Lauren Eylise is climbing to the top. The singer recently released her new single and is working on her album. Harness had the chance to chat with Eylise during this year’s AFROPUNK Festival – Brooklyn 2019.
Q: How does it feel to be at AFROPUNK?
A: It’s amazing. I’m beyond inspired, by not only the look but the music. It’s a culture. It’s a vibe that I feel like we really need everywhere. So I’m happy to be to contribute my mark, but also to receive from others.
Q: You just released a new single, called “Peaks & Valleys.”
A: I’m very proud of it. I’m very excited about it. I was very nervous about releasing it because it’s such an intimate work. “Peaks and Valleys” came from my soul, it’s based off experience and life. Not just my experiences, but the experiences of women around me. So I’m happy and proud of it, but I recognize it means a lot more and that’s probably what I’m most proud about.
Q: How long did it take you to work on it?
A: Oh my gosh! I started with, so it’s funny, I started writing “Peaks and Valleys” when I lived in New York, when I got pregnant. In a little small apartment in Brooklyn, and then I finished it after my son was born. So it’s really been a long time in a way because it’s just so long to write. But the production on it, we knocked it out in about a month.
I had the vision kind of clear, and with my producer, we really connected on a very woman to woman basis and recognize what the track needed to come alive. It was a trial to get it done but I felt it was pretty easy, just being honest and transparent.
Q: With your writing process, when it comes to words and lyrics, do they just come to you? Do you need to sit down and do a little ritual? Or set a vibe?
A: Honestly it varies. I’m really the kind of person that’s like a natural born artist. Even writing is how I heal. It’s how I release whatever I’m going through and it allows me to reflect on myself, to kind of evolve. So the process of it varies. Sometimes it’s like a line, it could come to me, I’ll write it down and then the rest grows from there. Sometimes the melody inspires the words.
I’m a very soulful person. Everything I write is literally straight from the soul. And if it’s not, it’s really not that good. It’s not good if I don’t do it from the soul like that.
Q: What inspiration or motivation might you have for others wanting write?
A: I would say that it begins in owning what it is, because I think the fear of it is judgment. But if you own it, it’s yours. It doesn’t matter what the fuck anybody has to say about it. Nobody can judge what’s yours, it’s unique to you. I’m not gonna compare myself or my writings to Beyonce because Beyonce ain’t me. And I love me for me. I can honor that and honor myself.
But I also say that, in the same breath, take your time and be easy with yourself. If that is a fear or whatever where you want to use for it to get anxiety around that, don’t push yourself into it just to say that you can do it. Because it is a very vulnerable process for a lot of us. Some people can write and throw it out there, and some of us have to struggle with that. I don’t think people should beat themselves up about that or force anything. Definitely own it, but take your time and evolve and do what you gotta do
Q. What makes you feel most empowered as a woman?
A: I think honestly my womanhood itself. I always said I truly believe that in my core, women have an innate gift and that we have one foot in the spirit world and one foot in the mundane world all the time. We literally are standing in the middle between light and no light. I don’t want to say sad because before like what is it? It’s a free life. But where we have a foot in both worlds at all times. We literally give life. That brings me a great deal of confidence as a woman. And that’s where I think the bulk of my self empowerment comes from, knowing that I am a divine being. And can’t nobody tell me shit. Like that’s something we have to know unapologetically as fact.
Q: Motherhood is always a huge topic on Harness. What is motherhood like for you?
A: Motherhood for me has been the most amazing and challenging role in my life. And I say that to say, I mean it’s another life. I’m never going to diminish how powerful that is and how important that is. It’s a lot. But in balancing that, I’ve been able to see different sides of myself, different spaces of me, different levels of me. I’ve watched myself evolve in such amazing ways. If I had to turn back time, I would never change one thing about it.
That’s like the woman I am today is influenced by the mother I am. And the mother I am is influenced by the woman I am. So I would say that motherhood has uplifted me just as much as it challenges me everyday. I miss my baby right now being out here, but it always just reminds me of what I’m made of and the divinity that is within me. And the balance is not easy. I’m never gonna sugarcoat that. It’s not easy.
I have a four-year-old, I am a traveling musician, independent – I’m not backed by a label – this is all me. I own my own business and that is entrepreneur, mother, woman – black woman at that. Just trying to keep the shit together. It’s hard. I’m not going to bullshit you on that, but it is beautiful. It’s glorious. It’s almost like watching my own epic, my own play. So I just, for me, that balance is one that is strengthened. Even when it gets hard, like intrinsically, for sure.
Q: What has been your journey with mental health awareness or the relationship with self care?
A: Balance. Balance is like the theme of so many years of my life right now and mental health is no exception. I would want to share that, just how important balance is and encourage everyone to seek that in their lives. For me, I’m a Pisces. I mean look at me, I’m a musician. I write, I can talk all day that that is my release. I need to talk to somebody, but I’ve also recognized that there’s balance with that. There’s some things I don’t even talk to everybody about. Some things I need to sit with myself and reflect on, meditate on and figure out for myself because no one’s going to make those choices for me and I need to be confident in making those choices.
And I think the same can be said for a lot of people, like even if the shoe was on the other foot for people don’t like the talk. Well, sometimes you need to talk to somebody whether that’s a therapist, a friend, a homie, a lover, whatever. I think balance is so important, like whatever it is you tend to lean on and do. Look at the other side of that coin. Explore that as well. I believe that balance is God.
Q: Where can people find your music?
A: Well, “Peaks and Valleys” is out now. It is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, and all other streaming services. I’m working on my album and if anyone’s interested in that, they can check me out at www.laureneylise.com.
And I just hope that everybody is inspired by the work that I am working with right now.