work and performances as an outside critic. The flipside is I’ve had producers want me to explore classical sounds in my recordings, which doesn’t make sense because of my background.
The vocal production of classical versus modern styles is just completely different. I wouldn’t want mix the two. Not to get into the technical, but you don’t want a massively raised soft palette for a pop song. Doing one doesn’t mean you can’t do the other. It’s just two different techniques of using your voice. I know how to do that technique for classical and I know how to use other techniques for non-classical.
I’m grateful for the range and control classical training offered though. More and more, I keep reading about big pop stars like Billie Eilish who did as much if not more choir than I did. Choir is EVERYTHING for singers. I encourage all singers to try to stick with choir if they can! Believe me, it helps.
For those in the Los Angeles area, where can fans see you perform? I usually perform at Hotel Cafe, Bar Lubitsch, Bar 20, and will be coordinating my next show soon. For an official single release show, I’m looking to do something more exclusive.
Where can people go and check out your music? I’am distributed on all the normal platforms. Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Deezer, and a bunch of other digital distribution sites. Everywhere music is streamed and sold is probably the best answer! Catch more on www.laurencarteronline.com!
Special thanks to Ms. Lauren Carter and Shandrew PR for their assistance with this interview.