Free-spirited, powerhouse, soulful—all these words describe singer-songwriter Lauren Wilhelm, also known as Dazy (The Girl). Hailing from Tallahassee, Wilhelm has already made splashes with her cover of The 1975’s “Chocolate” and will be performing at Warped Tour this summer. We had a Lauren Wilhelm interview about finding inspiration for her music and lyrics and her upcoming plans.
Photo credit to Matt Burke
Cliché: First, any reason in particular you decided to cover The 1975’s “Chocolate?”
Lauren Wilhelm: It was actually a last-minute decision the day before I had an acoustic performance at the Gunz show. My buddy the Heavy Empty suggested the song and I was skeptical because I had no idea what any of the real lyrics were. We made it work and I enjoyed singing it so much that I decided to add it to my setlist.
What other music would you like to do covers of?
I just finished recording and mixing my next cover “All Of Me” by John Legend. I really like how it turned out! Pretty soon I’m taking it back to my roots and am going to do some Brand New and Taking Back Sunday.
Your soulful version of that song follows closely to the soulful, pop sound of your single “I Told You So.” What draws you to that type of music?
I think it’s just my voice that has that bluesy raspy sound to it. It’s not really a sound I’m trying to create, it’s just my words with my feelings coming through my vocal chords. It’s a natural feeling to me.
You describe your music as “aggressive pop with a little rock and intense soul.” How did you find a balance between these three different sounds?
The underlying theme in those words is “passion.” I’m passionate about singing and having my songs heard, so they reflect that. I enjoy a catchy tune that can be both meaningful and memorable.
When writing your own music, what is your process like when coming up with the sound and the lyrics?
It’s different every time. Sometimes a song comes to me when I’m playing the piano or guitar. My favorite songs I’ve written have come to me while sitting alone in the back of someone’s car on a road trip. I used GarageBand for the last eight years or so, and that’s how I got a lot of my music heard. I’ve recently (finally) upgraded to ProTools and my whole life has changed. It’s easy being able to record myself in my home studio.
You’ve said that your mom was a big musical influence growing up. How did she influence the type of music you listen to, as well as the music you make now?
That woman could harmonize to a vacuum cleaner. She really taught me the importance of finding pitch and harmonies. She listened to a lot of Enya growing up, and I still love that spacey sound in songs. (Think Coldplay.)
What is it like getting to work with Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade (also your boyfriend)? Are you thinking about any future music with him?
It was great being able to do something with him finally. He’s a pretty laid back guy, so being in the studio was just as relaxing as being at home. As far as future music, who knows! Nothing planned as of right now, and I’d like to see who else I can collaborate with.
What can listeners expect from your upcoming performance at Warped Tour?
Expect sensual, sexual lullabies and a good f-ing time!
Photo credit to Matt Burke