Our Spotlight – Lainey Dionne. We sat down with this talented artist to talk to her how musical interests and how she got to where she is now. Her recent release of Hey London is a catchy tune you can’t help but enjoy. Take a look at what she had to say below.
What artists/bands sparked your urge to get into music?
You wouldn’t know this looking at me now and listening to my current song writing, but I was an emo chick in high school. I had blue hair, knee-high converses, and torn-to-shreds jeans. I played a jet-black electric guitar with a black stud belt guitar strap in a screamo band for all of my school’s talent shows. Back then I was super into Paramore; I wanted to be like Hayley Williams. That genre really made me feel something.
I remember playing a song by A Day To Remember at one of these said talent shows and the whole crowd was singing with me and at that very moment I felt like I was in a movie and I knew I wanted to do music for the rest of my life. Shortly afterwards, I geeked out and did a whole PowerPoint presentation on how I was going to pursue music as a career. When I went to college, I was very into Coldplay and that’s when I started to take song writing seriously. Coldplay wrote songs that I wish I wrote. Having the yearn to write songs that good made me bloom into the artist I am now.
We tell stories here at Hidden Beats. What is the story with your music?
I feel like it’s a novel with 20 sequels, but I’ll try to make it short. Every song I’ve written has an imaginary music video filmed during that now-embarrassing moment in my life. I wish you could see those imaginary music videos of my life because you would laugh at me or cry with me, but the songs are the next best thing to understanding what’s happened in my life and how I feel about it. Like most people, I’ve been through it all.
I’ve dated the good guys, I’ve dated the bad guys, I’ve been a good guy, I’ve been the bad guy, I’ve publicly embarrassed myself more times than I can count, I’ve traveled the world on a college kid budget to meet absolute strangers, I’ve been fed up with life, I’ve been through some crap, I’ve been severely depressed, I’ve been on amazing adventures, I’ve been the happiest person, and I’ve been the luckiest person. Each song has a back story of what it’s like being unapologetically me. Simply put, I just want to be me, and I want you to relate to my awkward, silly, daring, emotional, authentic self through my music.
What is one band/artist that has influenced you that may be surprising to others?
I mean if it’s not surprising enough that I listened to screamo religiously throughout my teenage years, I would say maybe Radiohead is surprising to others. I love Radiohead. I’ve been a huge fan of Radiohead since I was 5 years old. Yell-screaming the whole OK Computer album with my sister in her station wagon. I was also in a Radiohead tribute band in college and I’ve seen them on tour. Radiohead reinvents themselves and the music industry in general with each album. They aren’t trying to fit in- they are making authentic music. I haven’t written any lyrics half as intelligent and original as Thom Yorke yet, but I strive to.
Who is your dream collab and why?
I honestly hate duets. It has to be done a certain way to make me not gag because I always find them cheesy but somehow Coldplay never makes it seem cheesy or cliché. For example, Coldplay and Beyonce – who would ever think to put those two together? But somehow by the music Gods will it works amazingly. It would be a complete honor to do something with Chris Martin. Who wouldn’t want to collab with Coldplay? Coldplay is Coldplay. Nothing more needs to be said.
What, if any, advice have you been given that you would pass down to new artists coming up?
I don’t want to say something that you can find on a bumper sticker like “Don’t give up”, but seriously don’t give up and put in the work ethic. If you respect your art enough to eat, sleep, breathe, and poop it out, other people will respect it too. Yeah, you’ll have some poopy songs, or a crap gig, or someone will drink haterade and troll you in the comments, but if you keep working at it- like really working at every aspect of it- you’ll get there. You have to take yourself seriously as a business and as an artist and accept nothing less for yourself. Be involved in every aspect of your art. Let it be you.
What do you think of the music industry. Do you find it hard to get noticed in this oversaturated world?
Yes and no. I don’t know if getting “discovered” by word of mouth or by the internet is easier or harder to be honest. I think the whole “pay to get plays” or paying for followers is making authentic music harder to get heard. It seems like you need money just to be able to poke your head through the sea of artists. I’m not a fan of that and I hope these platforms put a stop to that at some point. It seems like music was in this stagnant pop atmosphere for a while. Now that artists like Billie Eilish (LOVE HER) are mainstream – I think music will go in a different direction and I’m loving it.
I read somewhere that you’ve been writing “Awkward love songs” since you were quite young. What about love in particular felt like the right place to start at such a young age?
