We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Rizzotto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As a singer/songwriter I’ve always known my purpose was to bring light to people’s lives through my music. I’ve found myself over the years tipping the “work life balance” scale towards the work side more often than not.
The key of feeling balanced for me is leading with purpose and listening to my intuition. I love what I do and have always known that giving a majority of my time to my craft was an important part of my journey. However, listening to my intuition and prioritizing my mental health have been key elements to finding my own sense of inner peace, especially in the pursuit of my ambitions.
What makes us feel balanced is so personal and constantly changing. I make it point to check in with myself frequently and acknowledge when I’m lost, when I’m the most joyful and when changes need to be made. It’s up to us to develop self awareness and listen to our inner voice. It’s there for a reason, and it never lies.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Growing up as a mix of different cultures has definitely shaped me as an artist and human. I’m originally from Brazil and Latvia, but I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro and have lived in the US for almost 10 years now.
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, and thankfully was blessed with an extremely supportive family that didn’t call me crazy for it. When I was 11 years old, my mom got a scholarship to study abroad, so me and my family moved to Edina, Minnesota for a year. I didn’t speak English at the time and often felt homesick. I loved talking about my culture and people liked the songs I shared from my home country, even though they couldn’t understand our beautiful lyrics. That’s when I started writing English versions of Brazilian songs. That experience was a huge influence to my sense of storytelling as a songwriter.
Living in the USA for that one year showed me the endless possibilities the entertainment industry had here. I knew I had to come back one day and try my luck.
I started working with music professionally since I was 15 years old, performing in my hometown. At 16 years old, I got my first record deal and released my debut album with all original songs, “Made in Rio”, with Universal Music Brazil. I was starting to get traction in the Brazilian music scene when I opened for Demi Lovato during her Latin American tour. Then, a dream came true: I got a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. I had always dreamed of going to music school and this was my chance to take my first steps into an international career… I didn’t even think twice. I packed my bags and moved to Boston on my own at 17.
Adapting to a new culture while being far away from family wasn’t easy (still isn’t) but I was down for the ride. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of experiences. I’ve crossed paths with people from so many different cultures and walks of life. I’ve moved to NYC and now LA, released an album and an EP independently, graduated from CalArts, got a Masters degree in music from Columbia, worked with Jennifer Lopez as a Portuguese vocal coach, performed at the United Nations, represented Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest and even became a hologram.
It’s been an amazing experience so far, but also a significant hustle. This industry tests you constantly and has made me understand the power of resilience. The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is to lead with my sense of purpose. Whenever I feel lost, I remind myself what my mission is: to bring light to people’s lives and help them feel understood. My passion for music and connecting with people is what keeps me moving, and as long as I’m in touch with that feeling, I know I’m in the right track.
I’ve always valued musicians who can stand on their own and create something unique. Through the ups and downs, I’m really proud of the ownership I have in my work as an artist. From writing and co-producing the songs, choosing the visual concepts and branding, to taking care of the business side of things, I’m a part of every aspect of my career. Don’t get me wrong, it can be absolutely exhausting and overwhelming at times, but it has made me stronger and, most importantly, independent.
I’m really, REALLY excited about the music I’ll be releasing this year. I’ve been working more with female professionals and that has been such an incredible, empowering experience. I’m looking forward to performing live again and having that amazing exchange of energy with an audience once more. The stage is electrifying and where I feel complete. I can’t wait to re-unite with that missing part of me again.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For nature adventures, I’d take my friend hiking in Pacific Palisades. Temescal and Los Liones are my favorite hikes in LA. They are close to beach, not too challenging or dry and filled with greenery! The views are just fantastic.
I’m not a huge fan of Malibu, but not checking out Point Dume is nearly unforgivable. The beach is gorgeous and wild life often makes an appearance there. Last time I came by for a sunset, there were dolphins, seals and tons of fish. A dream.
Sunsets in California are an absolute must see. After spending a day exploring Santa Monica, I’d take them on a bike ride by the beach towards Malibu and then chill out on the sand to see the sunset. Afterwards, we could check out the Bungalow for a night hang too. It’s a fun setting and a chill vibe, which I personally appreciate.
