Lauren Spencer Smith bares it all on new album

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      “I do not remember ever wanting to do anything other than music,” reflects Lauren Spencer Smith. “Ever since I was three, I just knew I wanted to be a singer; it’s always been my dream.”

      And while she’s only 19, she’s already built up an impressive resume—including performing with Keith Urban (at age 11), going viral on YouTube (862k subscribers and counting), going viral on TikTok (6.2 million followers and counting), finishing in the top 20 of American Idol’s 18th season, and being nominated for three JUNO Awards. Oh, and releasing her debut album, Mirror.

      Spencer Smith moved from England to Vancouver Island with her family when she was just three years old, and recalls the numerous karaoke machines her parents bought for her. She spent most of her childhood singing and entering random karaoke competitions.

      “Growing up, my main musical inspiration was Adele, which is kind of obvious with all my sad ballads,” she shares, “but I’m also very inspired by JP Saxe—lyrically and songwriting-wise.”

      Mirror was released earlier this summer, and includes heartfelt songs such as “That Part” (which scored her a 2023 MTV Video Music Award nom) and two songs that blew up on TikTok: “Fingers Crossed” and “Flowers”.

      “It’s honestly all just personal experience,” she says, “just me going through a situation and then calling my co-writer and being like, ‘We need to write about this.’”

      Still, there was one song on the album that she wasn’t sure about releasing. On “28,” she deals with the difficult fact that her dad is dating a 28-year-old.

      “I’m such an oversharer, so I don’t find it difficult to be sad in front of people and emotional—but also, most of my songs are about people that aren’t in my life anymore,” she says, adding that this isn’t the case with “28”. “It’s obviously not about an ex or someone who I don’t talk to, and I feel like there’s a big grey area for songwriters of what we’re allowed to write about in our personal lives and what we’re not.”

      But as soon as she posted the teaser online, she was flooded with comments from people who related to it.

      “I just felt like it needed to be out in the world,” she says, “because so many people felt like they needed it.”

      It’s also become her favourite song to perform live, and she’s noticed that people actually sing it the loudest. Before Mirror, Spencer Smith only had a few songs out in the world, and she is happy that people finally have more to sing along to. (Local fans who want to do just that can catch her at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre next week as part of her Mirror tour.) One of her openers on this tour is Geena Fontanella, who she met at American Idol’s Hollywood Week and who went on to co-write almost all of her songs with her. “Geena was the person who taught me how to songwrite,” Spencer Smith affirms.

      At the end of the day, she’s most proud to be able to make music that people can connect with. That’s why we listen to music in the first place, isn’t it?

      “I hope people feel healed [after listening to my music], and are just able to feel whatever emotion they need to in order to help them get over whatever situation that they’re going through,” Spencer Smith says. “I think it’s really cool to feel like I have a purpose in creating this music to help other people.”

      Lauren Spencer Smith’s Mirror tour

      When: August 17, 7:15pm

      Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

      Tickets: Available on Ticketmaster

      Instagram: @laurenspencersmith