On the rise, Lauren Dejey continues to surprise us with the wonders of her self-produced debut EP Kali Ma.
Grown up on the roots of Busted and being picked as part of being a band in primary school, Dejey continued to pursue music from the early days and made her debut with hit single 'Cherry Cola'. Though releasing her first track in 2020, Dejey has been working behind the scenes since 2019 as she was already looking ahead to her debut project; now out for the world to see.
From her favourite track, 'Yours', to the hit single, 'Just Because You Said You're Sorry Doesn't Mean You Are'. Dejey consumed the messy world around her and took inspiration from well-known artists Bring Me The Horizon and Melanie Martinez to create a well-crafted five-track EP that's fulfilled with the blend of contemporary alt-pop and RnB.
As she enjoys the return of live music, we caught up with Lauren Dejey all things debut EP, her journey, dream world tour and what the future holds.
Let's get straight into it! Congratulations on your debut EP, Kali Ma. How long has this been in the works, and what does this EP mean to you?
Thank you so much! I started ‘Yours’ at the end of 2019, but I’d say the main part of the EP has been in the works for just over a year now. It’s the longest I’ve ever worked on anything, which is pretty surreal. It means so much it’s hard to put into a few words, but genuinely I’ve poured a part of my soul into each track, and so no matter what I go on
to do, this EP will always have my heart.
Noting that the EP is about reclaiming power and rebuilding your power - could you tell us a little more about the inspirations and influences behind the project?
At the time I was writing it, I was really only listening to Labrinth, Bring Me The Horizon and Melanie Martinez, so I suppose it’s a wild mix of those three! I’m heavily inspired by visuals, and so when I’ve finished a song idea, I’ll listen to it over and over and picture myself in the music video for it. What colours, outfits, energies, and objects come to mind. If the song doesn’t bring up anything strong visually, I struggle to feel totally connected to it! So, I’d say film as well as photography massively inspire and influence me and the music I write.
Self-produced by yourself and bringing alive alt-pop with the blend of alternative RnB. How did the EP start, and how would you describe the creative process of the project?
It started by playing around with different production techniques. Some days I might have wanted to work on my vocal chops or building up and layering drums. Then I ended up writing a collection of songs that sonically made so much sense together. So, I’d say the process was a lot of messing around.
From fans favourite 'Like a Curse' to hit track 'Just Because You Said You're Sorry Doesn't Mean You Are', what is your favourite and why?
BIG QUESTION?! I love all of them, of course, but ‘Yours’ is the one I can listen to over and over. Every lyric is so honest, and it brings me right back to how challenging but therapeutic it was to write. That song is very important to me.
Looking at how it all started, what influenced you to pursue music, and what was that first record you listened to that made you feel like, ‘Wow, I want to pursue music', and why did it have this effect?
I first got into music in primary school. It was the first time I was picked to be part of a band. I felt so accepted, supported, and valued. Even to this day, there’s such a sense of community and understanding with other musicians. In ways, we’ve all been odd ones out, and together we click. Thinking back, this one might be rogue, but the Busted album. I just loved every song so much, and it was at the time where you downloaded something onto your iPod, and you listened to the same stuff over and over. I was dressing up like them and everything too, so yeah, has to be Busted.
In other news, you're set to play Cocoa Vaults this November. How excited are you to perform again, and what can fans expect from your shows?
I’m literally bouncing off the walls I’m so excited!! I’ve started rehearsals, and it sounds great. To me, this gig is the perfect way to meet the people that have been supporting my music, and so far, I’ve only chatted online! I think they can expect their favourite songs and a warm, welcoming environment! Going forward, I’m very keen to build up my live show and get more and more dramatic.
Talking about live music, what would be your dream tour and, who would you have as your support act?
Dream tour is a world tour, of course! Hmm, my dream support act would be completely unlikely BUT probably Bring Me The Horizon. I saw them at the O2 recently, and they're the most engaging, high energy band I’ve seen so far. Absolutely blew me away. There’s so many, but some other dream supports would be BANKS, Gorillaz, Joji, Charlie XCX, Labrinth, Jon Bellion, Grimes or Busted, of course.
Being a rising artist yourself and based in London, who are your top three rising artists you love right now?
Dan D’Lion, NUUXS and Alissic.
With such a year, what has been your biggest accomplishment and what have you found most challenging?
Finishing this EP is the biggest accomplishment of this year 100%. No- one sees all the work that goes in day after day. My family have watched the ups and downs and emotional rollercoasters I’ve been on. Coming out the other side with a project I’m so proud of is a huge milestone for me. The biggest challenge has been numbers. As an upcoming artist, you really have to do everything yourself, so when you spend so long on something like a social media post or a new single, and it doesn’t get the type of numbers you were hoping to reach, it does sit on your mind and can, very easily, affect the way you see yourself and your work. I ended up turning off likes on Instagram, so I couldn’t compare myself as much because that’s such a vicious cycle, but I’m still a work in progress with it all.
Finally, do you have anything up your sleeve before the end of 2021 and what do you hope to bring to 2022?
Hopefully, more gigs before the end of the year! Wow, 2022 is so soon; time has definitely gone faster this year. All I want is to believe in myself as much as possible and create music and art I love. I really hope to continue building a supportive, inspiring network of people around me, and a big goal of mine is to finally film a music video!