Lara Andallo is an up-and-coming 17-year-old singer/songwriter from Sydney, and following the successful release of her debut EP, Parallel Trigger, we talked to the young artist about her past, and future.
Andallo’s debut 6-track EP is a stunning fusion of RnB, Pop and Hip-Hop, defying Lara’s age in what is a complete, polished and impressive project that kicks off what will ultimately be an eventful year for the young singer. Parallel Trigger
You’re still only young, however your music is so ahead of your years. How did you first get into music, and in particular making it?
When I was three, my parents got me playing the violin, which I loved and played for 10 years. I started to pick up saxophone & drums in primary school and added music theory and musicianship lessons, while completing AMEB music exams. By the end of primary school I taught myself how to play Ukulele, Guitar, & Piano.
I was in all the senior bands & orchestra at school, playing classical & jazz. I never trained in singing but I always loved singing along to my music as well as searching up karaoke versions of my favourite songs. As I started to teach myself chords on the guitar and piano is when I got more interested in singing and self-expression through music. I started singing lessons at my dance school in high school, more for myself confidence than anything.
Songwriting naturally became a regular thing for me. It became my guard, protection and light when it came to bullying and depression, and expressing my thoughts when no one understood. Song writing became my best friend when I didn’t have that support physically. It’s crazy how much it helped me pull through at times.
Once I started dancing, my focused and drive was pulled from school and music. But dancing gave me determination and mentality like I had never felt before, which I definitely apply in all aspects of my life, especially music. The music I was dancing to influenced my song writing and style. Not to mention, all the old 80s & 90’s music my parents always played in the house.
This is your debut EP, how has the journey been to get to this point so far?
The music Industry is an absolute beast. I felt comfortable in my dancing world, and I kind of had an idea and understanding of how I wanted to be back up dancer and how I was going to do so. But once my surgery happened, is when my journey in the music industry really started.
With my dancing & acting, I have an agency who gets me auditions for the commercials, being a featured dancer in music video’s and short films I have done. However, when it came to gigs and establishing myself with my music, I was definitely left to do everything myself, which I kind of liked, but I definitely wasn’t used to it. As I was still enrolled in my fulltime certificate IV in dance and completing my HSC through homeschooling I didn’t have a lot of spare time on my hands at all. As the EP was coming together I spent the time I got home, 9pm till 2-3am on my piano doing music; singing and writing. I kept the project on the down low, as I wanted it to be my own business. I wanted my hard work and creation to speak for itself. The process of creating my EP showed me so much I didn’t know. Within the production process, mixing, mastering, how everything comes together, it was quite a unique experience for me, finally seeing what happens when one of my songs actually come to life.
I’ve loved learning about the complexity of the industry, and all the different paths, and opportunities there are to reach your personalised goals. I felt like I could be in charge of my dream, and write out my road to success. I do pride myself with my work ethic and mentality, so when I put my mind to something or set a goal, I won’t stop till I achieve it. I have learnt so much about performing as well; with all the gigs I have been doing and watching other artists.
I get the opportunity to constantly discover the performer I want to be, not to mention gaining confidence or learning from every performance. In my first year of starting my journey as an artist, I have built a social media following of over 21,000 followers, became a finalist in nationwide singing competitions, featured on radio stations performing my singles, performed at various music festivals in Sydney and the Philippines, opened for national & international artists, gained interest from entertainment labels such as VIVA Records and Triple J producers, presenters, and directors, and recently just released my debut EP written by myself, Parallel Trigger.
I feel like my journey to get to this point so far has been one of the most amazing experiences. I have loved single every second, growing, learning, performing, recording. I feel like I radiate positive & enthusiastic vibes and attitude that in return, I am attracting a steady and strong outcome. The main thing I have learnt and believe in is that, I am capable of doing things in a way no one else in the world can do, and my unique qualities are my strength. If I believe in myself worth and that I am deserving and capable of achieving my goals, I can give others the opportunity to believe so with me.
You’ve already achieved lots for such a young creative, what’s next for yourself and where do you want to be?
This EP was really just my baby steps into my journey and capabilities, as it was really an experimental project for me in every aspect. Now that I have experienced the full process and seen what I can achieve, and have more of an understanding of how it all works, I will only be reaching higher.
I plan to kick my goals hard, only heading up; you know what I’m saying. My three major influences are Kehlani, Tinashe, & Rihanna. I love how they all are so unique yet so strong and confident in what they do; girl power. They show truth and rawness in their performance quality and their writing style, have the ability to bend genres and go outside the typical sounds of a genre, have fierce stage presence and swagger and know how to put on a show.
I would love to one day be an RnB artist who makes a bridge in their music between Pop, RnB & Hip Hop. Being a performer that exudes passion, fierce stage presence, vulnerability, and swagger, and can put on a hella dope show with a whole lot of amazing dancing. Not to mention, be an inspiring role model, and make a positive impact on the world of course.
