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Monday, April 21, 2014

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Lara Anderson, Musician Our Coverage Sponsored by ECO SWIM BY AQUA GREEN

Lara Anderson 

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Lara Anderson is a vibrant and talented young musician from Los Angeles. Born in the Hollywood Hotel, Lara was sure of what she wanted from an early age. But her dreams did not fully take shape until she started singing.

Raised a Scientologist on a ranch in Hemet, CA, Lara moved to Clearwater, FL at age 13 and joined in at her Church’s annual music event. Deciding to pursue music fulltime, Lara left the church and moved back to California to create her art on a larger scale.

After writing her first songs at age 19, Lara joined the group Little Red Radio. The 4-piece electronic dance act played over 400 shows across the United States in 5 years, opening for bands such as Black Eyed Peas, Mickey Avalon, Pussy Cat Dolls, War Paint, A Flock Of Seagulls, etc.

During the adventures and experiences that Lara had in Little Red Radio she was continuously writing her own music and working with producers in California, New York, and Germany. In 2013 her first solo EP Some Time To Think, was released, which included the tracks You Got Me Nowand Wonderful Things.

Lara fully designs her creative output -- the music she writes, produces, and performs, the online presence that she maintains, the photo shoots and music videos she directs, the costumes, lighting, and projections of her stage show are all painstakingly created to ensure every detail fully corresponds to her aesthetic.

Lara is currently working with Adam Barber in Los Angeles on her first full-length album La La Land. Drawing from the over 100+ songs she has written, the LP fulfills Lara’s early promise and pushes her music in new directions. Hear her music and learn about her at WWW.LARA.FM.  We are so pleased to present Lara Anderson as our latest Mover and Shaker.  Peachy Deegan interviewed Lara for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first musical memory and can you tell us about it?
Lara Anderson: 
My mother singing. Her distinct voice and melody, as well as my father’s mother (My grandma Linda) who was a tap dancer and singer and she would always be humming and my grandpa John who always played the Harmonica.  
Not sure which came first but it was probably my mother singing. 

Has Scientology influenced your singing career and do you practice it today?
I am not a practicing Scientologist, but it has, in many ways influenced my music, yes.

How would you describe your musical style to someone that has not yet heard you?
I am not a one genre kinda gal, so I dabble in all sorts of music, but over all I would say Pop.

What did you enjoy most about Little Red Radio and what are your best tour memories?
That we all worked hard and we truly loved our group like a family. We became great friends and always had such a good time together. M
emories - I would say having to sit in our tour van to go to the next exciting venue, and laughing really hard, crack'n jokes as the hours came to minutes to our next show. Always put me in such a good mood.

What does it mean to you to fully design your creative output and what is aesthetically attractive to you?
When I play a show, I have a vision or an idea of what I want and what I want people to feel for that show. With that, I put together the color theme, what musicians I will need, style of outfits, hair and make up for the musicians and artists involved in the show, projection mapping and lighting, our own sound person etc. You will definitely know you are at a “LARA” show when you walk into a venue I am playing at. It’s not just the stage or the music. It’s the whole venue or atmosphere. I am very hands on and a detail orientated artist when it comes to my music and the show I create. The same thing goes for anything that I am creating such as music videos, pictures, painting etc. I like the work that I put into it. I feel that if I am going to do something I want it to be how I like it because I know people will receive it the way I intended.

How are you able to narrow down from 100 plus songs to one album?
I have no idea! hahahaha... When the album is released you will see that each song is different from each other, but they all have my love and experiences connected to them, so they hold this "LARA" feel to them, which shows you a bit about who I am and what I am made up of.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
Mainly my friends and the experiences I have had throughout my life so far. But, also going back and listening and watching other artists that are no longer with us today. This is so important! They have all left us with wise words, emotions, passions and things we can learn and enjoy!
Just to be able to go on YouTube or the internet and watch old footage, documentaries and videos of artists and world activists that we might have not ever been able to see or hear in person or even read about until now, is quite knowledgeable to me. Seeing and feeling how they have helped people through their art and what they cared about most, has definitely influenced me to continue to pursue excellence in whatever I do.

What are you proudest of and why?
My music and art. Knowing what I wanted to do from a very young age and not letting it go for something else that might have been easier.  
I have learned that through my music and art I can help people and the world the way I do best, and I am proud that I stay with it. It makes me so happy to know that I still love it, through the thick and thin.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
To guide and create a huge orchestra of artists and musicians all written and produced by myself.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
The love from my friends, fans and people who understand and acknowledge who I am why I am here on this earth. These are the best "honors" and "awards" I receive on a daily basis. It’s all that matters to me at the end of the day.

What one word best describes you and why?
None! There is no "one word" that describes me. Ask any of my friends or people who know me. I tried to come up with one... “LARA” I guess 

What do you take your sense of identity from?
Everything around me.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? And Los Angeles?
In L.A - Outside mainly. The weather is so nice and there are a lot of people to watch and talk to that interest me. L
.A is my home and its pretty good with keeping me entertained, even if it’s just stepping outside to get some "fresh" air and learning something new about the person who lives across the way. There’s always someone or something that has meaning and passion and that’s what is attractive to me about life. That goes for Manhattan as well. There are a lot of wonderful, happy interesting people.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? And LA?
I have too many, but I would definitely recommend the 12345 Clothing Store downtown Los Angeles in the Arts District. They have some unique styles there for men and women. My kind of thing. They will soon have a store in NYC, but you can shop online at till then.  I am still determining my favorite Manhattan shop!

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?
My artist friends. Because I know what they can and want to do and how capable they are at doing it and I can easily communicate an idea or the way I want something to look and it will be that way or better because they know what I want.

