Indie Artist Interview: Lauren Ojurovic

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Happy weekend and welcome to Le Café Music Blog’s Indie Artist Interview Sessions! (that is a mouthful)

Today’s guest is Australian pop/r&b singer, Lauren Ojurovic! I heard Lauren sing for the first time about a year ago and I have been wanting to work with her ever since. This isn’t work, but it will do!

Intro

Ryan: Lauren! What’s up? Thanks for joining us this weekend. Why don’t we start off with a little introduction for the people that might not know you.

Lauren: Hey!! I’m Lauren, 26 from Sydney, Australia. I grew up in Western Sydney with my family and now live in the Sutherland Shire near the beaches, as I love the lifestyle.

Ryan: Ah, yes…Sutherland Shire. Home of the The 1979 novel, Puberty Blues haha. I love finding little random facts about places. All joking aside, that place looks beautiful and I’m jealous. You have a new single coming out soon, right?

Lauren: Yes! My track Into The Sun will be released soon (within the next month or 2) alongside my first video clip which I am SO excited for! To be releasing things that are true to my vision is so special to me.

Influence and Collaboration

Lauren’s most recent single, So Into You

Ryan: Can’t wait to hear it! You’ve got this smokey, soulful voice and I love it. Who are your biggest influences?

Lauren: Some of my many influences are Teyana Taylor, Victoria Monet, SZA, Alina Baraz, Kali Uchis, Doja Cat, and Bazzi.

Ryan: You are not heavily influenced at all…haha. If you could pick one of them to collaborate with, who would it be?

Lauren: Bazzi! His music is the best vibe.

Ryan: I can hear that collab in my head right now, and we’re going to need to make that happen. Bazzi, I know you’re reading this. Let’s go! What’s your collaboration process like?

Lauren: I haven’t had any collabs with other artists, but in the studio, I’ll book a day in with my producer who I always team up with. We’ll either start a new vibe from scratch and he’ll play some chords, or I’ll tell him the mood and we’ll jam it out from there. Or I’ll bring in a melody/lyric idea I already have and we’ll workshop that.

Ryan: That counts as a collaboration for sure!

Free Time and Day Jobs

Ryan: When you’re not making music…what are you doing?

Lauren: I love nature, and adventures, and anything that makes me feel like I’m experiencing my life to the fullest! My funniest and most random hobby is…I love hunting for glow mushrooms and glow worms and bioluminescent plankton. Yes it exists!!! And I love going for walks, jigsaw puzzles and games, and discovering new nature spots.

Ryan: I see nothing strange about that at all. I’ve seen the bioluminescent plankton in Thailand and it is beautiful! If music wasn’t an option, what kind of job would you want?

Lauren: Something creative!! I’m especially organized and list orientated, so who knows, maybe that could be of use haha.

Ryan: Professional list-maker. I like it. What’s the weirdest day job you’ve ever had?

Lauren: Not weird, but I used to pack luxury hampers and it was so cute and girly. Also worked for a flower delivery company. I loved handling all the flowers.

Ryan: Luxury hampers? It’s a little weird.

Really Get To Know Lauren

Ryan: What were you like as a kid?

Lauren: Confident, funny, dramatic, singer, dancer, happy, annoying.

Ryan: You get to go on a date with one artist. Who are you taking?

Lauren: Kali Uchis, she is a living goddess and I want to experience her energy in person.

Photoshop skills on point

Ryan: Favorite food. Go!

Lauren: The answer to this question changes by the second..burgers, sushi, pizza……..

Ryan: The struggle is real. You have a drink in your hand, what is it?

Lauren: Water or alcohol, don’t drink soft drinks that often.

Ryan: Good for you. That sugar will kill you *cracks open a Red Bull*

Ryan: Australia terrifies me. Everything is deadly there. Have you ever had a close encounter with a deadly creature?

Lauren: I’m terrified of “S words” (rhymes with cider) and they are everywhere I look. And just so many bugs in the summer, it’s not even an over exaggeration and it’s NOT funny. I once turned my head on my pillow, and next to my eyes was an “S word” the size of my whole hand. I’m still traumatized.

Ryan: Alright. I’m not going to Australia. Ever.

Back to Life…Back to Reality

Ryan: If you could perform in any city tonight, where would it be?

Lauren: ANYWHERE!

Ryan: I feel that. I would perform in a barn for 100 people if I could. Last question for ya. What’s next for Lauren Ojurovic?

Lauren: I want to keep writing and creating, shooting more music videos and cover-art photo shoots. I’ve also got an originals show coming up on the 21st March at Lazybones Lounge Marrickville (Sydney) where I’ll be playing lots of new music 6:30-9:30pm.

Conclusion

Thanks, Lauren! Don’t forget to follow her on Spotify and look out for her release of Into The Sun!

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About The “Author”

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Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out Le Café Music. My name is Ryan Dawley and I am the “author.”

I’ll tell you, Snoop.

I am a 36-year-old kid from Erie, PA. I graduated from Gannon University with a BA in Theatre and Communication Arts way back in 2007, and I have been performing professionally ever since.

lol

My first gig was a touring children’s musical in Pittsburgh called I Love Gas. Yes, you read that right. I was the swing for the 3 male roles in the educational musical about natural gas safety. I got paid $100 a show to make 3 fart noises with my mouth in a microphone backstage.

