“It’s me, in the minivan!” chanted the sound of Lauren’s voice, as I tried to find her on Sunset Blvd. for our photoshoot. That quick moment made me laugh, because it already defined someone super unpretentious and spontaneous. During the interview, Lauren described herself as a semi independent artist. She explained to me during the set how she, as a musician, navigates the current music industry. I could sense the complex mixture of nostalgia for the way music was distributed back then and also an excitement for its future. Lauren’s enthusiasm seems tightly attached to her respect and love for her fans. Recently, she shared a video entirely spoken in Spanish for her community of admirers in Latin America. Lauren was even somewhat apologetic about possible mistakes in the language. My only reaction as a Brazilian consumer of foreign music is to praise her for creating an atmosphere of intimacy with her fanbase that clearly comes out of care and affection.

VULKAN’s interview with Lauren navigates many subjects such as music, fashion and creative direction. In some way all the answers came back to her innate desire to express herself: “I acted as I did, because it is who I am and that is my ‘religion’: authenticity”. You will find this quote in Lauren’s answer about her comfort level with nudity and her body. I cried in the photoshoot, something that never happened before. I cried, because 15-year old me, who was listening to rock music in her bedroom, witnessed the rockstar attitude that inspired her to carry on and become an adult. The fashion story with Lauren was based in the Sunset Strip Golden Age. This praised moment in history channels the soul of counter culture in rock music, which is embodied easily by Lauren. However, her portrait of this time is even better, because now we have space to demystify the male legends belonging to that period and understand the humanity and creative energy expressed by girls, perceived only as groupies. Lauren probably has a nostalgic soul, but I can also say that she is the future.

Recently, Lauren Ruth Ward gifted us with the EP titled “SELF ELECTRIC”. The piece balances vulnerability and acoustic subtleness of songs such as “Babysitter” with the thrilling feeling of a rock anthem like “Heaven Electric”. The melodic start of “This is What I get” keeps building up to the point you need to stand up and move freely with your own personal choreography. The first track to be released is “SELF LOVE”, which transported me back to my pop punk era in the 2000s. Elegant and catchy, it has the best of both worlds. You can’t help it but repeat the spell within the title words with Lauren. I suggest you stream the EP as you dive into Lauren’s brilliant and honest responses.


I am really moved by your involvement in fashion and in every creative decision during our collaboration. How has that desire to participate in multiple areas manifested in your experience as an independent artist surviving in the music industry?

Thank you. And thank you for allowing me to have an integral say in the looks for the shoot. It truly made me feel so comfortable. I’ve known for a long time, since I was little, that in all things I do I must be able to express myself. I think my desire to use my voice, wear colors / textures based on my mood and my thoughts. Those actions came first. Being a musician, or a stylist are the results of that desire.

We talked briefly about the freedom artists used to have up until the 1990s in comparison to nowadays. Could you expand on that subject?

There are pros and pros. Right now, as I am preparing for a tour as a semi-diy artist, I know that I am begging via email and IG dm for many of these venues to pretty please share any of the photo/flyer/video content I made as a promotion. That falling 99% on the artist sucks. I’ve read in autobiographies and seen in documentaries that it didn’t use to be that way. However, the accessibility granted between myself and my fans all over the world is a 2024 privilege I do not take lightly. I’m grateful for it daily. It is the only thing I do on the apps, chat, reply, connect with them. I think it’s just about shaking hands with reality, not romanticizing ‘how easy it used to be for artists’, and finding authentic ways to use the tools that exist in this moment.

How would you describe your personal style? Is there a difference between your on-stage persona and off-stage?

Personal style is a mixture of sentimentality, loving the planet, and emotion – how I feel in the clothing and the energy the clothing gives to me. This criteria is the same on stage and off stage. I ask myself, how do I want to feel? and how am I feeling?

How much involvement do you have in the music video creative process?

From beginning to end depending on the collaborator / music video. some videos i’ve directed, acted in, budgeted, and fully produced (wardrobe, HMU, talent hire, crafty, set design). other music videos i’ve outsourced mega talent for some of the above. but i’m always touching base re: the vision from concept to final edit.

I was really inspired by your adjustment of the editorial looks to fit your personality. The result was a brilliant juxtaposition of a vintage Zappa shirt over a glamorous designer blouse. As a woman, we are expected to repress our opinions and accept situations that make us uncomfortable. You didn’t seem influenced by this toxic imposition. Where does that inspiring confidence to be vocal about your beliefs and desires come from? Was that always natural to you?

You put that sad truth beautifully. It has been a practice in patience for sure. I’m grateful, I’ve always had my voice. I’ve always felt the speak up part (for the most part). It’s the packaging I’ve had to work on. I’m a bit of a word slut. I love choosing words wisely and in order to do that you must sit with your feelings to know your message. You and everyone at the shoot were so kind and calm, no patience were needed ̈. I was grateful for the lengths everyone went to allow me to feel comfortable.

You seem to perceive your body as something natural or simply a part of human existence. Your position in this matter combined with Jen’s talent and female gaze made the topless pictures artistic and incredibly powerful. What is the secret to avoid male fetish and keep the divine freedom created in a moment like that?

