Lauren Alaina has been on quite the journey since her debut release, ‘Wildflower’. From her personal struggles to writing and recording her sophomore album, Lauren has proven her strength and continues to persevere. Lauren shares that she started writing “Road Less Traveled” in 2012. Within those four years, Lauren had written over 300 songs. “Recording "Road Less Traveled" was completely different than recording "Georgia Peaches" because I actually wrote these songs.” Lauren was more involved in the creative process this time around as we got to hear her own personal stories. Alaina admits, “I knew exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I feel like I really developed my sound and the ability to fully express my artistry.”
Lauren reveals that you can never place your happiness in the hands of other people. “The hardest thing I've ever learned to do is love myself. For the longest time I was trying to depend on fans to build me up and make me feel good, but the problem with that is not everyone has something nice to say about you.” Lauren admits that her mom always told her that you can say ten nice things to someone and also say one mean thing, and they will remember the mean thing. “She is so right. I've had to get to a place where I love who I am without asking other people for permission. If you love yourself fully, someone having a bad opinion of you doesn't hurt as much. When you don't love yourself, you will believe the rude things you read. Loving who you are is the most powerful gift you can give yourself.”
Lauren’s latest release, Road Less Traveled, was completely co-written by the young country star. “Telling your truth is always scary. Vulnerability opens the door for easy attack. Not everyone will accept or appreciate who I am, but the people who matter most will and do. The truth isn't always pretty, so people can react with ugliness.” Alaina admits that she is proud of her family, her battles, her journey and herself. No one can take that away from her. “I was scared to share who I am fully, but I was also set free. I am no longer apologizing for who I am, music gave that to me.”
Earlier this year Lauren took home a CMT Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year for her lead single “Road Less Traveled”. Lauren shares that in that moment she almost fainted. “REBA. REBA. REBA. I could have fainted when she called my name. I love her so much and have always looked up to her.” Alaina shares that it was an honor to receive her first major award from the country legend. “I will NEVER forget that moment.” Lauren reveals that she had a very specific vision for the video. “I got to pick out three beautiful and talented girls to play younger versions of me. It was such an emotional day. You never see yourself from the outside looking in. We never think about ourselves as people. It was so hard for me to see these young beautiful girls playing younger versions of me because I realized how mean I have been to myself. It was a huge day of growth for me.” Alaina admits that the video taught her so much. Road Less Traveled was released not only at a perfect time in Lauren’s life and career but for the industry as well. “With this new music, I really wanted to share who I am. My biggest struggle to date has been overcoming my eating disorder. It has defined me more than anything else in my life. It only made sense for that song to be the one to reintroduce myself to the world.”
One of Lauren’s personal favorites on the album happens to be ours too. Alaina shares, “Three is my favorite song I have ever written.” The track is a perfectly written story to what most of us go through in the entertainment industry. “Six years of missing home for three minutes on the radio”. Lauren has put so much time, effort and energy in to her career. Six years of traveling, writing and recording, all for the feeling of hearing those three minutes and thirty seven seconds on the radio. “I have missed a ton of things back home. I've missed birthday parties for my nieces and nephews. I've missed holidays and church on Sunday. I missed all of those things trying to get my music on the radio.” Lauren admits that she had five singles that didn’t necessarily work on country radio. “I kept getting calls saying my single "wasn't going to work" and we had to move on. It is really hard to sacrifice so much and to feel like it's. It working out. I wanted to write a song to explain that feeling. It's my song thanking my family and my fans for their support over the last six years.” Lauren got those three minutes with her very first #1 single, “Road Less Traveled”.
Lauren has spent a lot of time on the road since the album released, even revealing that “Road Less Traveled” is still one of her favorite songs to perform live. “There is nothing in the world like hearing fans sing back a number one song that I wrote back to me. My heart is full when I hear their voices singing and meaning lyrics that mean so much to me.” While being on the road and away from home is a challenge, Lauren shares, “I NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT A ONESIE. NEVER. EVER. EVER. “
Now that we are about halfway through the year, Lauren admits that while her goals are important, they are always changing. “I think it's super important to set goals, achieve them, and make new ones.” One of Lauren’s biggest goals is to headline her own tour within the next two years. As Lauren’s fan base continues to grow, we have a feeling this will be happening some time in the near future. While touring is on Alaina’s forefront, she also has a lot of other wonderful things going on including her first film conveniently named after her album, Road Less Traveled. Lauren loved every second of filming Road Less Traveled which led to a new love and passion for acting. “I was able to express myself in a whole new way. I can't wait to do more acting in the future.”
While Lauren is still on the promo cycle for Road Less Traveled she shares that she hasn’t had much time to write. “I have a feeling I will be getting back to writing very soon.” While the past six years have been a roller coaster for Lauren, she is well on her way to becoming the country superstar she was born to be. “I am most grateful for the three-year-old me. She came up with this crazy dream, and this me gets to live it”.