Saturday 26 June 2021
Celina’s Artist Chooses Berklee and Grows Through Her Music
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA – It’s the start of a new era for Lauren Schroeder.
The 18-year-old native of Celina is moving from the pop character that won her “Ohio’s Got Talent” and a spot on American Idol to a more mature neo-soul sound that will follow her at Berklee College of Music in Boston this fall.
Schroeder said 2020 presents personal and professional challenges. The pandemic has canceled most of the shows and projects she has been eagerly awaiting, and the slump in her time on “American Idol” has hit a little harder than expected.
At the same time, the young artist was grappling with writer’s block and the consequences of turning out to be bisexual to her parents last June.
Schroeder said she was “an anxiety ball” last summer. The inspiring dead end she found herself in was frustrating and she felt anxious to know where she was as a performer.
Then, as Schroeder’s songwriting process often unfolds, the lyrics of a song leaked out of her one day in June 2020. However, Celina’s teenager didn’t finish writing it until ‘in February of this year.
Schroeder’s latest song, titled “New Era,” deals with feelings of inadequacy, discouragement and impatience with life, while acknowledging that these feelings will not last forever.
“I’m going to be fine,” she sings on the track. “It’s a new era, I’ll feel better.”
The song is complemented by mellow jazz-inspired guitar riffs, relaxed rhythms, and Schroeder’s vocals and keyboard skills. Orlando, Florida-based musician and producer Emerson Vernon also lends talent to the track.
Schroeder and Vernon met at StoneTree Studios in Indianapolis, where Vernon is from. Vernon produced “Star,” a pop song that Schroeder and Celina High School alumnus Remington Hill collaborated on last spring.
The song represents a transition for both artists. For Schroeder, it’s a break with the pop-rock sound she was looking for and an introduction to the neo-soul genre. For Vernon, this departs from his old stage name “wolfi”.
Schroeder’s inspiration for writing music has also changed over the past year. Previously, she had said she wrote music to prove her critics wrong. She started online school in 2019 after being bullied while attending Celina’s high school.
Now Schroeder says she feels like writing music for herself. The result is a more developed and meaningful project and sound for the young artist.
“My motivations for recording were totally different,” she said on Friday afternoon. “It’s definitely my style of music. I feel like New Era… looks like me.”
Schroeder said she wanted Vernon on the song because he’s someone she had worked with and respected as an artist before. Vernon seemed hesitant at first, she said, and she didn’t know how he felt about the song until recently.
For Vernon, 24, the collaboration was fortuitous. He had also recently had a transformative experience, deciding to abandon his performance character “wolfi” in favor of his real name.
“Right before Lauren submitted the song, I asked her to release (the song) under my god name, Emerson Vernon. It all seemed so perfect considering that this is truly a new era for me,” he said. he stated in an email to the newspaper Friday. “The whole experience made me appreciate the song a lot more.”
Schroeder flew to Orlando in late May to film an accompanying music video for Emmy-winning videographer Herb Maximo. She added that she was able to make the moody rainbow-lit music video thanks to sponsorship from Moeller Brew Barn, whose product is featured in the video.
“If people take one thing away, it’s that nothing is everlasting,” Schroeder said. “I want people to take advantage if they go through something, or even if they aren’t.”
“New Era” and the accompanying music video will be released on June 30 at midnight. The teenager can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @laurenjeansoul for updates and her performance schedule.