Ottawa native Jennifer Lauren stepped away from a photoshoot to chat with us about new music, her love for summer, overcoming obstacles, and staying true to yourself.
- Name: Jennifer Lauren
- Hometown: Ottowa, CA
- Dream Collaboration: Khalid
- Now Playing: The Greatest Showman soundtrack + anything by Khalid.
Canadian born and raised, Jennifer Lauren is ready to show the pop music scene what she’s made of, while staying true to her voice. With a plan to release a new song every month, Lauren is determined to rise.
Lauren’s latest release, “The Way We Like It,” is a self-proclaimed ode to summer. Created with producers House of Wolf, Lauren says that there is nothing she wanted more then to create an anthem for her favorite season. “I totally get seasonal depression,” Lauren says, “I remember going to California and telling them about seasonal depression like, and they didn’t believe me!” She adds that every single lyric in that song is how she feels about summer, and particularly her love for summer in Los Angeles. “It’s one of those songs you’re just driving with your windows down, and you’re really just vibing, and there’s no greater feeling.”
The first place she wants to conquer with her music? Australia and New Zealand, where Lauren is planning to re-release her most recent single this winter. “The Way We Like It is my summer anthem,” Lauren says, “So I’m planning to release the song down there during their summer.” She also notes that their music market is a fraction of the size of ours in the U.S, as the minimum plays for a song to chart is much smaller.
Lauren was one of the select few out of thousands of applicants to participate in ISINA – a 6 week music mentorship program in Los Angeles. “I got a text message like, a year and a half after I applied that basically said I was accepted and that my flight was in a week,” she laughs, “It was completely surreal.” Lauren said she just threw caution to the wind and wound up living in beverly hills with 15 other people, and found herself in the studio working with legendary producers, and even ended up chilling out with Randy Jackson and other iconic mentors. “It was the most amazing experience…” she says. Her key takeaway from the program? To just be exactly who you are as an artist, and to put yourself out there without a mask or a fake front. “I discovered a lot of insecurities, but I also found amazing strengths.”
Lauren discusses how her environment has influenced her as an artist. “I live in a small suburb where people come to settle down and have their kid and work a 9 to 5, which is great, it’s just not my vibe,” she says, adding that Ottawa it a hard place to make it in music. “As soon as I step off the plane in LA, everyone is so creative there,” she says, reminiscing on her California days. “The surroundings are so beautiful. I love the ocean, I’ve never been in it but that’s fine,” she laughs, having definitely found inspiration from her surrounding. “I love New York too, I remember going to a broadway show and just discovering a whole new world.”
Other inspirations for Lauren? “Celine Dion was my love,” she exclaims, adding that she was the first person that really got her into music, and ultimately influenced her childhood popstar dream. These days, Lauren finds her inspiration in strong female artists. “Christina Aguilera with her huge beautiful voice… Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez,” she says, listing women that inspire her, who are all just about her age. “They are all about self love, being healthy, being good. Doing it with love, being kind to other people, putting out a positive energy,” she says, stating that they are definitely her biggest role models.
We asked Lauren about her role models, but Lauren herself has acted as a role model towards her music students – particularly with her song “Enemy,” which was created through a project she titled: The Mirror Project. “My goal was to create a song that talked about self-love and about the way we feel about ourselves when we look in the mirror… I know how I feel when I look in the mirror, but I didn’t want to assume how other people felt.”
She says that she wanted to ask people but people how they truly felt when they look in the mirror, but noted that people often put up a wall when talking about something so personal. As a vocal coach at a music school, she asked her students and their friends to write their answers down. “I ended up with a box of 60 hand written notes about how people felt when they looked in the mirror. Most of them ended up being really positive which I thought was really cool… they were recognizing their flaws but loving themselves as they are. Although, some were really heartbreaking and intense.”
“It kind of became her purpose,” she says, “I told myself I have to do this and deliver this in a way that will make sense for them.” The goal was not just to say “you’ll be fine,” but to say that they need to give themselves a break and a chance, and to emphasize that it’s okay not to be okay… as long as you have faith that it will be okay someday.
Lauren is ready to make waves in pop music, and big ones at that. While she plans to escape the Canadian winter and head down to LA, she is ready to release her new songs. She adds that her goals are to go worldwide, tour all over and make crazy music videos. “I want to make more music and put everything out there,” she says, adding that a collaboration with Khalid would be pretty epic too.