INSIDE THE INDUSTRY WITH LAINEY DIONNE
Get to know about the phenomenal career and album 'Self Titled' by Lainey Dionne.
What is the best rule of thumb when it comes to starting a career in music?
In my opinion and long story short, it goes like this: Practice until you have something you're proud of- don't be too hard on yourself here because everyone has to start somewhere. Once you have material, get to know the music business- take a class, read a book, watch videos on how to DIY release your music. After you have a general understanding of how to make and release music, network network network! Put yourself out there as much as possible and make yourself available for any gig or press opportunity! Key is to always remember to be kind, be prepared, and be humble in every situation!
What were the early beginnings of your career like? Any story that stands out to you?
I wouldn't really consider myself a professional musician until after I graduated Berklee College of Music. As soon as I graduated I released my first EP which was in the folk genre called Can't Refuse - EP. I was a way different performer, writer, and artist then than I am now. I was very green and thought things were a lot easier than they were (haha). There's literally so much that goes into releasing music that I didn't realize then and so much work to be done that I wasn't doing. I remember doing 3 hour gigs and not knowing that I could take a break (haha). Almost a year after my release in 2017 I went on tour with my band for the EP. Our first stop was a venue in New York City called Bowery Electric and it was the first time we played as a band. We were pretty bad at that show, so bad that we all went to separate corners and didn't talk to each other for a good 20 minutes after the show. We picked ourselves back up and the rest of the tour went amazing!! Since then I've definitely gained a lot of confidence as an artist. Everything is a learning experience!
Who do you look for advice on when it comes to your career?
My parents. Neither one of them are professional musicians but they are both very smart people that I look up to in all aspects of my life. In the music industry, it's really hard to trust that people have your best interest in mind. You have to be really careful with what deals you sign and what you're signing up for with performances. Whenever something doesn't sound right or I want a second opinion, I always ask my parents what they think my next step should be. Very lucky to have them both be so supportive and helpful in my career! Shout out to mom and dad!!
What was a challenge in the industry that you later on were so grateful for the learning experience?
The pandemic super impacted the music industry as a whole. I wasn't able to perform for a while and because of that I switched over to doing weekly livestreams on Facebook. I gained so many new fans and friends by playing on TVs right in people's living rooms by live streaming. It was challenging not being in person and playing at my regular spots and I still consider it a challenge, however I am very grateful to have met new people internationally via live streaming during that period!
What was something that came the easiest for you when it came to the industry?
Drive. I'm very driven and don't stop until I get what I want. I'm very organized as well. I make a million different "To Do" lists for the day. I like dipping my hands into different hats. That's totally not the saying but I can't think of anything else! Basically I like to DIY as much as possible and work really hard to accomplish my goals.
How much work goes into your day?
A LOT. I feel like it's overwhelming and times and also somehow like I'm not doing enough. Every week I apply to different opportunities, submit my songs to spotify playlists, submit to radio stations, submit to blogs, magazines, and podcasts and then organize my social media grids around whichever exposure opportunities I land. I also book myself shows and typically play 2-5 shows a week in over 90 venues in Rhode Island where I'm from. On top of booking and searching for more exposure opportunities, I have meetings with my team and co-writing sessions with other songwriters all over the country. In between all of this planning for my artistry, I also teach private music lessons to make some money on the side. My life and work is completely surrounded by music and I love it.
Do you have a strict regimen when it comes to your career?
So every aspect of the industry gets a day. For example, I submit for opportunities and playlisting on Monday along with logging all of my shows and what I made over the weekend into my spreadsheet. As long as I stay driven and organized I pretty much get everything done but there are some days where I just want to sit in bed and watch Netflix or play video games. I set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals which really help me stay focused. A weekly goal would consist of "I want to land 5 radio stations this week". A monthly might be "I want to play x amount of shows and land x amount of press". Yearly goals can get kind of insane for me like "this year I want to get one of my songs in a movie".
You just released your album Self Titled! Congratulations! What are the behind the scenes magic that needs to happen in order for such a big project to happen?
Thank you! I had so many co-writers on this album and some of them have landed huge songs for artists like Dua Lipa! Very lucky to have collaborated with great writers on this album! The only song that I wrote all by myself on the album is Cumbria, everything else I wrote with one or two other people. Nick Schwarz produced the whole thing and he is super duper amazing! More than half of the album was recorded during the pandemic and I had to FaceTime Nick in Nashville to produce while recording here in Rhode Island at True Music Studios. I hired an independent graphic artist Angelica Velasco to bring to life what I had in mind for the cover art. And of course, I had to go through all the poopy boyfriends and giddy crushes to get the songs!
What was a monumental piece of the album that almost didn't happen?
The album itself! It was crazy having to record remotely while FaceTiming my producer. Also a couple of songs on the album almost didn't happen because I wasn't dumped yet! Wake Up Call, Damned, and Senti(mental) were all the last songs written on the album about this "monumental" recent break up! The whole album is basically a play by play of my relationships. I chose ‘Self Titled’ because I am not defined by my exes, they do not represent my name, but they did shape me into the person I am today through the good and the bad- and now that I’ve come out the other side, I feel entitled to myself again. I'm so glad everything worked out with me and with this album!
Can you leave us with the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you can be anything in this world, be kind.
Where can fans continue to follow you and listen to your music?
I would love to hear what YOU think of the album!!
Self Titled Album: www.laineydionne.com/self-titled Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4EaKMngmssLu9FK6TpUfyJ iTunes/Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/lainey-dionne/1180235060 Official Website: https://www.laineydionne.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laineysmusic/ TikTok: https://www.instagram.com/laineysmusic/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laineysmusic YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/laineydionne Twitter: https://twitter.com/laineydionne Bandcamp: https://laineydionne.bandcamp.com/