Pop singer/songwriter Lauren Light is a force to be reckoned with. The Berklee grad has played over 800 shows, in over 30 states across the US, playing a mix of festivals, colleges and music venues. On stage, she artfully crafts the perfect blend of pop and powerfully soulful vocals.
Lauren has also had success in the worlds of sync licensing and podcast hosting. Her music is featured in such projects as Marvel’s hit show “Runaways”, Nike Ads, Razor Ads, Hyundai ads, MTV's Teen Mom 2, MTV’s Siesta Key and YouTube Nashville sessions.
Her podcast “The Enlightened Musician” centers around the music business and learning how to turn your art into a successful business. Each week she interviews someone that is excelling in their field and talks tips and tricks on how you can implement that for yourself. “Our goal is to help artists create a sustainable career”.
We recently caught up with Lauren to discuss her background in the business, as well as what she's currently working on:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, where are you currently based?
I’m Lauren! I’m a pop/soul touring artist and songwriter based out of North Carolina, with a strong focus on sync music, which includes multiple moniker projects.
How did you get your start in music?
I always wanted to do something in music, so I went to college (Berklee) for music business and songwriting. From there, I landed a job working for a booking agency, booking national acts, festivals, fairs & events. I really learned the ropes of how to get into a niche market. One day, one of the bands we booked lost their singer. After finding out I sang, they asked if I could fill in for the show. I became the fill-in for a lot of the acts to sing vocals/backup vocals. At that same time, I had also signed a two year publishing deal and was getting to write music for r&b/pop/hip hop artists. I did all that for about two years until I gained enough experience and started my own artist project. I started booking all my own shows and really started writing music for myself.
Was there a defining point in your career that took you from “aspiring for a career” to being where you wanted to be?
The point that I was really able to leave any side hustle jobs was when I discovered the college market (NACA) and started touring full time. Having a steady flow of income from music then allowed me to really dive further into sync and I finally had the time to fully focus on writing and creating those songs to pitch.
How did you discover sync licensing?
It’s kind of a funny story! Through the chance of someone seeing me play a show, I landed a theme song for a roller coaster (which still plays today on the ride-so cool!). After they heard me perform the song live, they checked out my album at the time and pitched one of the songs to the production company that was working on the promo for the new ride. I got a Facebook message the next day asking if they could use the song in their ad for the duration of the ride. Until then, I don’t think I ever really considered sync. Since I wasn’t working in sync, it’s just seemed liked jingles. I didn't think they would like the pop music I was creating for myself.
After that, I started researching and understanding how to craft music for sync and the proper etiquette and protocol for pitching music to the industry pros. I really dove in a few years later, and now it’s one of the primary parts of my career!
We love that your podcast is helping to support people who aspire to do music as a career. What was your motivation for starting it?
I saw a lot of artists/creatives that were trying to do music full time but had NO IDEA what they were doing. They were approaching it from only a creative perspective. I wanted to educate people from the business side of music and how to actually create a living doing what they love. I knew they didn’t know where to start, how to take next step, or even who to ask!
Being an artist myself and figuring out a formula that worked for me, it really bothered me to see people struggling with no road map to guide them in the right direction. I thought why not create a space to help where people can listen and learn from others that are doing the thing they want to do? I was already talking to those people. Why not record it and let others listen in and learn!
It’s been amazing getting emails and dm's from people it has helped. I'm excited to be wrapping up season 3, which will air soon.
What are some trends you are seeing in the industry?
Buzzwords I've been hearing: swagger, female empowerment, music with drum lines, and songs that sound “Tik Tok”.
What are some tips for artists looking for sync opportunities for their music?
I like to call it sync reverse engineering.
First- Look at the music you create well. Where do you hear that similar music is placed (TV/AD/Films/Trailers etc)?
Second: research and list all the places you hear your sound to see what artists those shows/ads are using.
There are resources to find exactly what songs are played (tunefind.com(tv), IMDB / ispot.tv (ads).
Third: go to that artist social….and scrollllll until you find a post that mentions a placement from your research. They likely tagged the company and thanked them for their placement (if not listed, cheat code: look at what sync companies they follow. More than likely it’s one of those).
You now have the licensing company name! Go to their website, double check if they accept unsolicited material. Send 3-5 of your best completed songs (in a streamable link) to see if they would be interested in repping your music.
**Added bonus tip: when researching, listen to what lyrical topics are used. Make a running list and write songs about those same topics (fun, good times, home, togetherness… etc).
My favorite album of all time is probably Ellie Goulding's "Delirium". But, I love all genres of music! Right now the new artists I’ve been digging are UPSAHL & Cyn.
Check out Lauren's website here.
Check out here podcast "The Enlightened Musician" here.
For any inquiries regarding licensing Lauren's music music, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.