An interview with singer-songwriter Laine

Self described “New Pop/Trap/Hip-Folk/R&B” mix artist Laine hails from Tampa, Florida.

Armed with a serious set of pipes and a naturally creative spirit, Laine has written, performed, produced and released three singles: With Love, Come With Me and What If , which we’ll discuss below. The official lyric videos for both Come With Me and What If have garnered tens of thousands of views on YouTube.

A former NFL cheerleader with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Laine has brought a working performer’s “show must go on” sensibility and work ethic to her music career.

Laine took time out of her busy schedule preparing for the release of her new single “Done Being Nice” (to be released on Friday July 23, 2021) to participate in the following interview.

Where are you from and how did you get into music?

I was born in Davenport, IA and then moved to Tampa, FL with my family in my primary years. I’ve always been into music! My mom still has the VHS tapes of me singing nonsense into a pinecone in front of a Christmas tree at the age of 2!

In addition to being a vocalist what instruments do you play?

I play by ear, though I did have piano lessons as a child and was a part of drumline my senior year in band. I play piano mostly, various percussion, and various strings. I think that’s what makes my songwriting so versatile.

Who are your favourite musical artists, both past and present?

This is a tough one!

There are so many who have shaped and influenced me – this is going to be big list [Laine takes a deep breath]:

I love The Ronnette’s, Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Elton John, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Guns & Roses, anything and everything Motown, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Queen, the Eagles, Chuck Berry, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Etta James, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, John Denver, Billy Joel, Bob Marley, Aerosmith, Prince, Broadway music, theatrical scores/composers, classical music, Toto, Heart, Styx, Lionel Richie, The Commodores, Deep Purple, Nirvana, Blink182, Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Mariah Carey….

Today’s music? I’m all over the place! [Laine takes yet another deep breath]:

Florida Georgia Line, FLOrida, TIP, Cardi B, Todrick Hall, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Tim McGraw, Eminem, Will Smith, En Vogue, Spice Girls, Lauryn Hill, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, Bishop Briggs, Halsey, Run The Jewels, Childish Gambino, Hugo, Lizzo, Kesha, Judah and the Lion, Little Hurt, Clean Bandit, Zedd, Justin Timberlake, Janelle Monet, Dan + Shay, The Chainsmokers, The Steeldrivers, Coin, DJ Khaled, Story of the Year, Sam Hunt, Kenny Loggins, Bob Dylan, Juice WRLD. Snakeships & Mø, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Simple Plan, System of a Down, Twista, Ciara, Elle King, Ingrid Michaelson, ZZ Ward, Leon Bridges, Maren Morris, Missy Elliott, Sara Bareilles, Alicia Keys, Sia, Miley Cyrus ….

And all of what I just listed was just off the top of my head…… I think it’s sufficient to say I JUST LOVE MUSIC!!

Seriously, I can’t name them all. They have ALL played a part in influencing me not only as an artist but a songwriter as a whole. Also, I’m sorry if I said a few twice!

Are there any relatively unknown (i.e., indie) musical artists that you’re a fan of?

Well, I love and support many upcoming artists, including many of whom perform in the bar scene. Music is the sound of my heartbeat. If we all support one another, who knows what could happen?

In addition to being a musician, you were also an NFL cheerleader with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Being successful in such a physically demanding occupation requires discipline, a strong work ethic and consistency. Do you feel that the aforementioned traits have helped you in developing your music career?

Oh yes! I was fresh out of high school during my rookie year. It was a huge learning experience for me to be in such a professional world when I made the team.

I was in high school TAing for a math class. They announced I made the cheerleading squad in 3rd period my senior year over the intercom to the entire high school. That’s how I found out.

These women, both past and present, have such an amazing legacy that they’ve successfully upheld and will continue to uphold. There’s nothing like being on the field after the anthem for a flyover, or scoring a point and the cannons go off! I personally loved the game day tunnel. Not sure why. Very nostalgic.

But yes, to answer your question, that stadium (Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL) holds 65,000 people along with one of the largest Jumbotrons there is. There’s no hiding or messing up. The show must go own – keep smiling, power through, and never make a face you wouldn’t want to see caught on camera because believe me, they are watching!

How many years did it take you to develop your singing voice?

I’ve been singing my entire life through choirs, barbershop quartets, theater programs, and in the church. I’ve always sang.