Ugh it’s so weird and cringy to think about (haha). I wrote my first song on an airplane going to Texas in maybe 2007. To set the scene, at this time in my life I wore Limited Too and tried to copy Hannah Montana’s outfits. I just got my first boyfriend, and when I say boyfriend, I mean someone who I held hands with on only two occasions and “dated” for like three weeks. This boyfriend “cheated” on me by telling one of my friends he liked her instead. Super cringy and embarrassing. I wrote this song and several others about my first heartbreak with him. I’m pretty sure my first song is unironically called Heartbroken and it will most likely never see the light of day unless I am hardcore dared to expose it to the world for everyone to laugh at.
I wrote several of these in my tweens. I took a break from song writing until I was like 15-16 years old. Those songs were still as awkward because I was still trying to find my own voice. At the time I thought I was Avril Lavigne which is pretty funny and completely inaccurate when you read how corny the lyrics were. When you’re that young it seems like you feel everything 100 times over. I needed to write about it at the time to let those feelings explode out of me- and that’s still true with how I write today- except now I don’t feel immense pain over a guy I held hands with twice (ha-ha).
You lived in the UK for a little bit, how did you find being across the pond influenced you as a musician?
So, I traveled to the UK to live with a British musician I had met at a song writing retreat. I had spent 4 days with him at this retreat and developed some romantic feelings for him and decided to go live with him in England for a month. Crazy, right? So, we had a little fling and it ultimately ended and then songs were born. However, this wasn’t the first time I traveled to Europe to go meet a guy. In my early twenties (I am 26 now), I traveled to Europe to meet a different guy that I had been talking to in a TapTap Revenge chat room. Remember that app for iPod touch? That was fun.
We dated for a while. I still think, how was that me? Me? Traveling to Europe to date strangers? I feel like I’ve lived a million different lives (haha). Well anyways, I know having the experience of traveling across the world to make a romantic connection with multiple guys has given me a lot of material for songs! I wouldn’t say physically being in a different country influenced me as a musician but dating men in different countries definitely influenced me to write.
Recently, you kind of took the traditional pining love song and flipped it upside down with the sassy and catchy nature of your new song “Hey London.” What’s the story there?
Well, without spilling all of the tea, obviously it has to do with having some “foreign flings” in my lifetime. I wouldn’t say the emotion behind the song is from one specific relationship but a combination of how it felt to be in a couple of different relationships. This combination of relationships is represented as the city of London in the song.
I start out the song by chasing this guy all around these London landmarks and then by the chorus I realize that I’m sick of having to chase this guy. If this guy doesn’t see my worth or take this romance seriously then I’m “over it”! In the second verse I struggle with letting him go and sticking to my guns, as we all do sometimes, but by the end of the song I decide to move on and do what’s best for me. Throughout some relationships I’ve learned that it is better to be alone than to be in something that makes you feel not the best. Sometimes it’s just hard to let go even though you know you should because you deserve better- so get over it and be “over it, hey”!
Is your lyric video for the song all stuff that was shot while you lived over there?
I wish I was that talented of a videographer! It’s all stock footage of places I’ve been in London and had personal experiences at. I hand-picked every clip and stitched them all together to try to match the story of Hey London and put you right there with me. I created the whole lyric video myself, so I really hope you enjoy it!
Is this song a precursor to a new EP or album that listeners can look forward to? If yes, what can we expect? More empowering anthems perhaps?
I have two more singles coming at you and then an EP. Let me tell you, I am so looking forward to showing you – it’s crazy. Without giving you the titles, the next two singles are my favorites. The first one is a psycho pop anthem about being so blinded by love that you don’t have care in the world about anything. You will happily drown in it, even if it kills you, and you’re happy about it. It’s crazy cool and crazy in general.
The other one is a bop about depression finding its way in a relationship. It sounds super sad, but the track is such a bop and one of the songs I’m most proud of. You have Hey London about leaving something not right for you with an ass kicking vibe, title number 2 about loving something unconditionally even if it kills you with a psycho vibe, and title number 3 about dealing with depression invading your love life with an “in your feelings” vibe. All three are about deep, real experiences. Maybe now you have a better idea of what to expect but trust me when I say you won’t expect these songs.
Everything all said and done, what would you like to tell your fans?
Nothing is possible without you. Every artist says that but it’s the real deal. Accomplishing my dreams would not be possible for me without you. Every message I get about my music completely makes my day; it makes my life. So, thank you for reading this article and supporting my art.
If you’re a new fan reading this, please check out my music on Spotify, iTunes or any other streaming service. It’s available everywhere! If you would like to know when these new songs come out you can like/follow my Facebook page/other social media. Also subscribe to my mailing list – all found on www.laineydionne.com.
And thank you Hidden Beats!
Our Spotlight – Lainey Dionne is in the books. We want to say thanks for talking the time to chat with us. Make sure you check out all Lainey’s upcoming music on her website.
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