Every musician in our Steereo Featured Artist series has referenced a primary source of inspiration behind their music — and the source has ranged from heartbreak to empowerment to existentialism. However, this week’s featured artist, Lauren DeMaio, stands out as the first whose music is categorically inspired by her faith.
This Rockland, New York-based Christian Pop artist released her debut EP, Journey, in 2018. The album features the rising singer-songwriter’s first single, “Locked Eyes”, in which she captures the universal struggle to endure the hardships of daily life while staying motivated to succeed.
Lauren DeMaio’s appropriately-named first album is an artistic representation of her personal journey as a rising singer-songwriter headlining Christian music festivals across the country. While DeMaio’s messages are based in her religious faith, it is notable that much of her inspiration stems from the universal language of nature.
Read our exclusive interview with Lauren DeMaio to find out more about how her musical journey has been fueled by her unwavering belief that we can conquer the unknown with a higher power at our side.
Introduction by Meredith Reed
Name: Lauren DeMaio
Location: New York
I love to read the crowd and take the music where it’s called to go. I have no problem doing a song we didn’t plan on if my band and I feel it would be a good fit in the moment.
Biggest pet peeve:
When people chew really loudly
Favorite 90s jam:
I actually skip over that musical generation. I’m all about the 70s musical decade. It rules. I also love the 80s, early 2000s, and today’s hits as well. I’d be totally lying if I named a 90s song and claimed that I jam out to it.
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of music?
I love softball. I played throughout middle school, high school, and even when I attended college. I also love being outside, and I’ll do anything in the water! Once I’m in, it’s pretty hard for my friends to get me out. They all think I’m part fish.
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you love to splurge on?
Traveling anywhere and everywhere! It’s been a dream of mine to spend time in Australia. That’s where I would have studied abroad in college.
If you could live anywhere else in the world right now, where would it be?
Nashville, Tennessee! I wouldn’t be mad about Australia either.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I started playing the piano when I was only 4 years old. Learning to read music was one of my earliest musical memories. I knew I loved it, but I didn’t always want to be a musician. When I was little, I always told my parents I wanted to be a garbage man.
How would you describe the Lauren DeMaio signature sound?
It’s definitely a mix of a few different genres, but it’s mainly Christian/Pop.
What are the main themes or topics in your songs?
My songs were each written in various moments in my life. The main theme is definitely to remember to keep your focus on what’s true and constant in life and always remember that there is something more powerful, with a greater purpose for your life.
As a whole, what is the message you hope to put forth with your music?
I want my songs to go wherever God takes them. The ultimate goal is to inspire people during their seasons of struggle, reminding them that God will never give up on them, and there’s light at the end of the trial.
Who are some of your favorite artists/which artists are your greatest musical inspiration?
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with in the future?
Hollyn for sure!
How do you feel your music evolved since you first started performing as Lauren DeMaio?
It’s evolved in ways I still can’t fully explain. This album has gone in a totally different direction than what I had expected, but I’m absolutely in love with the way it’s turned out.
Do you play any instruments, and if so, which ones?
I play guitar and piano, along with singing.
Who writes your songs?
I write my songs and bring them to my producer (who is also my manager), and we make any changes together.
What do you do or where do you go when you need to find inspiration for your music?
I always write at my piano in my house. It’s surrounded by windows that look out onto a beautiful collection of trees. Just being able to sit in the middle of God’s creation with my craft is all the inspiration I need.
Where do you see yourself 30 years from now?
I hope to be married with a family. I’ve always loved children so much. If music is something I’m still doing, I’d be very blessed.
What has been one of your favorite performances of all time?
My very first show will always stick out in my head. There were all these new feelings and overall excitement. I’m also very excited for my next show, which will be my first festival performance on the main stage.
What stands out as one of your worst/most horrifying performances of all time?
Once I played at a very tricky venue, and by tricky, I mean the sound wasn’t ideal. I couldn’t hear myself at all, and I couldn’t hear my guitar player either! The show went much better than I thought, but it was definitely frightening when I realized I couldn’t hear anything.
What is one thing that you have accomplished as the Musician Lauren DeMaio that you’re most proud of?
Being added to festival line-ups so early in my career is something I’m incredibly grateful for! I’ve been given the opportunity to play on the same stage as some amazing artists and it warms my heart to know I’m welcomed into their scene, even as a new indie artist.
Share a story of a time you screwed up in your musical career and how you recovered:
I don’t feel like I’ve been doing this long enough to have a pivotal moment where I thought I messed something up. Right now I’m still in the “awe and butterflies” stage where I just can’t believe this is what I get to do every day.
What do you see as one of the greatest challenges facing your industry today?
My genre is so specific and that makes it pretty hard to break into the music industry at large. But I know that wherever I’m supposed to go, God will take me there. His plans are even greater than my own.
Are there any resources you have discovered that have been an asset to you as a musician that you’d like to share?
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would still be in college, probably studying to become a music teacher.
This interview is part of the Steereo Featured Artist Series. Steereo promotes new music from up-and-coming artists in rideshare vehicles, reaching new listeners and fans as they travel.