Lauren Philips
Lauren Phillips

Emerging Artist Lauren Phillips Prove The Laurel Canyon Music Scene Is Still Alive and Well

The word authentic can conjure up different feelings depending on what you’re referring to. In art, a truly authentic creation is something that comes from the heart and can not be contrived. Lauren Phillips’ music, and her path to creating that music, satisfies both.

The first thing you notice when you listen to Lauren Phillips’ new single, “Is This Us”, is how polished her sound is. That shouldn’t come as a surprise when you look at who she is working with behind the scenes. Produced by Grammy Nominated producer Brian West (Sia, Nelly Furtardo and Maroon 5), and recorded in his Laurel Canyon Studio, Lauren’s vocals and complimentary piano blend together with Brian’s influence to present a dynamic and beautiful creation.

Born on the south side of Chicago, Lauren began her musical career touring coffee shops while still a student at Eastern Illinois University. After graduating college, and being inspired by Jack Kerouc and the Laurel Canyon music scene, Lauren booked a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. Arriving with nothing more than a backpack, a few hundred dollars and a South Side attitude, Lauren began her new adventure.

Following in the footsteps of the singer-songwriter during the 60s, Lauren started to connect to the Los Angeles music community and quickly began making friends. “I got lucky by taking my chances and meeting kind folks along my way in LA,” recalls Phillips.

Getting introduced to Brian West and being invited to record in his Laurel Canyon studio immediately set the tone for her new music. The studio is located on LA’s iconic Lookout Mountain, and is a couple of houses down from Joni Mitchell’s house and where Carole King wrote her famous album, Tapestry. “The studio is set up in Brian’s living room so you automatically feel welcomed and at home,” says Lauren. “The place is filled with amps and old memorabilia from his amazing career, and inspiration is all around you.”

If that wasn’t enough to get Lauren excited, she also got the opportunity to perform at LA’s legendary Hotel Cafe, a coveted stage for independent artists regularly attended by industry executives, tastemakers and other musicians. Phillips remembers her initial Hotel Cafe experiences, including seeing Ry X, still Ry Cummings at the time, having tickets to see The Lumineers before they hit it worldwide, and being invited to John Mayer’s pop up show with David Ryan Harris. “truly unforgettable moments,” says Lauren, “you can walk in any night and you know you’re going to be inspired.”

After years of developing her work and her voice, Lauren is excited to announce the June release date of her first EP, ‘I Could Love You Everyday. Produced by the two times Grammy nominated Brian West and featuring songwriters and musicians such as Bonnie Baker (Zella Day, Hunter Hayes, Rachel Platten) Chin Injeti (Dr Dre, 50 Cent, Drake, Eminem and P!nk), Elliott Beenk (Executive Producer), Ben Darwish (Banks, Mike Posner, and Natasha Bedingfield), Kevin Smith (Groovemasters), Tom Pino, and Jordan Casty.

LOTL chats to Lauren

Congratulations on the new EP! It’s called I Could Love You Everyday, is there a special someone this refers to?

Thanks! That’s a great question :). The title of the EP is from a lyric in one of the songs on the EP called “Oceans & Waves”. That song was really the direction for the EP and helped define what it would become. It’s a very special song to me. Technically, the title of the EP is dedicated to finding my sound rather than an actual person, but for the listener, it should be whatever they feel when listening to my songs.

I read in your press release that you recorded in Laurel Canyon and that you’ve got a connection with the area. What makes it so special to you, and to music in general?

I’ve lived in LA for over 9 years and I’ll never forget driving up Laurel Canyon Blvd to hang with Brian West, my producer, for the first time. I was like, holy shit, this is final happening, I’ve been invited to Lookout Mountain to hang with an industry legend. haha. Laurel Canyon is such a monumental location for artists, songwriters, singers, etc in Los Angeles, both now and back in the 60s. Even Harry Styles sings about it in his new album. I’ll also be a sucker for that guy Harry. I just love Laurel Canyon and Paces (the Italian restaurant under the general store).

Do you have a favourite track on the EP? If so, what is it about that track that you love?

I love the song “Blame on Me”. It was the first song that Brian, Elliot Beenk (Executive Producer), and Chin Injeti and I created on the EP. It’s a dance song and upbeat. I always imagine myself in a pool in Palm Springs on one of those inflatable Flamingos when I play it….which is a good idea for a music video.

I was really impressed with the list of collaborators you have on the project. How did connect with all of these great musicians and what defines a strong creative relationship for you?

Elliott Beenk put it all together. Elliott is the Executive Producer on the EP and one of my good friends. He introduced me to everyone, Brian, Chin, Ben, all of those guys. I told him for the next EP we need more girls! haha. All the guys and I became friends pretty quickly. They are just really nice people wanting to make good music. I think it’s also cool that we are always cheering each other on. Ben Darwish is crushing it, and just released a song with Misterwives, Elliott Beenk is developing up and coming artists and Kevin Smith just worked on the new Jackson Browne song. Just a bunch of talented artists I found myself around. I feel good about my first EP.

Do you have one thing that if you accomplished in music you could say to yourself, I’ve made it?

Honestly, I’m just excited that I got to release this EP. People should just go for it. Don’t hold yourself back. Have fun in life and just create what comes through naturally. I don’t want to stress about whether I make it or not. I will say, I’m excited for when I have kids. They can listen to this and be like, “my mom is a rockstar”! haha. My partner and I are going through the donor process at the moment, so babies are on my mind. As a same-sex couple …I identify as a lesbian…it’s been a journey to find our baby, but we have a fun idea that ties back to my Irish roots and finding a donor from the same town as my grandfather. I’ll have to keep Curve posted on the process. 🙂