After her 2011 EP, Love Mae (with singles such as "Money Mae"), and a few years of collaborating with artists like B.o.B ("Chandelier") and CeeLo Green ("Only You"), Atlantic Records signee Lauriana Mae is on the road to dropping her debut album.
Earlier this year, the blond bombshell released the second EP, City Of Diamonds, as a prelude to the upcoming effort. Mae effortlessly combines her influence of soul icons such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James with her respect for Hip-Hop; you can most likely hear her distinct, innocent rasp over the heavy boom-bap of a rap track or the swing horns of yesteryear, all of which can subtly be heard on City Of Diamonds. Her songwriting isn’t too shabby either; for instance, her song "NYPD Blues" expresses a poignant metaphor of abuse from a micro and macrocosm perspective.
Lauriana briefly chatted with Singersroom about the EP, the upcoming album, being able to shine despite insecurities, her thoughts on the recent attention regarding police brutality, and more.
Tell us about you latest EP, City Of Diamonds.
Actually, it kinda just happened when I was recording the album. Being locked away in the studio for years now, just trying to top everything one song after the next and kinda ended up finishing the album and felt the need to give people a prelude to what that’s gonna sound like because the sound is so unique.
So that's the direction the album will go, sonically?
Yes, definitely. With the help of the producers on the album; Secret Society and Jack Splash, who produced the EP, as well as Polow the Don and Kwame.
I love how you compared a mistrustful personal relationship to the NYPD on "NYPD Blues." Is it safe to say that song sums up how you feel about all the recent police brutality?
I mean, it definitely does, and not even just recent police brutality, but this has been going on for a very long time and it's just now getting the attention that it's getting because we all have cell phones. We're all able to catch these things happening. It's very sad. I'm really, really praying and hoping for justice right now because it's affected some cultures more than others, but it's just the police and the power they've given these people and the way they're abusing it.
Is the City Of Diamonds New York specially or any big metropolis?
Well for me, it's New York City, but for someone else it can be Miami, it can be L.A. For me, I grew up in Jersey, and most of my hustle is in the city where I learned the game and where I came in contact with the whole, you know, there’s a lot of diamonds out here, everybody wants to shine. And I'm coming, like it says, from under a rock to find my place there. That can be anywhere for anyone.
What’s something that a lot of people don’t know about you?
(Laughs) I think there’s a lot of things people don’t know about me yet, so it's hard to say. I’m just coming out; I think they will just get to know me as we go.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates?
Hopefully. I believe we’re working on somethings now, but I don’t have any details right now. I just did a little pop-up show last night to kick off my whole "Month of Mae" campaign, and we're gonna start doing more things like that as well. We're working on some things, and I’ll definitely be non-stop talking about it on my Twitter and Instagram when it finally happens (laughs).
What song of yours are you most proud of?
I'm not gonna mention the ones you don't know yet on the album, 'cause some of them are just wow, but I'm very proud of the song "This Pain" for the reason that my actual hometown, my family, my team, we did this record together. It was produced by Secret Society, and we have members of my band, The Pains, playing on the record. I wrote the record; it's really just a testament to all the work we've been doing together as a team, so I'll have to say that one for now.
Do you have time for any hobbies outside of music?
Umm, I know right? I’ve been telling myself lately like, I need to pick up a couple more hobbies. Sometimes I like to paint, I'm not gonna say I'm the greatest, but I like to paint sometimes. I'm really big into football, Dallas Cowboys; I'm a big lover of Coca-Cola and music (laughs), and family.
Your style is really dope, too. Do you have any quick beauty secrets when you want to look fly at the drop of a dime?
Oh my God, I wanna ask you for some beauty secrets! I don’t know, I think we're all our own worst critics in a way. I don't know; I don’t have any secrets. Sometimes I’m looking at my clothes and I'm like, 'Aww man, I wish I had something cooler to wear!' It's just like, I don't know, I'm asking y'all for beauty secrets. We really don’t know how beautiful we all are, really. It's a big problem (laughs).
How do you feel about the term "blue-eyed soul?"
I don't care, whatever people wanna call it, as long as they like it. Because I don’t know what to call it. I just want them to listen to it, and I want them to love it. It's very honest, and I worked very hard on it and I fought very hard to create this lane and get everyone's support on it because it's very hard to do things like that nowadays.