#certifiedFRESH: The Lauriana Mae Interview

Written by DJ Aaron Omar

Lauriana Mae should be the template for the 2015 pop star.  She's grounded & family oriented; she's humble enough to speak to fans as though she's known them for years; and, oh yeah, she can REALLY sing.  Since the boom of social media, being famous has seemingly trumped being talented in certain circles.  But fame is temporary.  What really matters & what really lasts is the work that you put your name on.  Lauriana's music is her life's work thus far and because of it, she's going to be around for a long, long time.
I had a chance to interview Ms. Mae about her latest project, the excellent City Of Diamonds, her come up in the music industry, and some of her future plans.  Check it out:

Good day L​auriana.​  I’d like to start this off by stating the obvious: I’m 100% a fan of your work. I first came across your music by listening to P​eter Rosenberg’​s show L​ate Night​ on Hot 97 ​and he played “​Protect Your Neck .” ​What struck me besides the Hip Hop influence was the Jazz side and how you blended the 2 genres. 2 part question: (​1)​ What music do you remember having the biggest impact on you growing up and (​2)​ what kind of music training did you have?

Hey! Thank you so much for doing this and for supporting me and the pains. I’m so grateful to Peter Rosenberg for getting it early on and for helping people like you find me and now you’re doing that for others. It means a lot. Growing up each type of music meant a different thing to me. Billy Joel was my parents. Classic jazz was a ride in my pop pop's truck. Hip hop and R&B was mine and my friends. It'd be hard to select one thing that means more than the others. I have had some classical vocal training when I was in school and worked with several coaches after to stay conditioned. The training really did enhance my strength and ability and appreciation of music in a major way.

You’ve been able to create a sound that is unique and helps you to stand out. Is everything from the production to the recording generally an in­house thing?

Thank you. The title track off of City of Diamonds and "This Pain" were produced by Secret Society who are part of the home team. These guys have been so ahead of shit. I've seen it happen. And I can relate to that. So I'm happy and proud that they really came through for me and shined on this. Lots of the records we do feature musicians from our team The Pains as well. Jack Splash produced the other 3 records on the EP and more on the album. Lightning just kept striking for us. We understand each other and bring out the best in each other musically I think. I had to do a lot of sessions with a lot of ppl to find out who I could create this with. It's hard to just work from a full email of beats. I like to vibe from the music and the producer. Everyone who got the vision right away became extremely protective…so much that they would even put extra time to invest in making something special and timeless. And even though Kwame didn’t do one on the EP when we talk about my sound I will always have to thank him for making me possible…and Kwame is home team always.

Compared to your earlier releases, I noticed that your songs on C​ity Of Diamonds​ have slower tempos and the subject matter, at times, is a bit darker. Was this a conscious decision or just a natural progression?

I want to put some of the right sentiments back into the world. So although it's a darker vibe if you listen to the lyrics, there is light in there. For somebody to be talking about something other than lying, cheating, and shitting on everybody. Before, I think I struggled with that a bit. I don’t think I had sorted through my own pain or accepted it enough to paint a deeper picture in my songs. Once I tapped in…I was able to gain the strength. I’ve got all different types of records, all different tempos but these were the right ones for this project which is a prelude to the album.
A photo posted by Lauriana Mae (@laurianamae) on
How has the response been for C​ity Of Diamonds s​ince its release? 

The response has been great! I’m gaining the love and support. The music is reaching places I’ve never even been. All the feedback has been special.

As I mentioned earlier, Peter Rosenberg has really championed your movement and helped to introduce you to new fans. Was he one of the first outside of your circle to lend support? 

People are coming aboard everyday!! I still consider day 1's in their own right because they are helping me reach the next levels. So you can only imagine the respect and appreciation for a guy like Rosenberg who never had to do anything for me at all. He was already Peter Rosenberg!

You performed for Rutgers University earlier this month. Can we expect more shows in the near future?

Yes much love to Rutgers! Expect bigger & better shows in the near future.  

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about new music.  Do you have any collaborations or projects that you’re working on right now that you can speak on? 

We have a lot of music coming for y'all. Everyone’s been online sharing the EP, so I can talk about some videos & features sooner than later. Just stay up on The Pains.

Lauriana, I’d like to thank you again for your time and for agreeing to do this interview.  As always, my team Pardon My Fresh and I will continue to support and I’ll definitely keep your music in rotation.

Thank you. I appreciate you!

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