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Lauren Wilhelm Interview


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

Relighting the Fire: An Interview with New Empire


Australian rockers New Empire are starting the year off with the North American release of their newest album In a Breath (the album was released in Australia in October). The quartet consists of Jeremy Fowler (vocals), Kale Kneale (drums), Kyle Lane (guitar), and Nathan Cairns (bass). From soft intimate moments to tunes that make you jump out of your seat, In a Breath captures the essence of New Empire and the creativity they bring to the table. They are starting off with a bang and taking their fans along for the ride. 

Cliché: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Jeremy Fowler:  I think every artist is constantly drawing inspiration from every facet of life everyday. To me, it feels like creative people are like sponges that observe and absorb their surroundings. I don’t feel any different to this, but I have to make sure my mind and heart remain open so I don’t miss anything that comes my way. Relationships, dreams, and faith are three things that inspire me.

What has been the most surreal moment so far?
Probably hearing 12,000 people sing our songs with us in Queensland, Australia. Those moments don’t fade away quickly! Every time we jump on a plane to go somewhere, I’m always so grateful for this adventure; I just love traveling.

Favorite song off of the upcoming album? Why?
It’s kind of like choosing between children, although I am yet to discover the feeling, but I’d say “In a Breath” because its meaning is really close to us. It’s a song about having hope through the tragedy of losing someone you love to disease and looking towards eternity.

Check out the rest of the interview with New Empire in the Feb/March issue of Cliché

Featured photo: Tim Ashton

Chasing Her Dreams In “California”


Rising star Arielle has proved that she’s more than just another pop star wannabe. From a young age, Arielle decided her passion was music. She was a natural at playing guitar, even earning the attention of Queen guitarist, Brian May. Arielle’s latest venture is releasing a new original song, “California.”

“California” was originally called “Til I Get There,” and it expresses how Arielle felt when she first moved out to California. She says that the song shares her feelings of “the pain, losing myself, and wondering why I wasn’t happy at the place I left everything to come to.” The song was written by Arielle, along with writers from Red Decibel Music Group (Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Jesse McCartney). The melody is catchy, while the lyrics are significant, with lines like “I’m trading scars / 
For that concrete star / And I can’t find the sunshine in California.”
Arielle’s new music video for her song “California” features her singing amongst the captivating scenery of California. Of the video concept, Arielle says, “We wanted to make it look like we were traveling from far away, so naturally we went to the desert.” By the end of filming, they ended up at the Santa Monica Pier and on Hollywood Boulevard.
With the release of this music video, Arielle is now looking forward to releasing her self-titled EP in late April. For the upcoming EP, Arielle explains that “fans can expect a deep, emotional journey that is colored with guitar, harmonies, soaring melodies, and energy.”
You can download “California” for free at officialarielle.com, and you can see the exclusive behind-the-scenes video below!

Arielle’s links:
Chasing Her Dreams In “California”. Photo Courtesy of Shane Wepprich

From Idol to “No Ordinary Moments”: Jeremy Rosado Interview


Affectionately dubbed “Jer Bear” by Jennifer Lopez, American Idol Season 11 finalist Jeremy Rosado is ready to take the music industry by storm. Rosado auditioned five times before making it to the top 13 on what he says is the “biggest first step in the music industry.” The experience has given Jeremy some awesome opportunities, including the chance to record his debut album.
Cliché: You made it to 13th place on season 11 of American Idol. Congrats! How has being on the show changed your life?
Jeremy Rosado: American Idol gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity, that I believe God used to open so many doors for me! The biggest “first step” into the music industry you could ever ask for!
You’ve said that your American Idol journey meant so much to you because you tried out multiple times before. Why did you decide to keep auditioning?
I auditioned 5 times, it was tough getting turned down so many times but I’d been dreaming of being on American Idol since I was 10 years old. So that was my drive to keep going!
Do you think auditioning several times made the experience more meaningful once you finally did make it?
Yes, because the “being turned down” so many times only made me soak in every bit of the experience! It made me appreciate every single day I was there!
What was the most important thing you took away from your American Idol experience?
Honestly, just being on the show & the lessons I learned about being a professional, not to mention all the doors it opened for me!
Which judge do you think gave you the best/most helpful feedback, and what did they say?
Of course JENNIFER LOPEZ! She not only gave me so much confidence; she fought for me so many times throughout the rounds and she believed in me more than I believed in myself! One day she said “Some people are blessed with a voice from God that the moment they open their mouth I’m immediately drawn in, that’s you, you open your mouth and I’m immediately drawn in!” That was a moment I’ll never forget, JLo saying something like that, that was crazy!
For people who may not have watched the show, how would you describe yourself as an artist?
I am a person of faith, so my artistry and music reflects that. Musically, it’s definitely pop with a soul edge. Lyrically, it really reflects my relationship with God. But I hope it’s universally encouraging, for people who share my beliefs and for those who don’t. I know that music has the power to inspire, bless, encourage and change lives. I hope mine can do that for those who hear it.
What has been your proudest/happiest moment as a performer?
That day in the top 42 on American Idol on the pool that they made into a stage in Vegas I sang and Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler stood up cheering. That was a crazy moment!

You released the single, “Don’t Be Afraid,” a few months ago. What was the inspiration behind the song?

Fear is such a big obstacle for so many of us and it’s just a song to encourage you to put away the fear, and the masks and just be honest and real! Don’t be afraid. God is with you.
What have you been up to since Idol, besides releasing the single? Can fans expect an album anytime soon?
It’s been a crazy but blessed 2 years. I just signed with AIC Records in New York and we are releasing my debut full length album, “No Ordinary Moments”, this spring! I can’t wait for everyone who supported me on American Idol to finally hear the music! I am so grateful for everyone who has stood by me since American Idol and I am most grateful for the doors God has opened and the blessings he is giving me!
Photo Courtesy of MonaLisa’s Image Art
Monalee Humesky & Anthony Schulist