The Starlight EP is a remedy to the obliterating heartaches we face, as its fanciful instrumentation and Loren North’s (LN) tender vocals completely immerse one into a soothing soundscape. A personal journey of apathy, confusion, and hurt is chronically told through the context of five tracks. The healing effect radiates throughout the project, especially with the song “Feel It Out”, which has charted its way on the Top 10 on both the United States and Global viral 50 hits. Loren North talks to Local Wolves about her creative input when working with producers, dealing with creative blocks, and sentimental songs that made her want to commence on a musical voyage.
I was specifically intrigued by your track “You Are” because it has this illusive Peter Pan childlike wonder vibe, do you find yourself enamored by fantasy and storytelling?
LN — Interesting question— I would say one of the most intriguing things someone has told me about my singing is that I have a great “story-telling” voice. So I would say that I’m most definitely enamored by storytelling through music. It͛s a beautiful thing.
What emotions ultimately helped you craft the Starlight EP?
LN — Confusion. Hurt. Apathy. I do wish I could say more positive words than negative, though the process of this EP has definitely brought forth freedom as well.
How important are visuals to you? Do you conjure up specific images or nostalgic memories whenever you’re in the songwriting process?
LN — I’m a v-i-s-u-a-l person, so yes I’m always “story-telling” by pulling from specific events that have happened.
One of my favorite lines off “Starlight”, is “I could be your angel, falling deep into your stratosphere,” do you think love sometimes has that capacity to be all-consuming and may sometimes alienate an individual from reality?
LN — Yup, love can be tricky like that— especially if you’re completely wrapped up in someone. I think since the time of writing this I’ve learned that it’s so important to know who you are and being strong in yourself rather than finding your whole identity in someone else.
The introduction of your song “Backward/Forward” almost reminded me of a The 1975 instrumental, how much influence do you have over production?
LN — I like to give freedom to the producers, yet give ideas and input through the process as well. The producer for “Backward/Forward” (Justin Amundrud) is a friend of mine from Nashville, and just pure talent! He killed that track.
By being an independent artist, do you find that you have leeway to expand your lyrical and creative freedom when it comes to working on new projects?
LN — Oh, absolutely. I’m open to signing to a label someday, whether that’s sooner or later, but for now I’m kind of just enjoying the moment of having full creative freedom with what I do. We’ll see what happens.
At what age did you write your first song, and do you recall what it was about?
LN — I was 12 years old I believe. I grew up around a lot of gospel music, and that’s what influenced the first song I ever wrote.
You’ve resided in Los Angeles for eight years now, did the LA scene end up influencing some of the songs on Starlight?
LN — I love that you know how long! It feels like it’s been eight minutes to be honest. But yeah, totally! The music culture is so strong here and I would say it had a big effect on the direction of the production for this EP.
As you make your own mark in the independent music industry, what advice have you received that has been essential to you?
LN — Some good advice I’ve gotten is to always have a learning-spirit, and to continually be improving. You really never fully arrive… stretch yourself, friends!
Did you ever have a creative block while making the Starlight EP, if so, how do you address those moments when you feel like you have run dry of inspiration?
LN — It definitely took me a minute to figure out where I wanted the production to be for the songs. But once I landed on something that felt right, the process started gaining momentum. Like I said in the answer above, always stretch yourself, and try new things. If going right isn͛t working, maybe try steering left for a second and see what happens. You might surprise yourself.
Whenever you’re working on a project, do you set aside songs specifically for an EP and some songs for an album? Or can we expect to see songs from the EP on an eventual album release?
LN — I was intentional about writing songs just for this specific EP. I will most likely release brand new music on an album in the future.
What’s the concept behind the EP’s title and what does it mean to you?
LN — “Starlight” is pretty much the core song of the EP (and honestly I thought it was a strong title name). The underlining tone throughout the song is just this idea of being completely consumed in somebody, and I feel the rest of the songs stem from that place. It’s interesting to see how far I’ve come in my headspace since the beginning stages of this EP.
Is there anybody that you’re currently listening to that reminds you of the sentiment that made you start music in the first place?
LN — Well, if we were going back to my childhood, I was obsessed with Stacie Orrico. And funny enough I’ve been listening to her tracks lately thinking how much she has influenced my singing without even realizing it. Not that our styles are the same, but just in the little things I hear throughout her songs. I would also say this artist named LEON who is an insane vocalist definitely has inspired me lately— such vulnerability in the way she sings. I always want to make sure I’m singing from a real place too.
If I ask you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine what your future will look like, what images emerge in your head?
LN — I hope to be recording more music and playing for audiences everywhere! Most importantly throughout it all sharing a message of hope and love to people through my music and my life.