I constantly work on developing my voice, both in pitch and tone, combined with strength, agility, and endurance.

Are there any vocal tips you can give to any aspiring singers who may be reading this interview? For example, do you have any warm-up exercises you like to use? Any techniques or exercises to expand your vocal range?

Breathing exercises are key! Improving your lung capacity and understanding your diaphragm is so important. I like to take a one square inch of printing paper and place it on the wall. I stand 18″-24″ away from it and focus my air stream to hold that piece of paper in place for over 60 seconds. Longer if I can.

Who are your influences as a vocalist?

Any and all of the artists I mentioned earlier in the interview.

Vocally? I don’t think that I sound like anyone else I’ve ever heard, as it’s not fair to mimic or imitate another’s craft. I am me.

I suppose focusing on that core concept (sounding like myself) and improving myself as a vocalist is the most important thing. I strive to continuously self-improve and not just as a singer: but also mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and becoming more educated in general.

For each of your published songs (With Love, Come With Me, What If) can you explain its origin, the meaning of the lyrics and any interesting tidbits you’d like to share about the writing and production process?

I could, but it would take a really long time! No, for real – I recently posted on my Instagram IGTV account (as well as on TikTok) my recording artist “origin story” for lack of a better term. But in reality, my origins are longer than what I’d posted there.

The first song, What If, was a poem. I went to make a track for something else, and this song just kind of materialized during the recording and production process.

With Love was different. I wanted to take a classical music approach and employ a familiar classical chord progression with my signature percussion/beats. Both What If and With Love were written for/about the same person.

Come With Me just came out of nowhere. I sat down at the piano one day, and out it came. A lot of my writing happens like that, as they say “it just happens”.

Would you care to share who produced your songs and what guidance you gave to your producer in the production process?

This is a tricky question to answer. I’ve worked with multiple producers, however for all my songs, the arrangement and production were at my direction: right down to the type of snare head used or the make of a pedal steel.

The first producer I worked with is, to my knowledge, no longer producing anymore. I am now doing full production myself. It takes a little longer, but as I said I love learning new things!

Are there any singer songwriters who’ve musically or lyrically influenced you?

Every single one I listed earlier in the interview and many more that I didn’t even name. I find lyrics, melodies, and beats/cadences all around me.

For instance, right now there is construction on the house across the street from where I live. I hear a beat line there. Combine that with the ambient sounds (e.g., dogs snoring, cars driving down the street, birds singing), and I can hear a song. And usually I write it down.

How do you go about composing your songs? Do you consciously sit down and treat writing a song like a full-time job or do your songs come from sudden inspiration (or maybe a mix of both)?

There was a time when I wasn’t able to consciously sit down and write a song; songs ideas seemingly came to me at random moments.

However, I have found that with practice and some exercises, I can sit down and write and write and write! Once I get started, it’s really, really hard to stop. Sometimes I find myself writing more and more rather than actually recording, so there are still a lot of lessons to be learned.

Are there any specific tips that you can give to aspiring songwriters who may be reading this interview?

Believe in yourself and control what you can control, which is you.

And baby – you are awesome! You’re on the right track and sometimes we fall down. But luckily, the only place to go is back up!

You’ve got this. As long as you believe in yourself, others will follow. Know that if you are reading this, I’m speaking to you and I believe in you. My inbox is always open!

You’re currently based in Tampa, Florida. What’s the music scene like in Florida right now?

Poppin! It has a huge underground rap scene. It’s getting a lot of recognition and it’s impressive. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you should. We recently had a rapper hit the Billboard Charts at #18 for Various Artists! Pretty cool if you ask me!

If Laine of the year 2021 could sit down with Laine of the year 2011 for coffee, what advice would she give to her younger self based on what she’s learned and experienced (both good and bad) over the past 10 years?

Keep doing what you’re doing. If you feel like you’re failing, you’re actually learning. Don’t change a thing about your life or how you feel you should live it. It was done perfectly.

What are your short-term (within a year), medium-term (within 5 years) and long-term (within 10 years) professional goals?

All the same, KEEP MAKING MUSIC and growing as an artist!

You can check out Laine on her official website as well as her various social media accounts on InstagramTikTok and YouTube.

And of course, you can listen to her music over at SpotifyApple Music and other major streaming platforms.