Behind the Scenes with Stagelight Grand Prize Winner Lauren Dair and Linkin Park
Lauren Dair opened the heavy, soundproof door and walked into the colorfully-lit Red Bull recording studios in Los Angeles, CA. As the grand prize winner of the Stagelight Monthly Music Contest II, she was here for her one on one mentorship with Linkin Park presented by Open Labs, Intel and Lenovo.
Mike Shinoda jumped out of his seat in excitement as he saw Lauren for the first time. “Hi Lauren, give me a hug!” He said as he embraced her with open arms. Already the synergy was present between these extremely talented musicians. Brad Delson came into the room next to meet with Lauren and noticed her drink of choice. “Stoked to have you here Lauren- we have Red Bull!” he joked.
As the core duo of Linkin Park’s songwriting team, Mike and Brad were holding down the session with Lauren on behalf of the band.
“I brought in a few songs to share with you both.” she said as she patched her favorite keyboard preset sound. It didn’t take long before Lauren was performing two of her unreleased demos for them.
She sang and played with so much confidence that Brad immediately noticed. “It’s pretty awesome that you can sit here and play music on the spot like that.” he said. “That’s a skill.”
“There is something special about a song stripped down in its rawest form,” Lauren suggested, “You can change anything.” Lauren spoke as she planted the seed that would grow into her next single, “Every Little Light.” From the first verse to the final hook, her unbaked song resonated with them. Her lyrics told a story of a challenging hardship using inspirational metaphors of light and darkness. Something that everyone in the room could relate to. They felt her song and quickly began sharing their own ideas to expand on the meaning and structure.
Over the next few hours, Lauren’s song became more poetic and powerful. Brad gave her tips on melodic repetition while Mike zoned into specific lyrics to enhance her iambic flow as they both sang the harmonized melody of the chorus.
“Every little light burns out
Every little star can fade to black
Even when you shine so bright that there’s nothing left
Everything will be ok
Even the sun has rainy days
You just got to fight through the night to see what lies ahead”
As the songwriting session wrapped up, Lauren spoke to Mike and Brad recalling the day.
“I love collaborating with artists,” Lauren said with a smile, “I don’t get to do it very often.”
“By the way,” Brad asked, “How old are you, Lauren?”
“I’m nineteen, so basically a child.” She responded.
“I’m still learning to not be such a hard head sometimes and listen to other people’s ideas. On the chorus for this song I would have never thought to do those words and melodies, but now hearing it and having it in place, I feel it lifts it to a whole other level.” she said.
“It’s so cool.”
At the end of the day, the crew was packing up, and Lauren put on her jacket to brace the cool night air. Dair was relaxed, but she knew her hard-work in music and songwriting was just beginning to catch fire.
Listen to “Every Little Light” written by Lauren Dair, Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson on Spotify, Apple Music and CD Baby.