Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “Phoenix Rising”?
I feel it’s an anthem song. Something people can rally around and feel empowered to overcome whatever they are facing. When I wrote it I was trying to get outside of the compressed place I was in and find a new sense of freedom. We all have this innate need to feel free, and when we feel trapped it’s painful. The song is both about the personal journey of metamorphosis, and also the collective rising above the violence, hatred and division we see in the world. I believe we have the power to transform these limitations together.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I was in the middle of a huge transition, which is often a very uncomfortable place to be as it’s totally unknown. I was in between what I had left behind and whatever was next, and had no idea what to do. Rather than go into the specifics of my own story, I want to leave the story of the song open to however it lands for the listener and what meaning they give it.
How was the experience filming the music video? What role did you play?
Filming the video was such a blast! There were three different shoot dates – two that I did just with Nathan Prevost, my director, and then the big outdoor shoot day with the dancer and production crew. Nate was the first person I approached with the song a year ago, and we created the concept for the video together. He is the Choreographer and Director, and my role was co-Director and Producer. I hired JLE Media Group, a husband and wife team, for filming the main shoot day and editing the video. We edited over the summer and the original concept for the video changed quite a bit. You always have something in mind, but then when you actually create the content and start putting it together it often morphs into something better. Our team was small but mighty and I’m very happy with the result!
How was the recording and writing process?
I wrote the song about three years ago, so for me this feels like a long birthing process. The song and composition came to me very quickly, but I didn’t record it until last year. I co-produced the song with my friend Tim Kobza, who also plays all the beautiful guitar parts. Tim is a super talented musician, sound engineer, composer, and just a great guy. I absolutely love the recording process, so it was a lot of fun to put this song together. Since I am a piano player, I wrote the song on piano, but in the recording I decided to feature guitar and strings. So there is actually no piano in the recording.
How has Carole King and Karen Carpenter influenced your music?
Karen Carpenter was my favorite singer as a child. My parents listened to a lot of The Carpenters’ albums and there was something about the depth and richness of her voice that really spoke to me. I think I related to the melancholy she communicated. Because I never planned to sing or write music, I never consciously emulated her. But I’m sure that the natural, simple purity of her vocals and the warm, acoustic production of her albums influenced the way I sing, write and record. Over the years people have told me my voice sounds like her, which is such a huge compliment, and sometimes I also get compared to Carole King. I love music that is lyrically driven, that speaks to me in an authentic way. Carole King is a master songwriter, a prolific musician, and she does it all in her own very direct, original way. I am inspired by artists who are emotionally vulnerable and true to themselves without apology.
Does your new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?
That’s the plan! I have more than enough material for a new album and am in the process of selecting which songs I want to record next.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I’m going to keep it vague and just say 2018 for now. Lots of tentative title ideas but it’s too early to say. 🙂
What aspect of alienation will you be exploring on this record?
I’m interested in the concept behind Karl Marx’s theory of alienation, which is about the separation of things that naturally belong together. We as people naturally belong to each other on the most basic levels, and on a singular level we belong to ourselves, to our own souls. I think a lot of the songs on this upcoming album are about the separation that happens as we imperfectly try to love each other and ourselves. Not just breaking up and getting together, but also the internal sense of separation that drives our behavior, often unconsciously.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’d love to! I currently work full-time in marketing, so lately my shows have been more local. I will be singing in Atlanta next month, and hope to travel more soon!
What else is happening next in Lara Oshon’s world?
I’m eager to continue recording, and hope to create more time and space to paint and do some exhibits with my art. That has been put on the back burner the last few years and I really miss painting. I love creating experiences that combine live music with art, so I’d like to find a venue that could host a concert and art exhibit. My focus right now is reaching a wider audience with this song and video release.