Dancing is a major asset to myself as a performer. I am completing a Certificate IV in dance on a scholarship at Brent Street Studio’s including training in hip hop, jazz, musical theatre, contemporary, lyrical, tap, ballet, acrobatics, singing and acting. I feel so much comfort in dancing, so as an artist it would definitely impact and enhance my performance quality and showmanship. Now that I have more of an understanding of myself as an artist and performer and the direction I want to go, you can definitely expect to see a lot more from me.
The EP is titled Parallel Trigger, what was the concept behind that title and the EP itself? What does it mean to you?
Well this whole project came about because I felt this is where the universe was attracting me. It happened for a reason & everything I wrote about happened and is happening for a reason. Everything in our lives affects another. In relation to myself personally, I underwent ankle surgery leaving me to learn how to walk again. This was a major shock to my system being primarily a determined focused dancer. The morning after going through the surgery, I realised how much had changed. I was hysterically crying at the hospital as I tried to take my first steps with the walking frame. The nurses were all concerned as I shouldn’t be in that much pain to be crying as I was, but I told them I was crying because I didn’t realise how much of my creative expression would be taken away from me.
As I spent the summer trying to finish all my school assessments, I remembered that I was trapped in a room with my guitar and my piano.. Music became my therapy when it came to copping with how upset I became due to my ankles, as well as my stress with trying to finish the 20 school assessments I had left for year 11 due in 3 weeks, and of course all the normal things teenager complain about.
Term went back for the year and I had my first singing lesson with my teacher, and she asked me about my goals for the year. I told her I wanted to get some studio equipment at home and maybe release one cover and possibly an original. She told me I need to think bigger, and at this point I really did think this was as far as I could aim for in a year, especially as I still am completing a full time course. She said why not recording an EP. I honestly thought that was not an option for me in the next 5 years. So it’s really crazy how my mindset use to be.
Mentally I have grown a lot and I feel a quite ahead of my time in that sense or more mature mentally I guess. I wouldn’t call myself a typical teenager. I don’t like doing normal teenager things. Being social, going to parties, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends on weekends.
I spend my nights and days staying constantly productive. Whether it be in relation to music, looking for performance opportunities, researching, practicing/writing, having phone call meetings, sending emails. Or to do with my fitness and physical training for dancing, going to the gym, practicing routines, doing workouts at home. I absolutely love how focused and determined I am. It’s so exciting and motivating seeing improvement in myself and getting closer to my dreams, and ticking off my goals. A lot of people my age think I’m actually crazy for working they way I do, because the truth is, I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else! I just cant help but want to put in all the work to be the best me I can be for myself and my future, I enjoy it.
Before this I really didn’t have a lot of self-confidence or belief within myself let alone with my music. When I started writing the EP I had no idea whatsoever what my sound was, what you could really classify it as, what kind of production style I would work with, I was really just an excited kid who wanted to stay productive while she couldn’t dance. I wasn’t even planning to start a Facebook page or try to make a name for myself or even really properly release the EP. It was very much just my baby steps into the full process of creating my own music in full. It was for my own growth and creative fun, rather than for a public release or debut to be honest.
Point is, if I didn’t get the surgery, I wouldn’t have re found my love for music. I had to experience the change in one aspect of my life, which affected everything else. Everything is connected and everything has a parallel trigger. Parallel meaning side by side, trigger being the cause of action translates to all the aspects of our life, are triggered or caused because of another aspect of our life as they are all connected, side by side. Without the loss of dance, I wouldn’t have found my connection with music. This was the main meaning of the EP to me, but all the individual ideas of each track still has the same concept of cause and affect in relation to our lives.
How did the idea for the song ‘Wanted‘ come about?
The concept of the song is just knowing how a situation was going to turn out, and being so damn right about it. Even after you told someone so, they wouldn’t believe you, and now you’re only left to tease them really. Like huh, is this what you wanted, sucks to be you.
Genre-wise, I was definitely mixing my old school RnB influences with the more modern twist to RnB. I felt artists such as Tink & Kehlani influenced my song-writing style and production.
How did you come up with the video idea, and how did that come to life?
I really wanted to keep it slick, cool, clean and simple, as this song is meant to be a chill vibe, which has a concept of teasing. I wanted it to really sit in the pocket so you could feel that underlying vibe of ‘I told you so’. Dancing is a huge part of my life as I spend majority of the day light in my week doing it, so it has a strong influence in the music making process, but especially because this was a debut video, I definitely wanted to put my passion for dancing in there as well.
What else can we expect from Lara Andallo in 2017?
Upwards and Onwards! I have a few gigs lined up, one being BU Day with Beautiful Minds where I will be performing along side acts such as Jai Waetford in August. I will be completing my HSC this year, but will continue to release some original tracks and covers for my Facebook page, and expect some collaborations. I hope to release a single or two later in the year that I can consider my real first steps into the direction that I want to head.
I want these tracks that I release to represent the artist I have become in this first round process, as well as define my sound in that moment, and feel confident in that. I want everyone to feel the impact of my next coming singles; feel like they need to know more about myself as an artist. I would also love to do a headlining show here in Sydney, then possibly Melbourne. There is still lots more to come; bigger and better.
STREAM PARALLEL TRIGGER BELOW
Written by Jarrod van der Staay