What is your favorite drink?
So many... Other than juicing, cocunut water and wine... I would say a piƱa colada. Although I am not a huge fan of rum, it gets me good every time (and I can always replace the rum with something else if I feel like it). It makes me feel sweet and girlie when I drink it.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? And LA?
Many restaurants, but off the top of my head... I'd say Pace on Laurel canyon blvd in West Hollywood and Hama Sushi in Downtown LA are unique and fun for me and really good food. Otherwise, I love eating at the local farmers markets everywhere. Such a delightful treat.
In terms of Manhattan restaurants, I have only been to a few and the ones I loved were, Red Bamboo (A vegetarian restaurant) and Cafe Gitane.

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? And LA?
I spend a lot of time writing, painting and making costume pieces and clothes, not a big book reader which I want to change... BUT ... I am Reading Patti Smiths "Just kids" book that a friend gave me the other day, and I am really enjoying it! Learning through her experiences and adventures is quite incredible and I find myself relating a lot to her. I have it next to me right now. (I just looked at the cover and saw that it is a #1 New York Times best seller. Of course.)

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
Probably, Michael Jackson. Just to know.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? And LA?
Manhattan, Not sure... I think I would have to build something... Something that would forever give back to Manhattan, but could definitely be identified as something I created to represent the love I have for it.  
In LA, I would really love to bring back The Wilcox Hotel in Hollywood, (where I was born) to its original intended look. I don’t know about something being named after me, I mean after all my initials are already "LA" J I guess my new album "LALA LAND" will be that for me.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? And LA?
In New York - Learning to walk everywhere fast!!
In LA - running to the metro getting off on Vine and Hollywood and running up to Beachwood ave, and then a fast walk up to the Hollywood sign. It is definitely an all-day adventure for me, as well as athletic, but I did it!

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? And LA?
I have yet to find out! I know I will be spending a lot more time in Manhattan so I hope it will show me.  
There is a lot that I do in L.A. that I can definitely do somewhere else, but one thing I can do that I couldn't do somewhere else necessarily, is I can pretty much go anywhere in L.A. and know exactly where I am and what transportations to take to get wherever I need to go.
Whether it be walking, biking, taking a cab or driving, I can easily figure it out. Oh, and I know all the sneaky fast routes and short cuts during traffic which is always nice!

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
All four members of The Beatles or Deborah Harry.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? And LA?
Playing The Giving Back Foundation at the Pierre Hotel. It opened my mind up in so many ways! Taught me about care and love across the world and how much more I can do, it gave me even more inspiration for my music and art and what my goals are for the future.  
In L.A it was the first concert I had ever gone to in 2005, at KROQ's almost acoustic Christmas at the Gibson Amphitheater. I was with my brother who got us the tickets. We saw Avenged Sevenfold, Fall Out Boy, Korn, Nine Inch Nails and System of a Down.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
Not enough. I want to do so much more!!  
My art and music is my main foundation for continuously giving back to the world and people.  
I also have been part of and am currently still part of many groups, fundraisers, artist supportive groups, campaigns etc. that all support love, peace and the creative aspect of giving back. Not only did I dedicate my life till I was 20 years old to a church that’s drive is to help people and the world, I have also created and booked many shows in L.A where artist could share their music, dancing, art work, writings and teachings which in turn help people to help themselves and teach them to help others. I have recovered or been a part of many friends and people I never knew, who struggled with drug problems, food addictions, depression, insecurities etc. to a point where they could finally say they are happy in their lives and doing really well. I never feel like I have given back enough and I love that because I know I will spend the rest of my life continuously giving back as that is what encourages my life and what makes me happy.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? And LA?
I haven't spent enough time in Manhattan to know, but I cant wait to experience it more thoroughly to answer that well.  For L.A.: 
Overrated - The glam life of Hollywood and Los Angeles. 
It’s a place that is quite incredible in its own way but can feel at times like a bit of a struggle for artists and musicians.  
I have heard things like "…if you can't make it here, then you can't make it anywhere" many times, and it simply is not true.  
L.A can be a tough city, full with so many amazing and very talented artists and musicians trying to "Make it" and for some it can feel like a competition or a need to criticize art, and it really shouldn't be. In fact my favorite thing about L.A is the artists and people I have met and collaborated with and how good I felt while doing it. I wish there would be a lot more of that. People coming together to create is more powerful.
Underrated - All the amazing artists that don’t care about fame or fortune and really do their art (whatever that may be) just because it’s fun and magical. There are so many here and it’s so nice to come across the ones that are just pure and happy. It’s beautiful to see.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Probably the Peachy's Pantry column for the Fresh Origins Monthly update features because I LOVE good and healthy food!!!  It is exciting to see what they come up with every month from the great state of California...But my fav is Charitable Peachy and your interviews with Meera in the Movers and Shakers column because of the impact it reveals. It had The Giving Back Foundation Gala in it, which is a Foundation that I not only got to be a part of in New York as my first official Gala, but a foundation I could support 100%, that supports things that I live for. It supports artist, women, children and groups that are returning to the universe what the universe gives us. Life. Most of all, I love the fact that anyone can be part of it, no matter what religion or group. If you want to give back to the world, then there is a place in this foundation for you.

Have you tried The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 
Not yet... I am waiting to have one with you when I come back to New York!

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I am here to love, create and support others who want to do the same.  
Art is not a competition, but a way to come together in the most amazing surreal way and it needs to remain a magical tool for the world to hold its purity and beauty. 
Let’s not ever forget why we do it, and always remember to do it our best.

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