Lauren Dejey is an alt-pop artist from South London. Her journey starts from her musical roots sprouting at age 10 to her recent releases like ‘I’m Not Ready‘ and ‘Solar‘ released today. Her journey, which led Dejey to learn production and release her debut EP ‘Kali Ma‘ in 2021, reflects a spirit of fearless exploration and authenticity. In this feature, we explore her distinctive approach to crafting narratives within her lyrics, their passion for pushing artistic limits, and the seamless transition between studio comfort and electrifying live performances.
Can you tell us about your journey as an artist and what inspired you to pursue a career as a musician?
I started writing music for fun around the age of 10. Eventually, it became the emotional outlet I always went back to. I studied music for a few years at Uni and then released my first single in 2020, right after COVID hit. I’m so grateful to have met all the amazing people on my course. They’re the friends and collaborators I still work with! (It) wasn’t easy writing over Zoom during lockdown, so I ended up learning production and releasing a DIY EP in 2021. My first little baby! I was inspired to pursue a career in music purely from the fact that I can’t imagine doing anything else! It’s my therapy, my joy, and what makes me feel like myself, no matter where I’m at mentally.
Could you share a few of your favorite artistic influences or role models who have influenced your music and journey?
When I was little, I’d listen to people like Norah Jones, Gorillaz, and eventually Busted became my major obsession! I think parts of that have influenced my love of songwriting and telling a story with a humorous side. Also (I like) lots of guitars, bass, and electronic elements. Currently, I’m listening to Deb Never, MARO, and scott is okay.
What role does storytelling play in your art, and how do you create narratives in your lyrics?
I tend to gravitate towards writing through a stream of consciousness, especially when I’m alone; letting what flows out fall into place. I always feel connected to what I say when I listen back; it feels like my subconscious is talking! Usually, I visualise a scenario in my head and dig into how it looks or feels and go from there.
How often do you experiment and try to push your boundaries?
Every session! I’m not inspired by sticking to a particular sound or genre. I would much rather express what needs to be, and experimentation naturally comes from that. I love collaborating for this exact reason too because I can get comfortable in a melody or rhythm and another person will throw me out of that completely, in the best way.
Working in the studio and performing live are very different environments, how do you approach each one?
In the studio I’m very laid back; cosy clothes; snacks ready; non-judgmental. Performing live, I’m meticulously rehearsing and practicing over and over. I can get pretty nervous before performing so over-preparing is what helps me feel most comfortable and allows me to relax on stage.
You recently released the single ‘I’m Not Ready‘ which is a vibrant and energetic song. What was the inspiration behind it?
I was having such intense, confusing feelings about my 25th birthday approaching. I didn’t want any attention or to celebrate, I just wanted it to melt away and ignore that it was happening. There’s so much pressure to be in a certain place at a certain age. ‘I’m Not Ready’ turns the joke on myself and describes all the ways I’m not what I ‘should’ be at 25. A quarter-century crisis but in the most tame, mundane way.
Who did you collaborate with for your recent music and how was the experience of creating and recording the tracks in the studio?
spacemen (Max Smith, Jordan Timms, Dean McCaw) are my closest friends and collaborators. They’ve supported me since the very beginning and it feels like we’re really getting into our flow now. I remember it all coming together in a few hours. We did vocals in the production room too so it felt more organic – rather than running into the vocal booth; setting up; doing a bunch of takes; then coming back in. I would do a few takes in the room then we’d move on. I think this kept the natural flow of the writing process.
What do you hope listeners will experience when they hear your single?
If listeners identify with this song in any way, I hope it can help release those tense or stressful emotions. Head bang, run, dance, scream it out! Release it all. I’m right there with you.
You’re releasing your next single ‘Solar‘ on August 21st, what can we expect musically and lyrically for this release?
‘Solar’ is a softer, more dreamy song. It’s the first love song I’ve written while being ‘in love’! Another one you can sing at the top of your lungs.
What’s next for you after the release?
Lots of delicious visuals, a super fun collaboration, and prepping to play these songs live!
Make sure to check out other interviews here and stream ‘Solar‘ below.