Via Kenzie Maroney
Could you introduce yourself?
Hi! I'm Lo. A kid from Olympia, Washington who now gets to create pop songs for a living!
What’s your life philosophy? How do you try to apply that to your work?
When I was growing up, my mom would always have one quote on repeat: 'If you can believe it, you can achieve it!' Because of that, I've always dreamt really big, and never doubted that if I worked hard enough and never gave up, that it would happen. Every day when I write songs, I try to approach it with the attitude that something magical will come of it, and I find that when I'm in that headspace, I get the best work out of myself. And also... magical things really do happen! 'Thoughts become things', after all, (as my mother would say)!
How did the name Lo come to be? What's the story?
You're about to be let in on a big secret! When I was in college, I served as the captain of the Vanderbilt Dance team. My favorite type of dance was hip hop, and one of my guilty pleasure songs was, and will always be, the Bojangles remix by Pitbull. One night at practice, I was leading the team in hip hop warm ups to that song, and being the goofball that I am, starting twerking relentlessly like I was in a Missy Elliott video. My team gave me the nickname 'Lojangles' after that night, which got shortened to Lo over time. When it came time to settle on a name for my music, Lo felt like the right choice! I associate it not only with so many amazing performance memories, but with the most confident & fun version of myself - the version of me that may or may not dance shamelessly to novelty songs, for example.
How does your environment influence your creative direction?
It certainly can affect my creative direction - mood lighting, candles, good vibes from good people - all can play a role in the session. However, I really try to make sure that despite the variables around me, that I stay consistent! A quote I've always loved is 'Bring the sunshine where there isn't any'- so even if I'm somewhere where the vibes aren't flowing, I try to bring them myself! Being in a good headspace is so critical to doing great creative work, so I really try to nurture that in any way I can.
What's a song that gets you dancing and singing along, no matter where you are?
Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars! If that song is on, watch out for me on the roads!!
Could you tell us a bit about your latest project, "Good Good"? What inspired this particular mini-video series?
Good Good is my debut single that was co-written & produced by my closest collaborator, Stephen Schmuldt. This was the first song we ever created together & we immediately knew we had a magical creative bond. We wrote this song based on a true breakup story of mine, and wanted to use the experience to encourage other females to feel fierce & empowered. This song was honestly the first record I had ever made where I listened back and thought, okay, THIS is Lo. For that reason, it's so special to me, because I felt like my artistry really came to life that day.
The mini-video series was actually something I made on my iPhone, with the intention of hooking in my fans & building up anticipation towards the song release!
What is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
Hakuna Matata, kid! I was always such an overachiever (competitive dancer, straight A student, etc), that I always took everything so seriously, thinking any wrong step could derail my step toward the bright future I was dreaming of. Sometimes I wish I would have realized the path I was on wasn't going to change if I took a night off, and let myself lighten up a little bit more! Anxiety & worry doesn't help us in the end - which I'm learning now, but I wish I would have known that then!
Could you walk us through a day you would deem perfect?
I wake up in a golden ray of sunshine to the sound of the ocean. I smell coffee - my God, there is coffee everywhere! And raspberries. Is this heaven? No? Just breakfast? Cool.
Next, I spend my whole day outside on the water, snorkeling, swimming, tubing, boating, and soaking up the sun with my friends & family, and of course, a select list of the hip hop jams that encouraged me to get that double tap on the shoulder at high school dances. A unicorn may or may not be involved - it depends on what reality we're talking about here. In the evening, we dance. We dance until we can't dance anymore. And then a bubble bath (a daily ritual of mine), a mediation, an episode of Friends and oh my god, is that cookie dough ice cream? Boom. Perfect day.
How does pop music inspire your current self expression? Who are a few of your biggest influences?
Pop music has been a HUGE influence on my self expression since I can remember. Growing up as a dancer, we always did routines to songs where the artists were sassy, confident, and powerful - to this day, that encourages me to put that sort of energy out into the world. It's amazing how that perspective about yourself can positively change your life!
Some of my biggest influences, past and present, include ABBA, Bebe Rexha, Madonna, Nelly, Lana Del Rey, Ludacris, and Ellie Goulding.
What are a few of your goals for the upcoming year?
I would love to snag a major cut on a big artist & to hear something I wrote on the radio. To continue launching my artist career with more releases & features, and to get on a tour opening for a pop act I love - Bebe, you looking?
What makes you happy?
SO many things! But mostly, unabashed pop music, puns & nature!
Any closing comments?
Whatever it is, go for it! You got this!