It’s been two and a half years since Lauren Duski was crowned runner-up on ‘The Voice,’ and she opened up to us EXCLUSIVELY about what life has been like after the show, why she’s so honest in her songs and much more.
Lauren Duski didn’t rush to put out music immediately after coming on second place on season 12 of The Voice in the spring of 2017. Instead, she waited more than a year to drop her first single, “Costume Party,” in July 2018, followed by her debut EP, Midwestern Girl Part 1, in Feb. 2019. “I’m proud of us for sticking to our guns and saying…we can’t just put out music for the sake of putting it out,” Lauren told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I didn’t want to just be this artist from The Voice who released music for the sake of it. I knew that if we started from the bottom, with honest songs, the that was a way that I could look back on my career and be proud for not compromising that.”
It took almost a full year of writing in Nashville after The Voice for Lauren to discover what kind of artist she really wanted to be — someone who is authentic and honest with all of her music. “As soon as I wrote “Costume Party,” I knew that was the level of vulnerability I wanted to have,” Lauren said. “I set that standard for myself. I’ve written songs that have been surface level and I’ve written them because I felt that’s what I needed to get the green light,” the 28-year-old admitted. “But anytime I perform those songs…I feel nothing. If I’m going to step onstage, I want people to believe me and to be as honest as I can be. Maybe it then takes a little longer to release an EP, but I just know if it’s not 100 percent authentic to me or my story or any story I’ve witnessed…then there’s just no point in doing it.”
Lauren has been able to tap into that vulnerability this fall while on her first-ever tour with Lukas Graham. “It’s been the greatest show,” she gushed. “Coming off The Voice, I had never toured before, and to do it with someone like Lukas, who is a storyteller outside of country, but his songs are equally as vulnerable and real, is such a gift. His audience is there to listen to the lyrics and the story.”
With the successful tour under her belt, Lauren is continuing to work as an independent artist, while making a statement in a powerful current group of women in country music. “I think it’s a special time for women in country,” Lauren explained. “It’s a struggle right now, especially for women who are trying to be extra honest and maybe saying things a little differently. Being an independent artist, it does have its struggles…especially as a woman. But I can control the music, and that’s really all it’s about at this point. I take it day by day, but I look at the track record of the last few years for women — and it can be disheartening — but I look at women like Kacey [Musgraves] and Miranda [Lambert] who’ve built a solid fanbase off their music and it doesn’t matter if it’s not coming from the radio…and that gives me so much hope.”
Plus, it helps that she continues to get support from her coach on The Voice, Blake Shelton, as well as Adam Levine, who was also a coach during season 12. “Adam has been super supportive from the moment we got off the show until now,” Lauren revealed. “He actually gave me some feedback on “Costume Party” that I was so grateful for. I sent him a song early on just asking him what he thought of it and he was really helpful in that process — he gave his thoughts on production and all of that. Blake has also played such a pivotal role in helping me navigate Nashville afterward and giving me great advice. He still does help me! We played a couple of shows opening a few of his bars. It’s been great. The support you see on the show is real.”