We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren LoGrasso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I would say the most important lesson my career has taught me is that sometimes the dreams you find on the way to your dreams are even more powerful than your original intention. When I first moved to LA, my singular focus was to make it as an actress. I had some success with acting early on, but the business part of it was really breaking my heart. I couldn’t handle the idea that I had to wait for someone to give me the opportunity to do what I loved the most…The rejection and longing were brutal. Born from that heartbreak was a new dream: writing and performing original music. Acting broke my heart- music healed it. Writing music is a talent I never would have discovered, had it not been for needing a coping tool to deal with the pain from the acting business. Then, as I drove to my gigs as a musician, I started listening to SiriusXM Radio. It was during a time when I was super homesick and the guy who was hosting the show was from my hometown in Detroit. I would drive down the 5 and pretend like I was back on I-94. It was through listening to that show that I discovered the healing power of audio and its ability to make the listener feel less alone- and like they’re part of a community. That passion led to me eventually producing and being on air at SiriusXM and ultimately having my own podcast today, as well as releasing my own original music. I guess there’s also a lesson there that creativity begets creativity!
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What sets me/my art apart is my deep desire to empower other people to unleash their full self and achieve their dreams and also the honesty I approach my work with. All of my art, whether it’s my music, podcast, or even my public speaking career, centers around empowerment, mental health, resiliency, self-love, self-actualization and honest reflections on love and life. What I am most proud of is the level of honesty I approach my work with. My music that I am writing and putting out is a direct reflection of my life. My upcoming song, “Therapy” (out Friday, May 7th) is based on a time in a past relationship where an ex and I were having a big fight…As I ran out the door and onto the front lawn, I yelled, “Do you have any idea the amount of therapy I’m going to need after you!?” I went home and started on the song. I did get therapy. It works! This song is a snapshot of my life at the time. I am also really proud of my continued commitment to evolve and get better- both as an artist and as a human through self-development work. To answer your other question, no, my career journey was not easy and still isn’t in many ways. As you can tell from my story, I have been concurrently building out multiple careers that in, many ways, support each other, but even so, it is still a struggle to balance everything. On top of that, many people do not want to see you be or try to be more than one thing…Either they don’t understand it, or it doesn’t fit their agenda or it upsets them because they want to do multiple disciplines but are choosing to limit their own path by only choosing one. I’ve overcome this by focusing on my own desires and keeping my nose to the grindstone. Another challenge is that I’ve never really had a team or representation for my music or media career. I am indie all the way. In a way this is good, because I’ve had absolute independence and authenticity in building my brand, but in another way, it has been difficult because (outside of my friends/co-writers and collaborators) I don’t really have anyone guiding me, pushing me or cheering me on. The way I’ve overcome this is by being my own cheerleader, doing my best to see from above and forming a really strong community of creatives that I can bounce ideas off of and go to for artistic and career advice. My friend Liz Fohl, not only writes with me (and also wrote the theme music for my podcast, Unleash Your Inner Creative) she is also, always is my go-to for notes on mixes of my songs, cover art, and any ideas, in general. When you’re building and don’t yet have a team, I think it’s vitally important to really build your own taste and learn to trust yourself, but also, to build your own team until you get the management, agent, label, what-have-you, that fits your work/goals! Also, please note if you or someone you know is looking for a sassy/spiritual Italian Gal with a powerful voice (singing and speaking) and a lot to say about being human, don’t hesitate to reach out. Oh! That’s my final note- say what you want. Out loud and often. Every time I’ve ever achieved anything in my career it has been as a direct result of bluntly telling others (and myself) what I wanted. What I want the world to know about my brand and story is that I believe in you and your dreams! That is my most important message. I fight for my dreams, I fight for my art, I always persist and keep going, even if the odds are stacked against me. I know it’s on my heart for a reason and I intend to keep going until my music and story has the impact I know it can have. I want you to know that about your dreams, too. They’re worth fighting for, even when it’s really hard.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First I’d take them to my favorite restaurant in my neighborhood, Hungry Crowd- they have the BEST food, highly recommend the breakfast burrito and any of the eggs Benedict (especially the bulgogi Benedict)! Some additional destinations: -A hike through Griffith Park -A show at the planetarium. -The Brea Tar Pits -The Broad Museum -In pre-covid times I’d say the brunch buffet at the Omni -A great bar downtown with a view (like Broken Shaker) -To a fruit stand to get LA Street Fruit -They should see Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Footprints at the Chinese Theater but I like to make that a VERY quick trip! It’s always kind of underwhelming, but it’s a must-see, for sure! -I think it’s really fun to ride the metro to downtown -Walk through the fashion district -To Republic of Pie in NoHo (first full live music show venue I played) -To downtown Burbank to walk around (because that’s where my LA Journey Began) -A tour of the Universal lot -Manhattan Beach – do a run or a rollerblade down the trail and swim! -Fish Bar in Manhattan Beach -Malibu ….I will say, one thing I’ve realized recently is that there is still so much of this city that I want to explore! I’ve been in the grind so much that I haven’t taken enough time to really enjoy the incredible city that Los Angeles is…Now that people are getting vaccinated and things are starting to open a little bit more, I am really getting excited to get the opportunity to explore and enjoy our amazing city! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh wow! I’d definitely like to thank My Mom and Dad, Jo Ann and Mike LoGrasso – thank you for believing in me, coming to every performance and never letting me give up on my dreams or myself. Valerie Geller – my radio coach, you saw my talent in media before anyone else did and gave me faith that I could make it in audio. My music producer, Jeff Bova, for being an incredible music, spiritual and self-development mentor and for helping me make my dreams come true! And all my friends, family, coaches, teachers, mentors, creative allies and collaborators.