Get to know Atwood Magazine‘s writers in our special column where they become the interviewees, sharing their personal playlists and talking about their experiences covering music!
Filled with a passion to write and a deep appreciation for music, LA-based journalist, Lauren Turner, has always known what she wanted to do. Now, she’s living out and accomplishing the dreams her younger self has always hoped and strived for.
Stream: Atwood Writer’s Playlist: Lauren Turner
Meet Our Writers: Lauren Turner!
Where are you from and where are you based?
Lauren Turner: I was born, raised and currently reside in sunny Los Angeles, California.
How did you get into music writing?
Lauren Turner: I have always been passionate about two things, music and writing. Both are my happy place, my therapy, my escape and overall processing tools to life. When going to college, I knew I had to figure out a way to follow those passions and make a career out of the things that brought joy into my life. I studied English and Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. Upon graduation, journalism stuck out to me the most. I loved it. I loved learning about people and the stories that make up our world. So, I continued my education in journalism and received my master’s degree from Northwestern University. I pursued a track in magazine writing, wanting to stick to my creative side yet still be a truthful reporter. I found myself constantly wanting to tackle music stories. How did a band or artist come to be? What were they like off the stage? What are the meanings behind our favorite lyrics? They were all stories I wanted to figure out and tell the world about.
Music is such a vital part of life. It’s found when dancing in the kitchen at 2 AM with your best friends, in memorable road trips with loved ones and even in the grocery store buying some bananas. It’s used in pivotal moments throughout life, a first dance at a wedding, at graduation and even to ring in the new year. It can even be as simple as the phrase, “This song reminds me of you.” It’s intertwined in every aspect of our lives, connecting us, giving us memories, reminding us of the people who mean the absolute most to us and making us not feel alone. When we don’t have the words to say what we mean, there’s a song out there ready to be found and played over and over again. And how can you not want to know more about such a deep part of life? I absolutely did.
So, long story short, here I am 🙂 Atwood Magazine is the first music outlet I’ve written for and I have loved every minute of it.
Who was your very first concert, and who have you seen most recently?
Lauren Turner: Haha! My first ever concert was the “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert,” when I was eight. And let me tell you, it was pure gold. There was a giant group of my friends and our moms that went. I believe it was the first concert for all of us girls. Our moms were troopers. The Jonas Brothers were on the tour as well, really giving eight-year-old Lauren the best of both worlds.
Recently, I have been spending all of my money on live shows. I cannot control myself. Some of my recent favorites include Vance Joy and the Red Hot Chili Peppers with The Strokes. I’ve been wanting to see Vance Joy for a while and he was great! My all time favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and having The Strokes open for them was absolutely amazing. It was a bucket list show that did not disappoint at all.
Who are two or three of your favorite up-and-coming artists right now?
Lauren Turner: Ooooh! What a great question. There are so many! RAYE is phenomenal. Her debut album My 21st Century Blues is a masterpiece that I have binge listened to since its release date. Beach Weather is also crushing it right now. I loved their debut album Pineapple Sunrise. I recently interviewed them for Atwood, and I can tell they have some exciting things on the horizon. Now, this is where the term “up-and-coming” gets blurry. My third pick would have to be The Backseat Lovers. Although they’ve been around a bit longer, I feel like they are taking off at the moment. They are a really good one to be keeping an eye on right now. I was obsessed with their album When We Were Friends in 2019, and their latest album Waiting to Spill was also so great.
What’s something you’ve learned from working as a music journalist?
Lauren Turner: I’ve always known how beautifully and crazy talented musicians are, but through covering music and talking to artists themselves, I have a whole new found respect for them. Music journalism has just opened my eyes into an artist’s creative process in a way I have never seen before. It’s so inspiring.
What’re your favorite moments covering music? Can be from interviews, reviews, in-person events/shows, anything.
Lauren Turner: As simple as this answer is, it comes straight from the heart. I just love talking to artists about their music. Interviewing them about a random note in a song, why they chose the order of their track list or a part of their personal story that inspired an entire album is so insightful and fun. I really love when I can connect with an artist or band. For example, when interviewing Dean Lewis, we talked a lot about how music helps heal people. Seeing Lewis talk about how music connects to him, and it sort of being the way I connect with music too, was just so inspiring. It was such an eye-opening, raw and hit you in the heart type of conversation. To be honest, I’m just extremely honored and blessed to be able to meet such creative people who trust me with writing their stories.
If you could ask one question to any artist or band, who would it be and what would you ask?
Lauren Turner: I would love to chat with Dave Grohl. I don’t know if there’s necessarily a burning question I would ask. I truly would just love to sit in a pub and hear fun, behind the scene stories of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.
What are you most looking forward to this year, music-wise?
Lauren Turner: Currently, there’s a couple of movements happening for women within the music industry. I know there are female artists releasing songs and drawing attention to pressing matters. I cannot wait to see where those go and the positive changes that will come from it.
Can you please explain why you chose the top 5 songs on your playlist?
- “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star: This song is by far my favorite song of all time. I’ve been listening to it ever since I was a little girl. In a way, it sort of reminds me of the ocean, hauntingly beautiful. As I’ve gotten older and understood the meaning of it, I’ve fallen more in love with it. I think I’ve always admired its simple yet deep and effective lyrics. It’s breathtakingly gorgeous.
- “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls: I’ve always loved “Iris” for the way it articulates love in such a raw and truthful manner. “When everything feels like the movies/ Yeah, you bleed just to know, you’re alive,” is by far one of my favorite lines in music. But “Iris” has a lot of good lines. I truly think I could highlight each one and be attached to it in some way. The instrumental buildup before John Rzeznik screams the chorus one last time, is also one of my favorites in music.
- “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” has always intrigued me. As a kid, I used to actually picture and try to envision what knocking on Heaven’s door would actually look like. Now, I think the idea is just so creative. I guess I have a soft spot for the songs that are so simple yet so moving. You can really hear the plead and suffering someone feels when they are at their lowest in this song, but it’s done in such a beautiful way. The idea of surrendering and knocking on Heaven’s door sends chills down my spine every time I listen to it.
- “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses: Need I say more? In my personal opinion, it’s a musical masterpiece. From Slash’s guitar solo to Axl Rose’s raspy vocals, from the detailed storytelling to the personal meaning behind it, I am obsessed with this song. I actually got to see Guns N’ Roses at Wrigley Field in the summer of 2021, and when they played this song, I may have completely lost it. Plus, the music video is also iconic. I think it has over two billion views now.
- “In the End” by Linkin Park: My dad is a big Linkin Park guy. They are one of the bands that were always blasting in our house growing up. Because of that, the first song I ever knew all the lyrics to was “In the End.” So, I feel like this song has to be in my top five. Interesting choice for a toddler to be singing, but my dad loved every second of it. I loved it too. I remember always asking him to play it in the car with my little brother so we could scream the lyrics. To this day, it’s still one of my favorites. It will always hold a special place in my heart and bring good memories.
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:: Stream Lauren’s Playlist ::