Venice is an awesome place, but especially on Saturdays because of their Artists & Fleas space on Abbot Kinney. So many local artists come out and share their creations on the weekend, it’s so inspiring and fun. Walking down Abbot Kinney and checking out the local stores and restaurants is a fantastic experience.
This might be a little niche, but one gem that most people don’t know about is the Brazilian market. Now, if you’re from my land, you know how hard it is to find legit Brazilian food abroad. If you go by El Camaguey in Culver City, you can stock up on Brazilian food and get freshly made Brazilian snacks like “coxinha”, “pastel”, “kibe” and our carrot cake with “brigadeiro”. It’s literally just a Latin supermarket but if you want to try these specific fresh Brazilian treats… it’s the way to go. I usually make a stop there on my way to or back from the beach with my sister. Whoever puts me in charge of the itinerary should know that this is 100% happening.
There are always so many fun events taking place in LA. Usually, there are endless options for live music at night. Where I’d go for that would depend on which acts are performing, but I’d at least come by a Sofar Sounds secret show. I like how intimate they are and it’s also a fun way to meet new people. Silent Disco at the beach is a fun experience as well.
For night time, two of my favorite bars are Lono’s and Umbrella Co. Lono’s is a fun tiki bar in Hollywood. The drinks are great, the place is huge and the DJ on Friday nights has always been just spot ON. Another great place the is the Umbrella Co. Their cocktails are great and so is the music.
In West Hollywood, I also would take them out to the Conservatory and Jones on Santa Monica Blvd for dinner. If we’re feeling fancy… Ysabel on Fairfax is delightful and the Catch LA rooftop has delicious *pricey* food and gives you the ultimate LA experience.
The Soho House in West Hollywood is a cool hang at night as well… but the one in Malibu during the day is just stunning. Would check out both in different hours of the day.
If they were into live Latin music and dancing salsa, La Descarga is 100% the way to go.
LA is known for having many vegan friendly places, so how could we not check those out? I’d take my friend out to Gracias Madre for vegan Mexican food and drinks, and brunch at Crossroads on Melrose. Also, for plant based burgers… you gotta checkout Nomoo. You’re welcome in advance.
One of the best brunches I’ve had in LA was at the Eat This Cafe. Their truffle grilled cheese is to die for. Also, for bubble tea we’d check out Pearl’s Finest Teas on Fairfax.
Another hidden gem I love in Hollywood is this park called Wattles. There’s this huge empty mansion there and it’s on this hill with a beautiful view of the city. It’s a great spot for yoga, a picnic or taking your dog out to play. It’s a pup fest, really. Also, if you keep walking to the other park in the back and follow a trail… there’s a hidden Buddha statue and an alternative entrance to Runyon Canyon few people know about… maybe let’s keep this one between us.
My final dinner recommendation is the restaurant at Eataly. Fresh, legit Italian food. Plus, you can get fresh groceries from there too and take a taste of Italy to your own home.
On the way back to LAX, it’s always nice to stop by SALT in Marina del Rey for a last dinner. We’d have a glass of wine and their tasty ravioli while enjoying the view of the boats in the Marina. Not a bad sendoff, I’ll promise you that.
Until next time. Bon voyage!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give the absolute loudest of the shout outs to my badass sister, Carolina Rizzotto. She is a multitalented producer and content creator who has been an essential part of my story both personally and professionally. I couldn’t have asked for a better creative partner, best friend and support system. She is smart, resilient, kind, a natural born leader and a force to be reckoned with. I’m extremely grateful for her existence and am sure she is going to continue to achieve anything she sets her mind to.
Follow her journey at @carolrizzotto
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6gmtrXZBLAFrYUzVxcYCUg?si=gFbh_ZajTp6W7IBq626yjQ Clubhouse: @laurarizzotto tiktok: @laurarizzottoofficial
Carolina Rizzotto Sandra Emmeline