“It’s a lot easier to become successful and become somebody if you’re not complaining about your circumstances,” says Lauren Sanderson. The 22-year-old Indiana native started out as a motivational speaker on YouTube, and it shows: She’s upbeat. She speaks in inspirational soundbites. And she makes sh*t happen.
“People started following me a lot and they were like, ‘This changed my life, please make more of these,'” she says of her YouTube roots. So she did. She even gave a TED Talk to parents about loving their kids for who they are. “I came out in high-school — I feel like I was the only person who came out in my whole grade at the time,” she explains. “I think it inspired me, just being free in my own world. I don’t know, I’ve always just wanted to empower people to be who they are.”
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On a whim, she started turning her speeches into songs, bringing her following with her to Soundcloud; in 2016, she released her first EP, Center of Expression. A few labels reached out after that, she says, but they didn’t fully “believe in” her vision. Following the release of her second EP, Spaces, on iTunes, she signed with Epic.
RIGHT: tee and overalls N. Hoolywood x Timberland Pro. (Overalls not for sale.)
“I think what stops a lot of people from being successful is trying to box themselves in,” Lauren says. “I have a real message, I feel like I’m a real human being and I have real emotions and real feelings that I put into every single song that I have.”
Her goal, she says, is to be “the voice for people who may not be able to speak.”
“After my shows I get so many tweets just saying, like, ‘I feel like I can do anything,'” she says. “And that’s just it, that’s all I want — to empower people to be a boss.”
LEFT: Track jacket, Palm Angels; sweatshirt, Alexander Wang NY Post Newspaper Fleece; shorts, Alexander Wang newsprint sweat short; shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti “Frankie Plus” white leather mid-top sneaker with sock insert.
Lauren’s single “Written in the Stars” is out now.
Senior Video Producer: Jason Ikeler
Videographer/editor: Rashawn Colton
Associate Producers: Amanda Kabbabe and Erika Trombley
Photographer: Ruben Chamorro
Photo Director: Kathleen Kamphausen
Creative Director: Abby Silverman
Production Assistant: Scott Kidwell
Stylist: Andrew Gelwicks
Hair and makeup: Jackie Seabrooke