We caught up with Lara Oshon to get the inside scoop on all she’s been up to! The marketing director by day and super talented artist by night dished on her new single, memorable moments from the music video set ad more! Read the exclusive interview below and don’t forget to follow Lara on Twitter and Instagram!
Let’s talk about your new single, “Phoenix Rising” – how did that song come about for you? What’s the story behind it?
The song came to me as I was soaking in the bathtub, feeling lost. I was in a major transition and things weren’t going the way I had hoped. I didn’t know what to do next and felt like time was running out. Writing the song gave me a feeling of strength, that I could just keep letting go of everything and allow something entirely new to happen. By channeling my fear and upset into the song I could create a new path forward.
What inspired the music video concept?
For years I have wanted to do a music video featuring a female dancer, and after I recorded the song I felt this was the time to make it happen. Dance is so visceral and I knew it would really help convey the power behind the song. My close friend Nathan Prevost is an incredible dancer, choreographer and director, and when I approached him with the project he was totally in. We created the concept of the dancer representing what I am becoming, the freedom that I’m reaching for while I’m still feeling limited by the past. She is the butterfly.
Are there any memorable moments from filming the video that you can share with us?
It was my first time filming a music video, so every moment was memorable for me! Nate and I did two nights of shooting on our own to capture the footage at the beginning of the video where I’m in black and also by the fire. On the very first night we had done several takes and I was starting to relax into the music and feel comfortable. At the end of what became our favorite take, I started crying. All of the feelings and memories behind the song, the journey of all that I had been through, filled me with emotion. It was every feeling, including joy to be there creating a video with people I loved. Nate kept the camera rolling and we ended up using a clip of that emotion in the video. It was a real moment of my heart cracking open.
Musically, what’s next for you? What should fans be expecting from you for the rest of the year?
You know, I was just thinking today about doing another online concert. I did one a few years back and it was so much fun! People can join from literally all over the world, from the comfort of their own home. It’s pretty cool, so that may happen soon. I’m also singing in Atlanta next month, and hope to do another Los Angeles concert early next year.
Growing up, which artists do you remember loving? Do they still influence your sound today?
My parents had tons of records of classic artists like Andy Williams, The Carpenters, Johnny Mathis, Helen Reddy, Barry Manilow. My favorite singer growing up was definitely Karen Carpenter. Her deep alto was so rich and honest, it always really touched me. I’m sure that my sound has been influenced by the simple purity of the vocals and arrangements of these artists. I love lyrically driven music that is straightforward, warm and uncluttered. I want to understand what the artist is saying and not have it buried under too many sounds.
What’s the songwriting process usually like for you?
My experience is that songs come to me when they’re ready. I definitely have to be in a place of listening and openness for them to come, and when I get too busy my channel gets cluttered. The lyrics typically come to me quickly all together, without a lot of changes, and I will hear a melody along with them. I once wrote a song in my dreams and as soon as I woke up I raced to write it all down. Sitting down at the piano to work out the arrangement usually takes the most time for me.
Is there a song that you absolutely love that you wish you wrote?
“Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. Such a beautiful song.
When it comes to stage presence, which artists are you inspired by?
I am a huge fan of Sara Bareilles and have followed her since before she got big. As a piano player I have loved watching her stage presence grow and evolve. I also love to watch Alicia Keys on stage. Sometimes sitting behind this big instrument can make you feel separated from the audience, but they both work it really well.
What do you hope fans take away from you and your music?
Strength of heart. Music has been a dear friend to me my whole life, and my songs come to me as strength, support and wisdom. I hope that fans experience my music as a friend that can be there when they need one, in those most personal and hidden places.
What’s the best way for fans to get your attention on social media?
Comment on my posts on Instagram and Facebook.
Let’s talk about the “Rise Up” t-shirt – what inspired that?
I have designed several t-shirt lines, and while I was creating the ‘Phoenix Rising’ video I started thinking about a t-shirt that could address the escalating world events we were all witnessing. So many natural disasters, mass shootings, violence against women and children, refugee crises, not to mention the political climate, were creating a sense of rising fear and anger. The idea of the Rise Up t-shirt is that we can take that fear and do something positive with it. I chose five organizations that successfully address many of the issues I mentioned, and 50% of the t-shirt proceeds will be donated to them.
What’s been the highlight of your year so far?
Creating this music video!
What’s something you’re still hoping to cross off your list this year?
A weekend getaway to the desert where I can soak in natural hot springs and drink exceptional red wine.
Which artist(s) have you had on repeat lately?
I always have Sara Bareilles on repeat. Chris Botti is a go-to for relaxing, romantic music. I finally got to see him live at the Hollywood Bowl this summer. I’m digging the new Pink album. Spotify made this playlist of country music that I’ve been enjoying lately – it’s so carefree and fun.
Any special message for your fans?
A huge THANK YOU!! Your support and encouragement keeps me going!
1. I have a major weakness for Cheetos
2. I was quarterback for a women’s flag football team for four years in college
3. I never leave home without lip balm
4. I’m part mermaid and love being in the ocean
5. I had my first cappuccino in Perth, Australia