An Interview With Lou Beauty
Lou Beauty releases a fresh pop banger with all the bells and whistles you can want from a bright radio track.
"Whatever, Forever" has some clean durfy undertones and certainly boasts the feel of a breezy sunny beach day with a ton of catchy guitar hooks and a kicked back melodic vocal approach.
The single has a wonderfully youthful vibe and comes across with a touch of jazz peeking through the chorus effected guitar sections and open ride drumming that gives it all a wide and freeing sound.
Loads of layered melodies and a near perfect indie-pop style, this track just feels great to listen to especially on a nice day driving along in the car.
AS a matter of fact, it's one of the best songs to start your day with as its infectious positivity is addicting.
It's warm tonality and colorful approach is all smooth and alluring as the song has some killer attitude and character.
With such a vibrant release, we wanted to have a chat with Lou to find out more of where this all came from. Here is what happened.
TSWS: Okay so let's start with "Whatever, Forever". This track has an almost beachy indie-pop vibe to it and its flow is so smooth it's relaxing. Where did this song come from?
The song actually came from a bit of a dark place. I was working 2am shifts at Target and just feeling drained and in this awful pit. I was in this awful headspace where the world was quite literally collapsing and I was still working for pennies for a soulless corporation under some pretty awful supervisors, just kind of wondering where can I take my life from here if I even can. I would hide in the backroom and write this song and others out in my notes app, even hum the melodies while I was back there. I'm glad that the song sounds relaxing and happy to a lot of people because it made me happy when I made it and was a great cathartic feeling to get it out there, and it makes me happy when I hear it.
TSWS: I'm hearing some different pop styles between this song and other recent releases like "Pink Neon". Who are your actual biggest musical influences?
I have a few, but the consistent ones are J Dilla, Frank Ocean, Prince, and Talking Heads. "Pink Neon" was super influenced by Joji and Beach House. With "Whatever" I was listening to a lot of 80s Paul McCartney, Jonathan Richman, and Jerry Paper. For my whole life I just really like to listen to anything and a bit of all of it finds its way into my stuff. The way I write drums was influenced by Dilla and Timbaland, my basslines are mostly influenced by Andy Rourke, who was the bassist for the Smiths. And I look up to Mac DeMarco and Tyler, the Creator a lot for their process and recording methods. My main goal when writing is to create the sounds I wanna hear.
TSWS: How did this all start for you?
I first learned guitar from my tia, when I was I think 10 or 11. The first songs I wrote were in junior high, I was writing a lot about how I suck at class and some schoolyard crushes at the time. They were these super abstract folk songs because at the time I was getting into Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Belle and Sebastian. When I really started writing as Lou Beauty was when I was in high school. This project came about when I really started to get into bands like New Order and Depeche Mode. I wanted to write a sort of electric folk song for a student competition but my guitar I had then broke a string. It's a floyd rose floating bridge style guitar, which are infamous for being a pain to maintain. So I took a cheap Casio keyboard and using Audacity I recorded my first song as Lou Beauty. The rest is history, as they say!
TSWS: How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first or melodies? How does it work for you?
I usually start with melodies and the rest of the instrumental first, but I always write with a mood in mind, just so I have some sort of emotional core to tie it back into. Lyrics aren't my strong suit at all, but sometimes I get weird phrases that come through my mind that I'm like "Write that down!" "Whatever, Forever" was one of those rare songs where the melody and lyrics came to me at the same time. I really just let myself get weird with the lyrics, like write something that maybe only made sense to me. I think the verse melody is what floated into my head first, then I ran with it. The chorus came next. My idea for choruses is if they're fun for me to sing, then everyone can have fun singing them. I would love to have a moment where I'm singing to an audience and they're singing at the top of their lungs to one of my choruses. Then again, I'd love to have a moment where I have an audience!
TSWS: What inspires you to write?
