We’ve all become accustomed to media stories about famous people who seem to be little more than a ‘pretty face’, who people don’t really understand how the person became famous. The same cannot be said for Lauren Mayhew.
While there is no denying that Lauren is a very beautiful woman, her rising fame is due to being multi-talented, hard working, dedicated and passionate about what she does.
Originally stepping into the spotlight at the age of 8 in the PBS show ‘The Reppies’ and being a finalist in a national Wilhemnia contest (a national model search) Lauren went on to the cast of ‘Guiding Light’ at 14, signing with Sony records in her singing group PYT , touring alongside other well known singers, being a WWE Diva, appearing in well known movies, (such as ‘Raise Your Voice’ with Hilary Duff and American Pie Presents : Band Camp), acting in various television shows, (such as Law&Order, CSI:Crime Scene Investigation and Dexter) to producing music for both her own released recordings as well as television and film.
Adding to that, already impressive resume, is achieving a degree from UCLA.
Currently, Lauren is hard at work on her second solo album and has already released a catchy new song entitled ‘What is Love:’
Lauren was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule to answer questions for TMRZoo.com about her career so far, being in the studio and life on the road as well as upcoming projects.
JG: First off, congratulations on all the success you’ve had so far, which includes recently graduating from UCLA. What is your degree in and did you find it difficult to work the classes and assignments around your schedule?
LM: My degree was in Communication Studies. I also did a Spanish minor and completed over half of the pre-medicine pre-recs. It was definitely not easy! I remember I was shooting Universal’s “American Pie Band Camp” and NBC’s “American Dreams” series, and I almost fell asleep driving to Malibu at 6am to set! :/ … Luckily, I was able to have my mom come out from Florida and help me during my rigorous shooting schedule. It was definitely worth it! Both of those shoots were two of the most fun on-set experiences.
JG: You’ve already had quite an impressive career, with music weaving throughout before you focused more on singing.
LM: Was music a large part of the household as you grew up or was it something that always attracted you individually? Neither one of my parents are singers. My mom was a cheerleader and a dancer growing up, so I think I got all my sweet dance moves from her, ☺but singing was definitely a passion I pursued on my own.
JG: You’ve sung in quite a few different aspects of the entertainment business, both recording and performing for television, movies as well as live and touring. Did you study music while you where growing up, and have you returned to study further throughout your career?
LM: I did study music when I was younger. I took piano classes all growing up and vocal lessons when I lived in NYC shooting soap opera “Guiding Light.” Towards the end of college I also started taking guitar lessons. I’m still by far a vocalist first, but I love being able to pick up an instrument. I feel like having a basic understanding of music can help any singer and writer.
JG: Early on you enjoyed success performing and recording with PYT and performed along side quite an impressive array of other musicians, and you have gone on to add recording for television, singing in movies and performing the national anthem live for sporting events. Are there other avenues that you haven’t sung for that you would like to one day?
LM: I would love to do an international tour. I’ve toured all over the US, and have gotten to do short tours or one off performances in the UK, Japan, and Dubai, but I would love to be able to travel all over and share my music with all cultures.
JG: Your music seems to draw on a wide range of styles and influences, which gives it a lot of nice textures. Who were some of your early influences and what other artists have you come to be influenced by as you’ve grown and developed as an artist yourself?
LM: I loved so many different types of music growing up, and I still do! I loved Michael Jackson more than anything when I was a kid. I also like ‘oldies but goodies’ as my mom used to call them. These were basically songs from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Now I love bands like One Republic and DJs like Tiesto, and David Guetta. I also like pretty much everything Pitbull releases!
JG: You’ve already worked along side such large names as Faith Hill, Britney Spears and ‘N Sync, are there other musicians or producers that you would like to work with one day?
LM: I toured with Justin Timberlake when I was younger, but I would love to work with him again someday in a collaboration. I am also a huge Pharell fan, producer wise, and would love the opportunity to work with him.
JG: You’re new song “What is Love” is getting a lot of positive attention, and the video features UFC fighter Urijah Faber as well as other fighters. In the video you get in the ring yourself, is fighting something you do yourself? And if so are there ever concerns that you could receive an injury to your throat?
LM: I love training in MMA. It was such a blast to get to work with such professionals like Urijah, Jay Hieron, and Andre Fili. During shooting, I didn’t receive any injury to my throat (thank goodness), but I did tear my lis franc ligament in my foot! It’s really been a tough recovery because it’s forced me to be much less active for the last few months and I’m a really active person.
