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Breaking through the Sound Waves: Lauren Horton

Listening to Lauren Horton sing makes it hard to believe that she wasn’t really interested in music until about four years ago, because to any unassuming ear it seems as though she’s been doing this forever. She is one of those artists who doesn’t necessarily fit into a distinct genre, but it fast becomes obvious that her sound need not tick all the boxes of others who have come before her. Fusing elements of sexy jazz, French-pop and quirky folk, Lauren is one of the few people who can say she merely experimented with her voice to see what it could do and the sound didn’t make people run away.

“I remember, after I finished doing [my first] song, I was so excited I could actually sing that I ran down the street like a maniac and called my brother at 11pm to tell him,” she says.
“I never really aspired to be a recording artist; I didn’t really know I could sing until 4 years ago, so I pursued other creative avenues. I wanted to be a photographer once and a filmmaker, I’m still making films/music videos now. In the future I plan to collaborate on a feature film, so there are many stones still unturned.”

For now though the music is on track one, as Lauren is at the dawn of her newly-released EP, There Will Be Static. The product of three years in the making, it was a culmination of a lot of hard work and the beginner’s struggle. Beans on toast, anyone?
“I ran low on money, as I was saving a small amount each week from my day job to pay for recording. I paid for it all myself, so it was quite a drawn out process, but one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she says.
“It was a massive learning experience and I’m happy I made it. I’m really proud of the songs on there and can’t wait to make [my forthcoming] album in 2010. I feel like I can do anything really.”

Like anybody trying to get noticed in the creative industries, Lauren says the process of completing the EP was stressful and complicated, but wondrous at the same time.
“I think you learn a lot just trying things and taking risks. There are things I wouldn’t do again and things I’ll do differently next time,” she says.

“Next time I’ll be trusting myself a lot more – I’ve got to listen to those gut feelings, they are real.”

As an artist who is at the dress rehearsal of her pending music career, every bit of positive feedback counts, and now is, of course, the time when dreams are at their most intense and the world may just be small enough to grab it.
“I’m extremely happy with the response to the EP. 2ser and FBI radio have given it a great run and I’ve been getting positive reviews on the music,” she says.
“I’d like audiences to be intrigued enough to want come to gigs and be keen to follow up on the album I release sometime next year. I would love to get some more airplay on Triple J.”

Ironically, the beginning and its infinite possibilities is inevitably the most difficult time in terms of getting one’s sound heard.
“There are so many musicians in Sydney trying to do the same thing, so it’s very competitive out there. I have been lucky that the Hopetoun Hotel, 2ser and FBI radio have been very good to me,” says Lauren.
“I guess there’s nothing really that’s too hard. It’s been fun starting out, except I'm pretty sure when my boyfriend and I were up until 3am finishing the artwork for the EP that it was hard, but isn’t hindsight great? I reckon if you are musician, help other musicians that you love get a leg up.”

With gigs coming up tonight at the Hopetoun Hotel and on October 8 at the Marrickville Spirit of Soul Festival, and with many more sure surely to follow, Lauren can attest that perseverance is key – as is staying true to one’s vision.
“The most important thing is to have creative control, especially when you believe in something. If someone else has a better idea and you trust them then great, go with it. But don’t compromise and you should never be scared to speak up, I’m still learning,” she says.

“Lead with your heart, don’t listen too much to your head and go with your gut, that’s my advice.”

Side Street Sydney has 10 copies of Lauren’s EP to giveaway! Lucky ducklings. Email your details and why you think you deserve it to

Catch Lauren supporting Major Chord at the Hopetoun Hotel on September 23 (um, that's TONIGHT). Tickets cost $8, which is less than an expensive packet of nuts, really.

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words: Seema Duggal


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