by Bambi Weavil
We recently caught up with the too cute and too fun Lauren Ianuzzi to discuss her love of drag queens, where her music is taking her and a sneak peak at her upcoming Christmas single!
BW: I read your blog on your website (fun!) – I’m sure the drag queens appreciate the shout out when you were talking about your teaser performance at the Cattle Call drag competition at Therapy – how does the drag community embrace you and your music? You know you’re definitely a remix away from having “A Funk I Won’t Forget” to be a dance single!
Lauren Ianuzzi: Well, last night (9/22), I did another teaser performance in the middle of the “Psycho Babble” drag show at Therapy, and that one was even more fun! The hilarious, saucy drag queens Eve Starr and Mimi Imfurst brought me up onstage before my performance, and we were all trading barbs and doing a bunch of silly banter. The audience loved it, and the casual introduction to me and my persona in the context of the drag community was really important, because I’m not just any old singer…I have quite a theatrical vibe! So, I guess I’d say that so far they like me just fine. Also, my onstage looks are not far from those of a drag queen: spandex, glitter all over my face and body, too-short dresses, big hair…it’s almost uncanny, really. As for the dance remix of “Funk,” I’d be all over that!
BW: What is influencing your music currently?
LI: I’ve been going to a lot more concerts recently, seeing a ton of live music. It’s strange, but listening to other people’s music almost always gets me in a creative and productive mood. And I’m always influenced by stories my friends tell me about their love lives and their daily mishaps. The biggest influence on my music and my sound is simply my everyday life: where I’ve been that week, who I ran into, romantic situations…
BW: I love the fact that you sing unapologetic POP – as you say, “delicious, addictive, guilt-free POP” – do you get a lot of grief for that in the music industry so far? I’m happy to enjoy some fun pop from you!
LI: Nah, no grief so far. I think pop is making a comeback! Besides, I think my music spans so many different genres and references so many different concepts and past artists that the word “pop” makes it easier to understand in a larger industry context. Although there are some pretty confessional and emotional moments in my music, so far it’s really all about making people smile, dance, and rock out. And that’s what pop has always been. There’s also that undercurrent in pop where every now and then an artist changes music history and breaks new ground, and because pop is so accessible to the masses, an entire cultural movement is created. I’d love to enjoy even a fraction of that type of public reaction.
BW: Tell us about the Christmas single you’re working on—-so is Mrs. Claus going to be naughty this year? Maybe she’s going to have some Katy Perry action? Give us the scoop!
LI: Unfortunately Mrs. Claus will not be kissing any girls and liking it, but
she’s definitely a naughty little one! Instead of the typical dowdy, old-fart image of Mrs. Claus, in my song she’s a hot young Playboy bunny type. On Christmas she waits at home for her man, while he’s showering broads all over the world with jewelry and handbags. It’s a blues song, telling the story of a woman–who happens to be a classic Christmas icon–done wrong.
BW: What is the best way for fans to check out your music? When is your EP dropping out for the general public to consume?
LI: My EP drops in January, right after the Christmas single comes out. Now you can check my music out at www.myspace.com/laurenianuzzi or www.laurenianuzzi.com for streaming. I’ve also got a channel on YouTube where you can watch live clips of me and my band at shows.
BW: What are some of the non-profits do you support?
LI: Last year I performed in conjunction with Operation Smile, and in October I’ll be singing for LifeBeat‘s Hearts and Voices, which is a program that allows those living with HIV/AIDS to enjoy live music straight from the hospitals, residential facilities, and day care centers where they reside. Hopefully in November I will be involved in “From The Stage To The Streets,” an event organized by New Alternatives for Children, which brings disabled children home to their families. I love volunteer work; I’m actually a Lifetime Girl Scout, so I’ve been doing volunteer work for years and would love to keep it going full force!
BW: What has been the most surprising thing for you to discover since
you’ve started your music career?
LI: What’s most surprising to me is that even the smallest-scale gig can be a foot in the door. I recently performed only one song on a late-night talk radio show (Joey Reynolds on WOR 710), and that one song alone made the radio host and the 2 other guests go crazy! Immediately I had 3 new fans, all of which are legendary in the music industry and have great contacts. It goes to show that one shouldn’t be a diva, or ever think one is “above”
any chance one gets.
BW: What’s next for you? Any plans to do a gay club tour around the
country? If not, get on that .
LI: A gay club tour around the country would be amazing! Right now I’m
concentrating on building a regional following (NY, NJ, PA, etc), but it’s
definitely a part of the long-term plan.
I’m going to have my national television debut on Fearless Music TV this
fall with my band, which is really cool! And of course, the Christmas
single and the EP release are both huge steps for me. Honestly, I always
take whatever crazy opportunity comes my way, be it radio, TV, live,
Internet, even just standing on an open corner and singing my butt off until
someone hears me! I am all about the hustle.
BW: Thank you Lauren, you’re so much fun! To check out Lauren Ianuzzi, visit www.myspace.com/laurenianuzzi or www.laurenianuzzi.com.
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