‘I don’t want work in my pocket’

Musician Gianna Lauren says she likes to connect with her fans in person, rather than on Facebook or Twitter

Gianna Lauren says she takes her unexpected experiences and uses them as inspiration.
Gianna Lauren says she takes her unexpected experiences and uses them as inspiration.
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For Gianna Lauren, the unsettling experiences are the most grounding.

After giving the folk musician a call this week, I learned she’s not the type of person to stay in one place.

Releasing her new EP on April 2, entitled On Personhood, Lauren is bringing her ambient rock sound to Kingston with a fresh approach.

Instead of continuing her singer and songwriter style of performing, she’s collaborating with bandmates J.J. Ipsen, Justin Nace and drummer Marshall Bureau.

“It was like tapping into a brotherhood because we worked so seamlessly together,” Lauren said.

While recording the new EP, Lauren and the band were devoted to constantly writing and rehearsing.

“We slept together on the floor in a row, ate together and we never left the studio,” Lauren said. “It was wonderful to see how other people hear my music.”

However, other than studio rehearsals, the band have never played the songs live, Lauren said.

“It’ll be a big debut on the road,” she said. “Upcoming shows will be a lot more energetic so I hope people will come to experience these new songs live.”

She’s excited to jump back into tour life, viewing it as the best way to interact with her fans. Instead of using Facebook or Twitter to keep followers updated, Lauren has decided to keep her eyes on the road and focus on the audience.

“It’s driving my publicist and label insane, but I don’t want work in my pocket,” Lauren said. “I want to be talking with others rather than looking for WiFi at a cafe.” While mingling with the audience at a sports bar in Hamilton, Lauren recalls meeting a pair of hockey fans that were heckling about her music.

“They were telling me to play harder, stronger, and faster,” Lauren said. “It tore me down a little, but I enjoy tapping into other people’s lives.” Lauren said it’s experiences like these that she thinks about when she’s writing her music back home in Halifax. Instead of writing about love or heartbreak — the typical topics for a female songwriter — Lauren said she likes to stray from the path.

“Those are very good methods to dig into somebody’s heart but I’m a bit older now and those topics don’t really come across my plate anymore, so I need to look for broader themes,” Lauren said.

With a cup of tea in hand, Lauren does her writing at home, looking for inspiration in more exhilarating experiences.

When writing “Power Failure,” Lauren was inspired by a chaotic night at the fair. After sneaking onto a roller coaster, the ride’s generator blew, leaving Lauren and a friend hanging upside down.

“People went insane because kids were on rides and mothers were comforting them while they were screaming bloody murder,” Lauren said. “I thought, ‘Wow, that’s what it’s like to experience utter chaos.’”

Gianna Lauren plays the Artel next Saturday at 9 p.m.

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