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September 2, 2015


Aerica_Lauren-31_WEBI loved having Taylor guest write for the blog last week about make-up tips for engagement sessions! I’m digging this guest post thing! I decided I wanted to start featuring other guest posts from all kinds of creative and entrepreneurial and dream following people… The kind of people who are out there making waves or making a difference! If you know someone of that sort — have them send me an email at hello@brettdenfeldphotography.com!

This guest post Wednesday is coming to you from my talented musician friend, Aerica Lauren located in Richmond, VA. I just realized I have known Aerica for over SEVEN years! We both attended Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. I saw Aerica perform quite a few times in college but since then I haven’t been able to make any of her shows. BUT I was really excited when I was able to make it to her show a few weeks ago in Richmond! I made it for the last hour and enjoyed every bit of it! It was pretty funny because as I was walking up to the front of the building where she was performing on the patio… I watched from where she couldn’t see me for a minute to see her in her moment (eyes closed and singing)… (I PROMISE I WASN’T TRYING TO BE CREEPY!) As soon as I started walking into her vision she screamed “BERTTY!” and her face lit up! **SIDE NOTE** She calls me Bertty because ONE TIME I spelled my name wrong in a letter. It is literally WEIRD if she calls me “Brett” now.

Anyhow… take it away Aerica!


The Basics:

  • Name: Aerica Lauren
  • Current Location: Richmond, VA
  • Hometown: Crownsville, MD
  • Birthday: October 21, 1990
  • College/Major: Hollins University, English/Creative WritingAerica_Lauren-11_WEBAerica_Lauren-6_WEB

About the music:

  1. How do you find inspiration for writing your own music?
    I think everyone has the inspiration to create, it’s just a matter of how you choose to express yourself. I’m inspired by my relationships with people, my interpretation of what’s happening in the world around me, and my desire to express my thoughts in a unique way. I like the balance of words and sounds, so writing music was the obvious choice for me.Aerica_Lauren-8_WEB
  2. How would you describe your music style?
    Somewhere in between indie, pop, and folk? It’s definitely catchy but it’s not so simple that you can sort of predict the next lyric like with some pop music. It’s more of that singer-songwriter vibe where hopefully the words are thought-provoking while also being relatable and memorable.
  3. Who are your biggest inspirations in music? 
    I’ve always loved Brandi Carlile. If I could have a sound, band, and career like she’s had I would be so happy. Her voice and songwriting are so unique and her music is truly moving.Aerica_Lauren-19_WEB
  4. What instruments do you play? When did you start learning how to play?
    I mostly write songs on the guitar or ukulele. But I can play almost anything. If I don’t know how to play it I can figure it out. However, I don’t read music and I never learned music theory so everything I know or play is by ear or self-taught.Aerica_Lauren-14_WEB
  5. What do you feel like when you’re performing a show? 
    Whether it’s for one person or a hundred people, I always feel like I am more myself than ever when I get to play live music. When I perform, my audience and I automatically enter into this relationship where we are vulnerable with each other; I am giving them parts of me and they are trusting me to give them something to relate to. There’s an energy shared between us that feels unlike anything else. It’s very special.Aerica_Lauren-34_WEBAerica_Lauren-25_WEBAerica_Lauren-33_WEB
  6. What is your dream to accomplish with music?
    I would love to get a band together and record a solid record of originals that we could put out and use to play live shows and tour the east coast. That’s a smaller, short-term goal, but honestly I’d love to play all over the country and all over the world. I want to share my music with as many people as possible.
  7. If you could go on the road and collaborate with one artist/band who would you tour/collaborate with?
    I have a friend here in Richmond, his name is Billy Bacci. He’s a brilliant musician and writes these fantastic originals. We actually have a split-EP that we put out together (https://aericalauren.bandcamp.com/album/aerica-lauren-billy-bacci-split-ep) and we are currently working on practicing in a band setting to be able to play live shows together. As far as in my fantasy world, I’d love to be the opening act for someone like Brandi Carlile, Haim, Justin Vernon, Waxahatchee, Eisley, The Tallest Man on Earth… honestly I’m just about to list all my favourite bands so I’ll just stop there!Aerica_Lauren-17_WEB
  8. When do you write music? or how do you keep track of things? a notebook? computer? napkins?? haha do you write in your room? outside? on the go?
    A lot of the times I get ideas when I’m on longer car, plane, or train rides and I have to be alone with my thoughts. I’ll start reminiscing about something or overthinking what someone’s said to me and a line will just come to me and I build off of it. I pretty much will write ideas down on anything that’s handy, but it’s nice to have a “notes” app on my phone that I can just put things in really quickly or do the “talk to text” thing (safe driving!)Aerica_Lauren-12_WEB
  9. What advice do you have for other musicians or people pursuing their dreams?
    Honestly, I’m still figuring everything out too. But my advice would be “do it for you.” Whatever you want to do – write a song, learn an instrument, play a live show, record an album – just do it. You are the hardest person you’re ever going to have to please and you are your own biggest obstacle. If you do it for you, the world will follow. At the end of the day, at least you’ve proven to yourself that you can follow through.Aerica_Lauren-29_WEB

Other things:

  1. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
    Petrichor, Saudade, Déjà vu

    • (*If you don’t know what those first two words are click HERE and HERE!)
  2. What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year?
    I’m currently building up some portfolios to apply to some artist residencies and grad school!
  3. What’s one thing you can do now that you couldn’t have done a year ago?
    I can cut a perfect mat for a picture frame, I can mountain bike, I can upside-down wall twerk (three things?)                         (If you died laughing like I did… keep laughing)Aerica_Lauren-20_WEB
  4. If you could take a trip around the world what 3 places would you go?
    I’ve had the good fortune to be able to visit a lot of places nationally and internationally in my young life, but as far as places I haven’t been yet, I would love to go to Alaska, New Zealand, and Spain.
  5. People might be surprised to know that…
    Last summer I went on an artist residency where we got to sail around the Arctic Circle (North Pole) on a Barquentine Sailing Vessel for two weeks. It was the most special experience I’ve ever had and was easily the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.

Lastly — Where can people go to listen to your music? (website/youtube/etc…)

YouTube: Search “Aerica Lauren Music” or my username is “weAredirt” (it’s old and I haven’t switched it… I kind of like it haha)
Facebook: Search “Aerica Lauren Music
Tumblr: aericalaurenmusic.tumblr.com
Twitter: twitter.com/AericaLauren
Instagram: instagram.com/aericalaurenmusic/Aerica_Lauren-27_WEB

Aerica continues to be one of my best college friends and I am so excited to see where she is in 5 years – traveling, singing, traveling & singing! I’ll be doing all of those things but my singing will only be in the car by myself with the windows down on a road trip on my way to one of Aerica’s shows… yahhh??!

Thank you, Aerica, for opening up about yourself and your music!!  

Xoxo, Brett


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