What is your name? 
Lauren Marcus

What is your genre of music?
Retro pop (often with a touch of country!)

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a singer-songwriter and actor, based in NYC. I’ve been here about 20 years now, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I have a cat named Diane Kitten who I am allergic to and love more than anything, and I am really good at Scrabble.

What made you go into music?
I’m one of those crazies who was obsessed with music and theatre from the time they could make noise, and who decided by the age of four that they were going to build a life in it. I was always amazed how easy it was to connect to my emotions and feelings when music was involved, and became kinda hooked to the rush. Almost like a drug. But a safe one! Lucky me. As I got older, it became more of a fun puzzle, figuring out how to help other people feel the same kind of rush when I was performing. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop.

Who are your influences?
Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Peggy Lee, HAIM, Deanna Carter, June Carter and Johnny Cash, Margo Price, Linda Ronstadt…to name a few!

You released your new single and video, “Skinny and Blonde.” Tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song. 
To me, “Skinny and Blonde” is a catchy self-empowering anthem whose ultimate message is: YOU DON’T NEED TO CHANGE YOURSELF. That’s it! Consider it a little candy-coated, musical warning from someone who learned the hard way. 

Describe the track in two words.
Timeless, catchy

What was the writing and recording process like?
I wrote the song over a few years. The chorus was something that came to me instantly during a conversation with my then-boyfriend/now-husband while I was experiencing an emotional and career low. It floated back to me years later when I realized I was deep in the process of Skinny-and-Blonde-ing myself…and really unhappy with the results. Finishing the tune actually helped me come to my senses a bit, and let go of this much glamorized, physical ideal of beauty that for me and my body, did not work. 
Recording it was a blast, because my band and I had been playing it out for a few years, at that point. We recorded everyone all together, and it was a fairly quick day in the studio. And one that didn’t cause a lot of stress! I do think I’m a lot more comfortable performing live than recording, though…I may or may not have had some bourbon to calm myself down, day-of.

Who did you work with on the single?
Produced and mixed by Ian Kagey. Mastered by Oscar Zambrano. Arranged by Charlie Rosen. Guitar: Mike Rosengarten. Bass: Matt Scharfglass. Drums: Jeremy Yaddaw. Piano: Rob Rokicki. Saxophone: Josh Plotner. Trumpet: Danny Jonokuchi. Trombone: Becca Patterson. Wurlitzer: Lauren Marcus. Vocals: Lauren Marcus. Backups: Katie Lee Hill, Natalie Walker, Amara Brady, Hana Slevin.
These are all very good friends of mine, who I’ve been performing with for years. It’s been amazing sticking with the same crew and watching their careers blossom over the years. 

Tell us more about the creative process and who you worked with on the music video.
What’s wild is that we recorded this video right in the thick of the pandemic. June 2020, baby! I was absolutely itching to work on something creative, and had been ruminating on a vid for “Skinny and Blonde” since fall of 2019…I reached out to the amazing crew at Halleloo Creative, who thought we could make the video happen in a fun and safe way. I’d always envisioned the story of the video happening on premises at a hotel/motel, so I reached out to Sound View Hotel where my husband and I have always loved to run away to, when we can…they’re so supportive of the arts and music (and have the coolest little piano bar, to boot), and I thought they might be open to a shoot. They were! It all came together in a very organic way, and I think everyone was so psyched to make something after months of being held captive in their apartments. 

Shot and produced by Halleloo Creative on location at Sound ViewHotel in Greenport, NY in June 2020. Directed by Max Friedman. Shot by Steven BaileyMakeup/hair by Rachel Estabrook. Car and extra support provided by Will Roland and Steph Wessels.

Will we hear a EP or album and if so what can we expect from it? 
I’m currently hard at work on my debut album, Drugstore! Right now, we’re looking toward a Summer 2024 release.

Do you have any live shows coming up? Let us know where we can get tickets if so.
I just had a live show at Rockwood Music Hall last week, and am actually about to take a teeny little break, due to the fact that I’m currently growing a child inside of me. However, if you’re in the mood for some zany theatrical holiday fare, you can catch me performing in The Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza at 54 Below, Dec. 8-10. 

What else can we expect in late 2023?
For me to be resting. Or attempt to be resting. But I’m planning on releasing another single in early 2024, so stay tuned…

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
It’s not a quote or saying, but one major idea that really keeps me running and trying new things out is that I’ll have always, always rather be embarrassed — by a song, a performance, an email, whatever — than never have put myself or my work on the line and tried in the first place. It took me until my early 30s to really know that about myself, and I’m incredibly glad I figured it out at all.

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget? 
Eyeliner, looking over lyrics day-of, a vocal warmup, an outfit I love, a bra.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
On Instagram

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