I hope this doesn't make me sound like a narcissist but my life inspires me. In that same vein, my anxieties are kinda what I write about as well. That's how I know I'm not a narcissist, I think I dislike myself too much to be one. I write as a form of therapy to kinda get all this stuff inside me out. I can write happy songs, I can write sad songs, I guess I mostly write sad songs, but whatever I'm feeling it's always therapeutic to put it in a song. It's not healthy to keep things inside you for too long, that's how people get ulcers. A big motivator on top of therapy is to better myself as a musician and writer. With everything I write, even if I never put it out, my goal is to do something different. There are probably hundreds of files on my computer of little snippets that will never see the light of day that I would probably still consider successful pieces because I learned something new when working on them. One of my main goals right now for sure is to write a little more truthfully and to be honest with myself. When a song isn't as strongly autobiographical like "Whatever, Forever" is, it's usually a song based on a scenario that sometimes I come up with from one of my anxieties. And yeah, to a degree those are honest because I'm writing from my feelings but I really wanna write something that's actually happened to me that's rooted in something more present and physical, not just a "what if" scenario.
TSWS: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I like to walk, try to get some sunlight. The parks here are pretty wide open and have a lot of cool ducks and aquatic birds I like to take pictures of. And my favorite record store in town, Going Underground Records, is super strict with distancing and masks so I feel really comfortable when I'm there. Besides that, I'm a serial binger. I've been binging Adventure Time, Seinfeld, Twin Peaks, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Movie dates with my girlfriend are usually what I do too. We've been getting through all the Star Wars movies because they've never seen any (We got up to Empire. So far their favorite is Revenge of the Sith). We've also been going through all the Wes Anderson joints, Grand Budapest is our favorite.
TSWS: Who are you listening to right now?
On top of my usual rotation of Earl Sweatshirt, MF DOOM, and Mitski, I've been obsessed with Phoebe Bridgers' last release "Punisher". Her songwriting is incredible and the production is stellar. I've also been bumping this hidden gem 90s band my homie put me on called Silver Sun, peep their self-titled LP. I've also had my friend's band Delphinium on rotation, check their song "Crave", very Cranberries in flavor. My homie from New York, Sara Schwab also has a song out called "Chemicals" which is great whenever I need a good cry. Lastly, I found this artist called Quiet Takes on a playlist I got added to. The song "San Fidel" is crazy good, it's like Sade and Slowdive had a baby.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Keep writing, keep releasing stuff. I've been working on an EP with my friends that I hope I can put out this year. I'm hoping this year is the year I can actually say I'm going to release something and I actually do. Probably plan a few livestreams as well, I miss performing and some of my friends have been putting on monthly streams so I figure I'll take a page from their book and do something like that too.
TSWS: Do you think you will be putting any focus on live shows when the time comes?
Absolutely. When that time will come I have no idea but I just want everyone to be safe and have fun, meaning 0 percent chance of anyone catching anything except a vibe. Even though I'm super socially anxious, it's ironic that being on stage for me is kind of an antidote to all that. It's a great headspace to be in to just share a moment like that with a bunch of people.
TSWS: You wake up in the middle of the night starving. What's your go to midnight snack?
If I had some, some barbeque potato chips or Hawaiian sweet onion potato chips. My family is pretty health-conscious though, so maybe I should be thankful that we never really have junk food in the house, or else I'll get a little extra jiggle on top of the jiggle that's already there.
TSWS: You've released quite a bit so far and had some great success. What advice would you give to up and coming artists trying to get heard?
I'm flattered that you think that! I wouldn't consider myself successful by any pop star metric but I do think I am successful in the sense that I'm in a place where I'm happy with what I create. Which I guess would be my advice. Don't make music to get famous or make money, do it because you love doing it and because it's fun. I don't think I'll ever get on any Billboard charts or win a Grammy or stuff like that. It'd be nice if that happened but that's not my end goal. There's a lot of stuff you gotta do besides putting out music these days like social media, emails, branding, business stuff like that, and there's gonna be a lot of people who say that you gotta keep "grinding" and "hustling" and all that. To that I call absolute BS. It's important to have people skills and to know how to make connections and use social media in that way to your advantage, but the love of the art is what always has to come first. The social media thing is my least favorite part, I hate that it's become so important in our craft but it is what it is. It sounds cheesy, but the best thing I can say is to be yourself. If you really love what you do people will notice and hopefully they love it as much as you do and that's what keeps people coming back for more. I'm just getting started, too. If people like my stuff that's super and I'm thankful that they do. If they don't, that's alright with me too. What matters the most is do I like my stuff, and am I happy with what I'm making?
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thanks for tuning in, glad you like what you've heard, stay tuned for more, and eat your veggies. Peace and Love!