Fleurie, AKA Lauren Strahm, is a Nashville-based ethereal pop singer/songwriter. Her song “Hurts Like Hell” amassed over 11 million streams on Spotify after she released it in 2016. Her newest single, “Constellate” is a lushly textured, string-laced track that achieves what Fleurie does best: “building soundscapes that take your mind to a place other than where your physical body is.” “Constellate” captures the promise of new beginnings, and we can’t wait to see what the up-and-coming artist has in store for us to come.
What inspired you to become a musician? When did you start playing music?
My parents are both singers and I grew up singing at church like they did. I started taking piano lessons at age 10 and that’s probably when I really fell head over heels for music as an outlet for my creativity, vast array of deeply experienced emotions, and addictive hobby! I was inspired to write songs by my love of words and discovering poetry during the “introduction to poetry” unit of my sixth grade English class curriculum, and by the artists I listened to on my boombox at home—the way they could articulate what I felt/knew/experienced in a way that made me feel seen and known. I guess I wanted to do the same for both myself and others through my own articulations!
You originally planned to study interior design; what inspired you to switch paths and study music? Do you have any regrets?
I still love design, of all sorts really. But I get to dabble with it in decorating my own home and in designing stage looks and experiences for people with my live show. No regrets in pursuing music! I think I just never thought music could be a career pathway for me so it took a while for my mind to go to that place of “hmm…what if?” and it took some encouragement and confirmation/affirmation via friends, family, and people outside my immediate sphere responding to my songs! Now I can’t imagine doing anything else!
What’s your approach to composing music? How does poetry play into that?
I hear melodies and lyrics in my head a lot, so those things serve as song-starts for me most of the time. Sometimes I also write to a track a friend/co-writer is building, in the moment. That can be really fun too. Reading and writing poetry as a necessity for soul-survival/nourishment plays a big role…I get so inspired by words, and sometimes I’m writing a poem that suddenly has a melody attached to it (in my head) and I mess around with it on the piano to see if it could become something of a real song.
Who are some of your favorite poets nowadays?
I love Mary Oliver, Li-Young Lee, e.e. cummings, Whitman, Poe…
No regrets in pursuing music! I think I just never thought music could be a career pathway for me so it took a while for my mind to go to that place of “hmm…what if?”
You mentioned, “I want my songs to help people to open up a bit and imagine more possibilities for the world and what might be.” How do you go about conveying that sonically through your music?
Yes! I love building soundscapes that take your mind to a place other than where your physical body is. I love ethereal sounds like layers of strings and soaring synth sounds. I am currently so in love with the sound of the guitar, too…I think it has a voice that can speak through melodies and reach a place inside of human hearts that is beyond words, beyond logic/”head” knowledge.
How has your sound changed over time and what inspired the transitions?
I think it’s gotten brighter and bigger over time, which I love. I just really enjoy being creative and expanding and growing and trying new things so that always inspires me to seek out producers/writers/artists whose work I have been emotionally impacted by and try to see if we might be able to create something amazing together! I also have visions and dreams of playing big stadiums and festivals and I began to write for that type of setting this past year, songs that could engage big groups of people and soundtrack those moments!
You’re now based in Nashville; how do you like it?
I love my city! It’s full of bustling creativity and full of generous hearts and minds and people who champion one another and believe in the dreams of their friends. It’s full of dreamers and doers.
I love building soundscapes that take your mind to a place other than where your physical body is.
If you could give any advice to your younger, musician self, what would it be?
Just be patient, everything will fall into place in its perfect timing. There is no need for striving or fretting on your part!
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music?
I love playing tennis, watching Gilmore Girls/The Office/Parks & Rec all cyclically on repeat (LOL), decorating my apartment, shopping, taking long walks through parks, hanging with friends!
What are your plans for the future?
I want to go to Asia…to explore there and maybe even play some music there or film a music video. I’d love to tour, almost anywhere, and play this record for people in the next year!
Just be patient, everything will fall into place in its perfect timing.
What does feminism mean to you and why is it important?
To me, true feminism is about equality within the diversity of genders. It’s never that women should be worshiped by men, and it’s also not that men should be afraid to extend kindness and gestures of help to women—I don’t feel that when a man offers me assistance, a kind word about my appearance (in a non-derogatory way), or opens a door for me etc, that he is treating me lesser in any sense. But I do see a real need in the world for women to be respected as equals—minds, bodies, hearts, talents, gifts, souls that are equally brilliant, valuable, and worth protecting and honoring.
Check out Fleurie’s new single “Constellate” out now!1
Also published on Medium.