Our interview with gorgeous Brazilian singer Laura Pieri who is taking the *BANG, BANG* out of her recent music video and firing off a more forceful message: ending gun violence. Following the multiple recent mass shootings across the country, Laura decided to take down the music video for her debut single “I Will Follow You” to remove the gun violence portrayed. In doing so, Laura put a halt to her music career, realizing it was time for her to call the shots by eliminating the negative impressions left from the initial visual narrative and lending her voice to a cause that has greatly impacted her. Now, following March for Our Lives, Laura Pieri re-launched her music video for “I Will Follow You” – minus the gun violence.
The Brazilian-born beauty was discovered by Grammy Award winning producer Cory Rooney (Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Marc Anthony, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé). Laura’s Latin-pop music is heavily influenced by her Brazilian roots. With idols like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira leading the way for other Latina pop singers, Laura is hoping to make her own mark in the music industry by taking a stand for her beliefs. With this move, Laura exhibits that it’s never too late to make a change for the better.
Laura currently resides in New York City, and attends NYU as a full-time student.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Brazilian, bold and blessed
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I don’t actually remember a specific moment that I was “in” the industry! I just loved making music and creating art so much so that it’s always been a part of my life. If I had to pinpoint a specific moment though, I’d have to say getting in the studio with Cory Rooney was my reality check.
What is your musical background?
My mom used to sing to me. It’s something she’d do when I couldn’t sleep. So I started singing at a very young age. I used to scribble little poems that I’d imagine into songs all over my notebook.
Do you play any instruments?
I play a little bit of piano and a little bit of guitar. No formal training though.
Tell us about your single and the reasoning behind your re-launched music video for “I Will Follow You?”
Well when we originally put the song out, the video was focused on this Bonnie and Clyde inspired fantasy. However, after the events that happened in Florida, I didn’t want to romanticize gun violence even if it was in a fantasy way. It was best to take the video down and re-edit it.
I Will Follow You
Where the video was filmed?
On a sound stage in Los Angeles.
Do you ever get nervous to perform?
Every single time. It’s a strange feeling! It’s like I am completely terrified but completely confident at the same time. Performing is a magical thing, and there are really no words to describe it, but before going onstage… yeah I definitely get butterflies.
What inspires you to create new music?
It depends! I’m inspired to do better when I see that the people I look up to are striving to do better. Making music for me is a way to communicate, so when I am searching for words and can’t seem to find them, I just make music. This is why music is so special to me, it says what we can’t say. That’s what inspires me the most to keep creating. Hopefully someone will find their own words in my songs.
What’s the best and hardest part of being a musician?
The fans! Having that connection with someone else through music is definitely the best part of being a musician. To just keep creating and connecting with others. The hardest part is the exhaustion. It’s draining to open yourself up to the world as an artist. Those are my raw emotions on the stage. But having someone identify with what you’re feeling makes it all worth it.
Who else in your family sings?
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness to me is freedom, acceptance and love. If you can truly be free to accept and love yourself and your surroundings, that’s what I imagine happiness is.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Michael Jackson! No doubt! He was one of my greatest inspirations and I just have so much gratitude for his craft. I would love to just be able to thank him for what he’s done for me without even knowing.
And which project is still on your bucket list?
It will probably be on my bucket list for a little while, but playing Madison Square Garden is my ultimate bucket list item.
Best advice ever given?
Remember who you are and where you came from always. The largest and strongest trees have the strongest roots.
Do you have a role model?
Yes, my father. He represents a lot of what I want to become.
What is your favorite song? And why?
Favorite songs for me come and go in waves. I have different picks at different points in my life. Currently, I’d have to go with Smooth by Santana. It’s one of the greatest masterpieces ever! I might be biased but hey if that song is not your ringtone, you’re doing life wrong.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
There are a few projects in the works but they’re all secret at the moment.
What is your next goal as a musician?
I want to keep improving and start collaborating. I haven’t had a chance to do that yet, so that’s my next goal.
Who is your favorite singer? And why?
Oh gosh, a single favorite singer? I feel like, just like with a favorite song, my selection of favorites fluctuates. Currently I am very obsessed with Billie Eilish. I just heard about her recently, and strongly admire her music. She brings a new level of originality that is refreshing.
What is your favorite healthy food? And your favorite cheat food?
My favorite healthy food would have to be tuna salad! With carrots! And on my cheat day, it’s definitely brigadeiro.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Headphones, air conditioning and a notebook.
How is a normal day in your life?
On a normal day, I wake up early to work out. Shower, Starbucks, then go to class at NYU. When I am not in class I am usually either running late to class or sitting somewhere writing a song idea down. In the afternoon when I get home I have about an hour or two where all I do is just create. Whatever that means in the moment! Be it reading, singing, painting, drawing and so forth. That’s where most of my inspiration comes from. New York City definitely helps! There is always a new restaurant or a new art exhibit to go to. At night, I try to turn myself off from the world of social media. I try to turn my phone off and usually do a face mask and watch Forensic Files or something like it. Some self-love is always necessary!
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
A perfect Sunday for me includes waking up without an alarm. Followed by brunch at my favorite brunch spot in the city: Catch. After brunch I like to walk around the West Village and Soho, just enjoying the city and the streets. At night I usually go to Church for Sunday service, then come home to Leo, my cat. While I do enjoy New York nightlife, my perfect Sunday ends in pizza and dancing to classical rock in my pajamas.
Do you support any charities?
Aside from being an advocate for gun regulation, as seen from my music video re-launch, my mom and I have a charity in Brazil called YBI institute. We collect stones from the ground and use them to make jewelry with the local labor and sell them. In turn, we use the money to bring water access to the same rural area that the stones come from.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Quote: “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”. Maya Angelou
Favorite Book: Candide by Voltaire
Favorite Movie: Currently? Mamma Mia.
Favorite TV Series: Ugh so many! My top three are tied: Grey’s Anatomy, Law and Order SVU, and Friends.
Favorite Sports Team: BRAZILIAN NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM. If anyone disagrees they’re wrong! (Not really but yes really). Outside of the World Cup, I love the Real Madrid soccer team and the São Paulo futbol club.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Laura Pieri