There is no avoiding it, you cannot control another person’s thoughts/biases. And I’ve taught myself that only I can give away my power to cheap minds. I choose not to. Some days are easier than others. (in photo shoots) I do what I do based on my sense of self-expression, not to entertain any external elements. It is my choice to allow others to deter me from this mantra. I didn’t choose my wardrobe or lack of because our AMAZING photographer Jen is a woman. I acted as I did, because it is who I am and that is my “religion” : authenticity. In less favorable scenarios, where programmed male minds are present, I take whatever action is needed while avoiding anger. I love this quote .. “Internalizing anger will take away our joy and spirit. Externalizing anger will make us less effective in our attempts to create change and forge connection.” – Brené Brown.

We talked about the lovely video you made in Spanish for you Latin American fans. You seem to carry so much respect and love for everyone supporting your music. Could you talk a little bit about the relationship you have with your fans?

It was me, my words and my guitar in my bedroom from 13 years old to 25. I will remember that feeling forever. It was not until I was 26 that I started performing and releasing music. I understood only a little bit about the job of being an artist vs. keeping my writing to myself and playing as a hobby. What I knew then and now is that there is no such career or doing this work without listeners. they are in fact everything. they’re a part of every choice I make and aid in every intention I set.

What drives you to craft music and how this passion entered your life?

so cheesy.. but it chose me! haha i didn’t make this choice. I was suicidal as a tween. I needed an outlet. I saw all the emo dudes doing it in 2003 and said, maybe I can too? and that was that.

How do you go about the composition side and songwriting process of your music?

I usually start by writing alone on my acoustic guitar. Sometimes it starts with no melody, coming from a poem. Then I bring the songs to a co-producer/guitarist. or I’ll fully flesh it out and co-produce with a producer. These days I’ve been enjoying bringing it to life with a guitarist. Lightfoot, Claire Morison, David Davis, Louie Diller, The Market Recording to name a few.

What does your song “Messiah” represent?

a sexual awakening. removing guilt from pleasure. giving yourself permission to be fully human.

Are there any pieces of art that have transformed?

countless. i’d say the most imprinting artist I’ve come across is Vali Myers. she, her mind, essence, art work, words, are endless.

Do you have a favorite song to perform?

right now it is a tune that is new, not out. it’s called PLZ NVR CONTACT ME AGAIN. i stole the line from someone who texted that to me after I showcased a sprinkling of my shadow side. though I was provoked by manipulative tactics, i do long to keep my side of the street clean, regardless of mantra interference. the song represents the gift i give myself, alchemy. i took someones painful truth about me, and i learned, made art, grew, and it also has an insane beat that makes me lose my shit on stage. hopefully ill be able to release it next.

How do you name your songs/albums?

I’ve never been asked this. Some names come quick, some need to cook. I feel like it happens out of the blue, like in the shower, or when I’m driving. My new EP “self electric” came from the first single “self love” and the last one “heaven electric”. sometimes i’ll erase a space between words to keep it separate from songs with the same title ex. “pullstring” and “mindseye”.

Your cover of “Love Street” for Jim Morrision’s 75th birthday is incredible. Would you ever devote an entire album to cover songs? How do you make a cover unique, especially in the case of pop culture canons such as “White Rabbit” (which by the way I also loved)?

Thank you! “Happy Birthday, Jim ” was a fun album to make. It is a full album of the doors covers. I also did “Happy Birthday, Elliott” of E.Smith songs. Both albums were created with Eduardo Rivera. to make it mine..hmm, I just sing the way I do. I feel lucky to have a raspy textured voice. I was made fun of for it when I was younger. I’m thankful for it, it helps me sound like Me and no one else.

What musicians or types of music inspire your musical trajectory?

I can tell that you are also connected to other forms of art. Has a film or painting ever inspired you to write a song? Everything inspires me in one way or another.

The theme for this issue is “awakening”, what does that word mean to you?

Our taming is deep seeded. I feel like every couple months – year I have an awakening. While my mind is expanding, I still manage to put myself in boxes. the brainwashing of the binary, and all other invented social goals did its toll on us all. “awakening” means to think for yourself. “awakening” is to need no external power, but to be “self electric”.

Has your music provided you with any form of awakening?

I think it’s the awakening that informs art. the music will always come out, i’ve created since i could move. but yeah, perhaps it’s more of a figure 8 that feeds each other.

What do you hope to accomplish with your music?

Authentic connection.



Lauren Ruth Ward @laurenruthward

Photography Jen Rosenstein @jenrosenstein

Styling Marisa Espinoza @mars.attks

Beauty Artist Amanda Thorsson @thorssonamanda

Producer + creative Direction Isabela Costa @isa.chromatic

Interview: Intro by Isabela Costa @isa.chromatic Questions by Maxen Olvera @maxo_4203 and Isabela Costa @isa.chromatic

Production + Location @bellomediagroup x @maisonpriveepr_la

For a full digital preview + print on demand visit VULKAN Newsstand.