JG: You have a tour planned soon, which is a lot of work to plan and prepare for. How are preparations going for that with your existing schedule?
LM: I am trying to solidify all my dates to go back and perform in Asia. I still have a little bit of time, so it’s not crunch time yet, but I’ve been trying to perform out in LA much more often to practice my performance I’ll be doing.
JG: Being on the road can really take a toll on a singers voice and on the body in general, how do you keep your voice and yourself in shape while touring?
LM: You really have to baby it. I drink tea, try not too eat too late at night, and get a good night’s sleep. But always most important is drink a TON of water.
JG: Between catching up on sleep, promotion and performing there can be long periods of down time on the road, are there any hobbies or distractions you like to have while touring?
LM: I love to read. I also work on new music on the road. But mostly I try to explore in whatever city I am in as much as possible! That’s one of the best perks of my job!
JG: A lot of people don’t realize that musicians don’t have evenings, weekends and holidays off, and in such a competitive field you work as much as you can when all the hard work pays off and the opportunities happen.
This can make it difficult to balance family and friends when you can’t always be there for holidays and special occasions. Was finding a balance for this something that developed over time with experience or, considering how long you’ve already been performing in the spotlight, does it just seem like second nature for family, friends and yourself?
LM: This is probably the single hardest thing in my industry. My family and friends are so important and it is crucial (so you don’t go crazy haha) to have a really strong support system, and to make sure that you take time to relax and take care of yourself.
JG: You’ve done a lot of recording for both yourself and the entertainment industry which means you’ve had the opportunity to work in a lot of different studios, and each studio has it’s own sound and feel. When you began to look for a venue to record your current material what things were you looking for in a studio or studios, and what affected your decisions on where to record?
LM: There are so many things that are important. Every mic sounds different with each singer, so having a studio that has a mic suited to your voice is crucial. I also love working with engineers that are really quick because singing certain songs is like performing or acting. You have to really believe the words you are singing to get that feeling across to the listeners. This is made much easier with an engineer who can cut you quickly and knows how you like all your levels and pre-roll.
JG: Some musicians like to be around non-musicians when they’re not working to get a little down time from the industry and recharge their ‘creative batteries’, so to speak. Do you find yourself doing that or is it something that doesn’t really matter to you?
LM: Ha-ha. I feel like you know me. Yes, this is actually true. I love my time with the creative folks of course, but sometimes its refreshing to hear about something totally different. Like a person who’s a surgeon, politician or author.
LG: Recording a full-length album has many different aspects that have to be taken care of beyond the music. You’ve recorded with groups and for movies and television and now you’re recording another solo album, (Lauren’s first solo album ‘Mayhew’ was released in 2006) and have quite a lot more experience since your first album.
Did you find the list of things that needed to be done easier to deal with than your first album with the experience you’ve gained?
LM: Absolutely. I was a teenager in 2006 and it was my first stab at doing a solo album. I am definitely older and wiser now and hope that I can use all of my new experiences not only to write really interesting lyrics, but also to better navigate the ‘business’ of the music industry. It’s changed so much. Some for the bad, but there are also some really great new tools that you can use to be successful if you are open to exploring them. For example, I have been partnering with really AMAZING brands such as Vizcaya Swimwear, Stelari Clothing, Fig Tree jewelry, Puritas Organic Gold, PCX Clothing, and BSTRD who I’ve been able to naturally integrate into YouTube cover videos that I have been doing with really amazing YouTube celebs and personalities. I am finishing a cover of Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea’s song “Black Widow” right now with Maggie Szabo that I will be releasing soon.
JG: You stay busy with television and acting as well as your own music, other than the new album and tour what other projects are you working on that you’d like to share?
LM: I just shot an independent film called “Eternal Salvation.” I play a supporting character named Jill Winters. It’s basically a faith based Wall Street movie and was a treat to be a part of. I just found out that I nabbed the lead in a new pilot called “Anonymous” that will be shooting the end of this month. It would be a web series and would live on a major outlet online if picked up. My character is amazing, and the plot line is really interesting, so I’m really looking forward to shooting.
Multi-talented, hard working, passionate about her work and a genuinely warm person, it’s not hard to see why Lauren’s popularity continues to grow and will do so for quite a long time to come. Follow Lauren’s career through her Youtube channel, Twitter, and Instagram, and buy her music on iTunes through the links below:
A heartfelt thanks to Lauren Mayhew for all her participants on with this article. John Goodale is the author of Johnny Gora, (available through amazon.com) has written several articles as well as The monthly column Indy Comic Spotlight right here on TMRZoo.com