These are just some of the characteristics of Lauren Eylise’s music that captures fans from the first listen. Singer and songwriter Lauren Eylise has already seen major success as an independent artist. Her debut EP Life/Death/Life, was released to positive reviews and she’s opened concerts for several artists including R&B sensation Tank. Born and raised in Cincinnati, the self-proclaimed storyteller can’t remember a time she didn’t sing. A self-taught guitar and piano player, Lauren’s been sharpening her gift for music her entire life. However, it wasn’t until college when music became a deeper part of her, acting as a coping mechanism during a difficult season.
During her first year of college at a predominately white institution, Lauren found herself experiencing various subtle and overt forms of racism. “I had a lot of very ‘skept’ experiences there.,” Lauren shares, “I didn’t want to be there. I was calling my mom every day in tears.” Wanting to channel her pain and frustration into healing, Lauren used her writing as a vessel to find peace. “Writing has always been a means of healing for me,” Lauren reflects, “I literally write my way to healing all the time.” As Lauren found peace in the situation, music went from being a coping mechanism to a career path.
After graduating from the University of Dayton, Lauren moved to New York to pursue her dreams with $300 in her pocket. She bought a $100 plane ticket with no place to go and slept on the couches of friends as she gained her footing in NYC. “It was a grind, it was a struggle,” she shares, “and it taught me so much in a short amount of time.” Able to get back on her feet and make great strides in her career, Lauren found herself thriving and grateful for the bold decision she had made. However, she soon learned news that changed everything. Lauren found out she was pregnant with her first child. This news caused her to sell her stuff, uproot her life once again and return to Cincinnati so she could have greater support for the next chapter of her life.
Lauren decided not to let the situation jade or deter her. After mentally and emotionally processing everything, she realized that this struggle was a blessing. “My son is a major reason why I go so hard for my craft,” Lauren shares, “I don’t think I’d be where I am right now if I didn’t have a baby.” Many of these experiences and life lessons encompass the recurring elements in Lauren’s music: vulnerability, self-acceptance, total embracement of life experiences and full ownership of our human emotions. Lauren combined these elements with her musical tastes and created Life/Death/Life, her debut EP. With a sound that encompasses R&B, Folk and Soul, Life/Death/Life touches on multiple themes such as taking responsibility for the way you treat others (Karma), wanting your love to be reciprocated (Suga Savage) and the beauty of black girl magic (Voodoo).
Lauren shares the depth of her emotional experiences with listeners hoping that they will embrace their inner essence as well. “I have very extreme emotions and that serves me in my art,” she explains, “What I want people to know about me in relation to that, is just that I’m human as fuck and knowing that about me I want people to see that in themselves.” Reflecting on the hiccups in her life and the pressure from society to be on a specific timeline, Lauren declares that as people we are often to hard on ourselves. She acknowledges the age of social media often causes us to indulge in a cycle of “compare and despair” and hopes her music will help listeners embrace the fullness of their humanity. “Shit we’re holding ourselves to is socially constructed. Just live your life, make your mistakes,’ Lauren declares, “We all dying. It sounds dismal, but it shouldn’t be dismal, it should be a motivation to celebrate your life and live it fully.”
Now in 2018, Lauren continues to vulnerably share her spirit through song. She plans to push further beyond the boundaries of musical genres and look beyond her experiences to tell a broader story. When asked her advice for artists who want to focus on authentically creating music despite the pressure to follow a formula, Lauren responds simply, “Just do it. Do it for the soul.”