After that, I moved to New York in and immediately had my bank information stolen, along with all of the money in my account (Welcome to New York), so I started selling comedy tickets in Times Square for the New York Comedy Club. Yeah…I was one of those “Hey, do you like comedy?” guys everyone hates.

Needless to say, I didn’t make a whole lot of money.

Within a couple of months, I got my first gig and was off to a crappy little town in Indiana to do Pirates of Penzance and Cats in a barn at an Amish resort for $100 a week. It could only go uphill from there.

I went on to perform in shows in Nashville and the DC area for a couple of years before moving back to New York to work a “survival” job as a barista at Starbucks on 54th and Broadway for $10 an hour. With rent in Harlem at around $900 a month for a bedroom in a 3 bedroom apartment…my bank account was suffering again. Seems to be a theme in New York.

While sitting in my apartment and submitting for every musical theatre gig possible, I came across an interesting one. “Resident Actor in South Korea.” I though “Huh…that would be different.” Not anticipating a response, I submitted my audition materials.

10 minutes later, I got an email from Cameron at Gyeonggi English Village in Paju, South Korea, asking to do a Skype interview/audition. It went well, and I was put on the waiting list for the next available job. 10 minutes later, I got the life-changing email from Cam saying the job is mine and to start the visa process.

I waited 3 months to get my visa, then I was off to South Korea. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t speak Korean. I was terrified.

It was the best thing to ever happen to me. I loved my colleagues. I loved everything about Korea…the food, the culture, the women. I was home. I performed in several lead roles in original ESL musicals for young Korean kids, and I even wrote the script for one of them.

After 1 year in Paju, I headed back to New York for a 3rd time. That didn’t last long. I missed Asia too much.

My buddy, Sam was living in Hong Kong at the time…so I booked a flight, packed my suitcases again and moved to Hong Kong to teach Drama classes to Kindergarteners. Hong Kong is now a second home to me. I have some incredible, life-long friends there and the city is just incredible.

After 6 months of teaching, I was offered gig at a LATT Children’s Theatre in Seoul, South Korea to perform in bi-lingual children’s musicals. Time to go back to the land of kimchi. I spent another full year in Seoul where I got to tour around the entire country and make cute little Korean kids laugh every day. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Next stop: Hong Kong, round 2. Teaching Secondary Drama and Language Arts at Lam Tai Fai College for another incredible year. Along with teaching, I started branching out into performing as well. I joined the Hong Kong Singers, where I was on the Board of Directors and performed lead roles in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Assassins.

I did some voiceover work for a popular toy company and joined a band, Jack Rabbit Slim. We’d play for free drinks at a great little bar called The Wanch once a month. I don’t remember most of those nights. One of those gigs changed my career direction completely. Joe, a guitarist and band leader working with El-Live Productions saw videos of me singing with JRS and sent them to G, the CEO. 2 days later, I was offered a job as a lead singer in party bands in 5-Star Hotels all over Asia. Perfect timing, as my teaching contract was expiring in a few weeks.

For the next 2 years, I worked with El-Live, performing in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, the Grand Hyatt Seoul (Korea again!), Hilton Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia,) Grand Hyatt Singapore (where I met my wifey,) and the Grand Hyatt Beijing.

After 2 great years with El-Live, I accepted a 6 month contract to sing with Randy the Funky Pilgrim on the Carnival Freedom. One contract was enough, as I found out I get seasick way too easily.

After the cruise, I freelanced as a vocalist in Dubai (Rock Bottom Tecom,) Jakarta, Indonesia (Shangri-La Jakarta,) the Maldives (Four Seasons Resort,) Abu Dhabi (Rock Bottom Abu Dhabi,) and Shenyang, China (Dr. Mia night club.) I had a crazy 5 years of traveling the world, drinking way too much, and singing. Life was incredible.

After Shenyang, it was time to marry the woman of my dreams with 2 weddings in Erie and Singapore, and a trip to Rome. You can check that out here if you’d like:

After the wedding(s), the plan was to take a job in Phuket, Thailand and save money before moving to France to be with her. I took a job as the Senior Entertainment Specialist and lead singer of the in-house band at Blue Tree Phuket.

While there, I started my own entertainment company, Coverseas Productions. We link international bands with 5-Star Hotels and private events all over the world. Unfortunately, for both of these jobs…COVID-19 came along. I was stranded in Phuket for 3 months. Just me, my pup Mickey who I rescued in Thailand, and my buddy Paul, who was stuck there as well. When the land boarders opened up, we hitched a 16 hour ride to Bangkok where Mickey and I finally flew home.

That leads me to present day: Stuck in Erie, PA while my wife is still in France and we likely won’t see each other any time soon.

sad

Since I’ve been home, I started working as an A&R at Estabrook Road Records where I recruit unsigned artists for the label and for artist development (www.estabrookroad.com) I am also working as a mentor with Musician Guidance at http://www.musicianguidance.com alongside some insanely talented people in the music industry.

That’s it. That’s me. I hope that didn’t bore you! I’ll start writing about music tomorrow, I promise.

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