Features

Lauren Auder

Interview by Derek Robertson
Photography by Laura McCluskey in London, UK

Lauren Auder’s kaleidoscopic mishmash of styles is the product of growing up with the world at his fingertips and a refusal to heed boundaries; the internet has given him the freedom – and confidence – to be whomever he wants. Since finishing high school, he’s been crafting moody, enigmatic soundscapes littered with personal anecdotes, a dark twisted fantasy for millenial pop omnivores. Two years on, he’s ready to confront the world on his own terms.

What does the new record sound like?

It’s pulling from the same places as before: experimental, hip-hop, and very ‘noise’ and ambient influenced. But there are more baroque pop and classical influences infused into it, and a more luscious backdrop.

History is a melting pot of shit things and beautiful things together. I’m focused on thinking about how to cope with that and see the beauty in things.

You’re a fan of dark, intense art – not just music. Very apt for these troubled times. 

It’s an inevitable part of humanity; there’s always dark stuff going on, and there’s this eternal recurrence of us fucking up. When you look into history you realise it’s melting pot of shit things and beautiful things together, but I’m focused on thinking about how to cope with that and see the beauty in things.

 

The internet is a big part of those troubles. What do you think of the democratisation of the internet and music, especially SoundCloud and Spotify?

There are upsides and downsides. I wouldn’t be where I am without them, though they pose their own inconveniences. There’s pressure to always be doing something, and it’s more difficult to get to the top because there’s so much competition; anyone could be the next big pop star.

I do believe in the progress of humanity, but I’m very conscious of how we constantly return to fucking up.

But you can use the internet as a viable tool to make a real, lasting career.

Some artists who consistently make great, acclaimed music struggle to make that jump to mainstream acceptance and a real career.

Certain things don’t speak to as many people, and that’s fine. There’s a place for interesting artists to find their way into mainstream music and the internet helps with that, but a lot less people go into music with the expectation of becoming rich and famous these days.

 

Many new artists completely reject boundaries, whether that’s genre, sexuality, or identity. Is that the effect of growing up in the social media age?

Growing up in this space there’s a conscious effort to not be defined by labels in any domain of your life. The internet has helped because you have constant exposure to whatever you want, whenever you want it. And once you are exposed to all these things, you develop a taste for them, and it’s too limiting to box yourself in.

Are you optimistic about the future, when your generation will be in charge?

We go through these cycles and things change. They get better; they get worse. I do believe in the progress of humanity, but I’m very conscious of how we constantly return to fucking up.

Lauren Auder’s debut EP Who Carry’s You is out today, 16 March via True Panther Sounds. Don’t miss Lauren Auder on 12 April at s105 (De School), Amsterdam.