A conversation with 3rd place winner from last year's Sound Off
Since earning her title as the 3rd place winner for the 2nd annual Sound Off Music Competition, Lauren Crosby has started living her dream as a traveling musician. She spent a semester studying at the University of Memphis and has since returned to UMaine Farmington. I caught up with Lauren via email and she was able to fill me in on what she has been up to since last year!
Q: What were some opportunities you had after earning the 3rd place title?
A: I had received so much publicity that I noticed a ton more people liking my facebook band page. I also got quite a few [emails] and messages from people congratulating and wanting to know if I had a CD!
I also got the opportunity to open for Garnet Rogers, world known Canadian Folk singer, simply because the booking agent heard of me from winning the Sound Off competition! I developed relationships with the other winners and I think that is the most important thing, collaboration and friendship!
The 1st place winners, Skosh, keep in contact with me and offer me shows to play at all the time. This past Summer I won first place in the Singer/Songwriter category at the Harvest Hill Farms Annual Battle Of The Bands & BBQ Competition, all because Skosh told me about it! I plan on playing gigs and recording with both Skosh and 2nd place winners One Shot Nothing this summer, great bands and guys! Networking is huge in the music industry, competitions like these help bring young Maine musicians together!
Q: Where were you with your music career before the Sound Off?
A: I was a freshman in college and teaching myself guitar (still am) and writing songs in my dorm room. I had never played out a solo gig alone, but had sung with many bands at bars, festivals, and special events. I was extremely active in the open mic scene and keeping up with local musicians. I despised playing guitar and felt pretty intimidated by it. Winning this competition gave me the confidence to go out and buy myself my own PA [sound system] and come up with a repertoire of music to start playing out.
Q: Where are you now with your music career?
A: My music career has completely blossomed into something so magical it is wild! I spent my summer gigging around Maine and making connections with local artists. I spent my fall semester at the University of Memphis studying blues and jazz, and within the first month of being there I was playing out with a five piece Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers cover band in downtown Memphis and booking myself solo gigs in the coffee shops.
I wrote tons of new songs down there too, with all the newness of the southern culture! I recently was awarded 3rd place in a national competition called Race To TRI. I got to fly out to San Francisco and record 3 songs all with video at world famous TRI Studios. So much publicity, great people, and phenomenal musicians! I'm currently back in Maine at the University of Maine at Farmington and I can't wait to being music back to the town by organizing some open mic's and jam sessions!
Q: What has been one of your favorite musical moments since the Sound Off?
A: Definitely being able to record in Bob Weirs TRI Studio, it was literally once in a lifetime. Northern California was amazing as well. Traveling is my 2nd favorite thing next to singing. It is crazy to think how far your voice can take you. I'm extremely grateful and lucky for every opportunity that comes along, I live for them!
Q: Do you have any advice for the 18-to-25 year old musicians out there? Maybe to someone who is on the fence about applying to the Sound Off competition?
A: It only betters you if you apply! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
If you are truly a musician, you'll never stop, because you can't. We are a pretty far out breed of people-- never turn down an opportunity or get big headed, and never sell yourself short! One day you might be playing at a flea market, or in the very back of a tiny dive bar, and the next you may be belting it out on the stage of an opera house or Bob Weirs studio. Smile and keep up the "I'm never stopping" mentality, and you've won the game!