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Episode 511

Artist: Allie Lauren

About the Episode:

Lauren Nicole Clare aka Allie Lauren, hails from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and one could say she’s a bit of a dreamer; a drifter with no arrival in site. Her sound is generally referred to as jazz influenced indie pop and some of her influences include Fiona Apple, Lykke Li, Corinne Bailey Rae, Florence + the Machine and Norah Jones. Her writing explores her voyage through love, life and the in between, plummeting to her darkest hours and then lifting you to her greatest joys. To have a listen is to be transported into her deepest emotions. “Everything is a journey,” she says. “You soak in your surroundings, analyzing their meaning before dismissing their existence or staying to taste a while and then carrying a piece with you. I wanted this album to tell a story and a good one, something people could really relate to in terms of its message.”

For this songstress, piano lessons began around 2 years of age in the Norman, Oklahoma studio of OU professor, Dr. Gayle Kowalchyk. “It was in my bones, I always wanted to be at the piano and so my parents and grandparents decided to give me some structure.” Although piano was her first love, Lauren dabbled with the violin, flute and alto saxophone during her adolescent years before deciding to pursue vocal studies after high school graduation. “High school was hell,” she recalls, explaining that while so many others had grandiose plans of med school, law or business, “I felt like the odd-ball student going off to study the arts. I really didn’t understand that I was simply a creative being trying to function and fit into the concrete structure of one of the state’s most elite private schools. At the time, I was very insecure and needless to say, people can be cruel.” Upon graduation however, her class awarded her with the Chilton L. Powell award for most creative talent, a surprise to 17 year-old Lauren and yet an obvious sign of things to come and nod to her unique and uncanny talents.

Things finally began to come together for the multi-talented singer after returning home from her undergraduate studies at the age of 21. “When I returned home and started graduate school, I finally began to understand why I went to school to study voice in the first place. It was simply to understand the voice.” Under the care of Oklahoma City University Professor Vicky Leloie Kelly, Lauren’s voice was taken for exactly what it was and together they worked to define her sound rather than force it into a mold. “I finally had a chance to clear my head and decide what it was that I wanted out of music. I had no one telling me I should audition for this and that or that I should look into a certain type of career. I went to school, I tried new things. I found my niche.” After finishing with her master’s degree in 2007, Lauren spent time singing with a local jazz group and touring as a keyboardist for a local church band before moving away from Oklahoma City in July of 2008. Upon settling in, Lauren began her solo career and in 2011 made the decision to adopt a project name that would include the first name of her Great-Grandmother Allie as she sought to focus the sound on what she calls “her intrinsic roots & experiences”. All in all, this creative rarity has found that she is, at heart, an explorer. Of those people who have allowed her to explore beyond conventional boundaries, she states that she is “forever indebted”.


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