You hear the phrase “strong, independent woman” in songs, TV shows, movies, and headlines so often these days, it can be tough to remember what it actually means.
Because really, what’s not to love about the idea of independence? It means standing on your own, not needing anyone else, and being totally self-sufficient.
But the thing is, nobody can actually stand on their own with no one around them. We all need help from our friends, or family, and even our followers when it comes to achieving our goals and keeping things 100.
So this is where independence gets tricky. We all want to be trailblazers and girlbosses — but we can’t do it on our own. Sometimes we might have to cut ties with a friend we thought would be lifelong. Sometimes we have to depend on a day job and pursue our real dreams at night, because as independent as we wanna be, we all need cash to stay afloat.
Not to mention figuring out where you boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner fits into it, which is basically a lifelong balancing act.
So this month, we’re looking at what independence means to us, our readers, and our friends. From escaping a cult to dropping out of college to going freelance to making social media your job to leaving an abusive boyfriend, there are so many ways to exercise your independence.
Read all our thoughts about independence and coverage of independent boss b*tches below.
Loren Gray is an American social media personality and singer best known for her TikTok videos, where she has amassed over 54 million followers and her and 24 million on Instagram. Forbes coined her “The Original Queen of TikTok.”
Loren was signed to Virgin Records and Capitol Records until February 2021, when she became an independent artist. With her new found freedom, Loren released her new single and video “Told You So“ on March 3rd. Her full-length debut album Guilty will be out April 21st. Taking control of her vision with indisputable confidence and openness, Loren fosters an unwavering connection with all who come across her. Beyond the surface of a staggering social media imprint, the Philadelphia-born and Los Angeles-based disruptor has established herself as a confident and uncompromising singer and songwriter, dynamic personality, and successful entrepreneur.
We sat down with Loren and interviewed her on all things beauty, fashion, and music. From her second single“Told You So“, to her debut album Guilty, becoming an independent artist, her upcoming West Coast tour, her biggest musical influences, fashion and her beauty routines. Tune in below for more!
1. You just announced your debut album Guilty. Can you tell us about the process behind the album and the story behind it? What are you hoping fans take away from it?
Writing an album is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 14 and first began making music, but it took jumping over a ton of hurdles to get to a place where I feel like my music is authentic to me. Two years ago I started working with Bardo, BSD and Amelia Moore. It was the first time I felt understood while writing music. We connected on a level beyond just being in sessions together that allowed me to be vulnerable. Writing music has always been so therapeutic for me, and to be surrounded by people that were there to listen was the first time I could truly open up. We worked on the album over the course of 2 years, which meant a lot of ups and downs, and this album perfectly reflects that. To me it symbolizes me coming into my own, learning about myself, and transitioning into a stronger, more liberated woman. I’m hoping that my fans can relate, connect to me, and feel heard through the songs. That’s all I have ever wanted for my music.
2. How does it feel now to be an independent artist and releasing your debut album on your own terms?
It took me nearly 5 years to get to a place where I now have creative freedom. The music industry can be a rocky road to navigate, and I’ve jumped through so many hoops to be able to express myself freely. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in me and my vision, as opposed to only believing in the version of me that they have tried to manufacture.
3. You recently released your second single “Told You So.” What is your song writing process? What are some of your favorite effects to add to your voice (i.e. reverb, distortion, delay)?
The songwriting process usually begins with me talking about or journaling about whatever I’m feeling at that time, and then building the song around those ideas. At times it begins with a melody, or chords, but lyrically it’s always a reflection of where I’m at in life at that moment. We were experimental with the different sounds we explored in production, and different vocal distortions and effects. We played around with vocal chops, layering and pedals quite a bit, which are my favorite touches on songs like “Until Hell Freezes Over” and “Told You So”.
4. The title track “Guilty” is incredibly vulnerable. Can you tell us about opening up on this track and what it means to you?
I’ve always been transparent with my fans online but it was difficult for me to have the courage to translate that into my songwriting. It’s been hard for me to express my emotions my entire life, and this was a tough song to write. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since I could remember, and it only progressively got worse from the age of 13. This was the first time I’ve been able to put my feelings surrounding my mental health into words, and I’m so happy I did. It’s been incredibly liberating to hear from people who relate to the song, because depression & anxiety can be so crippling and lonely to experience. My goal has always been to connect people and make them feel less alone, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to accomplish that with this song.
5. Do you have a favorite lyric on the album?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite lyric on the album because each song represents such a different facet of myself. That being said, I’m most proud of the songwriting on “Misery Loves Company.” It’s my favorite song on the album, and one of the songs I’m most proud of.
6. In April, you are going on a West Coast tour to promote your debut album. What songs are you most excited to perform?
I’m most excited to perform my acoustic leaning songs, like “Enough For You & “Misery Loves Company.” They’re my favorite songs to sing, and I’m excited to see how they come together on stage.
7. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
I listen to all types of music, and I pull a bit of inspiration from everything I listen to but lyrically I’ve always been drawn to Eminem and Taylor Swift. Even though they’re completely different artists making completely different music, they both have an incredible honesty and talent for songwriting. I would consider them both poets beyond songwriting, and that’s something that has always inspired me.
8. How is your creativity disrupting culture and pushing boundaries?
I try to be authentic through my music, and I hope that is something that shines through. I also have a lot of fun with visuals and tying everything together through creating a world for the music to live in. All of the pieces fit together and are open for interpretation, which is a facet of the story that I’m really excited about.
9. What is your zodiac sign? Do you think this influences your creativity?
I’m an aries, and aries are typically very persistent and determined. I feel like throughout my music journey, I’ve had to push hard to be heard which aligns with the aries energy.
10. What are your favorite fashion trends of all time?
My favorite fashion trend at the moment would have to be 90s rock and roll fashion. I love pastel/ smokey eyeshadow, low rise pants, and messy hair.
11. What are your least favorite fashion trends?
My least favorite fashion trend would have to be skinny jeans. They look incredible on other people but I cannot pull them off to save my life. I’m a huge fan of baggy oversized clothes and I always feel so uncomfortable in tight pants.
12. If you could only choose one social media platform, which one would it be and why?
If i could choose one social media it would probably be Snapchat. I’m able to stay up to date with what all my friends are doing and I communicate with a lot of my hometown friends.
13. What is your beauty routine (morning vs night)?
My beauty routine in the morning is pretty simple. I start by washing my face and then moisturizing. After that I go straight into my makeup routine. At night it’s a little more intensive – I remove all my makeup from the day & tone, but I try to keep it as simple as possible.
14. What are some beauty tips for our Galore audience?
Drink as much water as you can! It’s so good for your skin and overall health. Putting more effort into drinking water has completely changed my overall well-being!
15. What can audiences expect in 2023?
They can expect lots of new music, live shows, and some other exciting things that I can’t talk about just yet but cannot wait to share .