By: Pretty Riot
Find out what's in LaJè's Lemonade in this exclusive interview and premiere.
I sat down and chopped it up with LaJè, an incredibly unique R&B artist from Chicago who stole my heart and my ears from the moment I first encountered her music. She’s released a number of singles this year alone that solidified my place as a true fan of her artistry. LaJè's vocals remind me of silk, smooth and gentle but also timeless. If you aren’t already a fan, you will be soon, trust me.
LaJè is providing you with some lemonade to cool you down in this scorching summer heat.
Here’s an exclusive interview with LaJè:
PrettyRiot: 2018 has been a great year for you in regards to music, it seems like you took a break for a little while and now you’re back at it. Why did you take a break & come back?
LaJè: I wasn’t in the right head space when I first started. I didn’t have the right people around me and I needed to take a step back and not only work on my craft and my voice, but also, get right spiritually and learn to love and accept myself for the artist that I am.
Pretty Riot: How did that break change how you approach music now?
LaJè: My break gave me a chance to really look at my purpose for making music. At first I just wanted to have fun and get clout to be honest but over time I realized that through my music I can heal not only myself but others who may be going through the same things as me. I realized that my vibrations translate through music so now I’m creating with more of a sense of purpose and direction. I want to make people feel again.
Pretty Riot: How do you feel your artistry grown over the past year?
LaJè: I think that content-wise, it’s a lot more real and very much stronger. Vocally, I have improved immensely. My confidence in my path has strengthened so much and I’m at a point where I know everything I want is coming to me and all I have to do is keep creating and keep putting it out there and being patient.
Pretty Riot: You’re music is very personal and extremely transparent, how did you become comfortable enough to share your experiences through your music?
LaJè: I learned that the more open and vulnerable i am with my music, the more free i feel. I see music as my diary. I say things in songs that i sometimes don’t say in life. And I’ve noticed the more personal i get with my music, the more well-received it is because there are so many people who are experiencing the same things that i am but don’t have the courage or can’t necessarily put the words together to express it. I love being able to help do that for other people.
Pretty Riot: With all the singles that you’ve released this year, I have to know if there is project in the works?
LaJè: I’m working on a mixtape. It will be called FREE. It started off as an EP but I just kept recording and adding to it and something in me told me to just do a mixtape and stop tryna play with y’all.
Pretty Riot: What should we expect from this forthcoming, mixtape, FREE?
LaJè: LOTS of emotion. Lots of vocal growth. Lots of feel good, nostalgic R&B music with a bit of rap entangled. No features. I feel like with this project, I’m gonna be giving y’all the real me that I had always been waiting to be. Now I’m there and I’m ready for everyone to know the girl I’ve grown to know and love, unconditionally. Me.
Pretty Riot: Where do you often draw inspiration for your music?
LaJè: Love has always been the most inspirational thing for me to write about. New love. Old love. Love that’s gone bad. I feel everything very deeply and usually the depth of my emotions is enough for me to write a fire ass song and just really spill my feelings out onto a track.
Pretty Riot: What has been the most challenging part about being a female R&B artist from Chicago? How do you think that’s changed how you hustle?
LaJè: Being a female in the music industry can be difficult just because many men want to see you as just something to look at and not something to be heard or taken seriously. Men will pretend to really want to work but have ulterior motives and I can identify that extremely fast. It’s taught me to be much more firm in my beliefs and stand up for myself, take my shit seriously and to just move with a purpose. A lot of people in the industry operate off of ego and I just don’t move like that. I try not to concern myself with the way other people feel about me and my music. If you wanna work, I’m down to work IF you’re good at what you do, and if you don’t like me, then we just weren’t meant to mingle. I don’t like to waste time and I can gauge pretty quickly if a person is going to try to waste my time.
Pretty Riot: Where do you think the future of R&B is headed?
LaJè: I know that R&B is back on the rise. There’s a lot of great talent coming out and I’m excited about it and it’s inspiring. Real R&B music is what the music world had been missing. We need that love and emotional expression back in our lives. People need to FEEL again. There needs to be more balance. I strongly believe that the R&B scene, myself included, is going to put Chicago on the map in a big way. That’s just my opinion on it.
Pretty Riot: Talk to me about your new single, "Lemonade," who produced it? How did you come up with the concept for it?
LaJè: I wrote lemonade when I was getting frustrated with the daily grind of a 9-5 and still trying to chase my dreams and also getting frustrated with men trying to control the person that I am. I was growing on a personal level so quickly, I started losing “friends” left and right, due to me either not liking the way they moved or me sensing the envious vibes they were giving off. I knew I needed to just keep my eye on the bigger picture. I was going through a lot of changes but at the end of the day I was just tryna find a way to get paid for my work. The idea was to just take everything thrown may way and play that shit to my favor and I think I’ve been successful at doing that so far.
Pretty Riot: What’s in your lemonade recipe? In other words what’s your recipe for success?
LaJè: Be your most authentic self, follow your intuition, do what makes you happy, and identify your true purpose for doing what you do and success will follow.
We’ve waited long enough, here’s Lemonade from LaJè. Drink up.