MESSAGES FROM APHRODITE, Lauren Monroe’s third album—and her second in collaboration with acclaimed producer Jim Scott—widens the aperture opened by its predecessor, 2021’s Under the Wolf Moon, bringing her musical and spiritual vision into even sharper focus. The title, which references the ancient Greek goddess of love in its myriad aspects, signifies the emotional expanse of Monroe’s songs, to which she brings a rarefied degree of insight and compassion, enabling her to nimbly plumb the depths and scale the heights of the human condition in her songwriting. That may sound like a tall order, but Monroe is singularly well-equipped to handle it. The New York-born, California-based polymath conducts parallel careers as a gifted singer-songwriter and a renowned mental-health advocate. She approaches these intertwined roles with equal passion, her nuanced understanding of human behavior informing her music, which she sees as “a heart-based experience” that is “not just about listening—it’s about feeling and connecting.”
Please share a story that includes a happy memory as an artist and has hugely impacted your artistry. When I was 6, I started writing songs and performing for my family and neighbors. I’d stand on the picnic table in the backyard of our family home in Queens, NY, and belt as loud as my little lungs could muster. I knew at that age I wanted to be a singer-songwriter, but it was an elderly neighbor named Arty that really impacted me.
I would go over to his house, sit on the steps with him, and play and sing my songs. He said it made him feel better and my singing made him happy. He would smile so big and cheer and applaud. I remember how happy that made my little heart to know that I could bring joy to someone like that and make their life better. That same sentiment fuels everything I do and create even now.
How do you choose to lead a Happy Healthy life as an artist?
I always use my creative time as sacred healing time. I create an environment where I let myself feel my emotions and connect to a spiritual energy that inspires me. That’s really important for my health in so many ways. It allows me to get out of my mind and stay in my heart. If there’s pain there, I start writing knowing there are thousands of people feeling just the way I do, and I can write for them. Finding that still point is essential to my artistry as well as my health.
Who did you learn from to instill those values?
My parents taught me to meditate when I was 5. I had a special knack for it and discovered many other healing gifts as I grew older. As so many people struggle with quieting their minds, I’m so grateful I have that skill and can apply it to performing, creating, and helping others.
Was it hard work to make sure that you focused on your well-being and not only your art?
Yes, it still is! I can be in the studio for hours writing and not even get up for water. I hyper-focus and disappear. The rehearsals, recording, and all of the admin that falls on an independent artist is pretty intense. I’m constantly pulling back and reminding myself that my health needs to come first.
Was there a turning point in how you decided to put yourself first?
When I was making my last album, Under the Wolf Moon, I began to fully see the potential of my work and knew I needed to level up and get serious about how I wanted to show up. I got strict with practicing, warming up, exercisinge, and moving away from negative people.
How do you like to promote a healthy lifestyle?
For me, a plant-based diet and exercise really keep me on top of things. And for my emotional well-being, only surrounding myself with supportive positive people. That decision was a game changer.
In what ways are you connecting with fans to check in on each other?
I love connecting with fans at live shows and when I’m not performing, I connect through social media with IG live.
Who checks in on YOU when you need it most?
I’m blessed to have two longtime friends that I can share anything with. We always call to check in with each other to share, vent, or just talk about our lives, and hang up feeling better if any of us are going through difficult times. It’s so important to have someone who knows you that can hold a mirror up to your face and remind you of who you are and how far you’ve come.
Changing habits can be hard. Which was the habit that you had to change and how has it changed your life now?
Letting go of negative people was a hard thing to do. I’m an empath so even if someone is acting unkind, I still can feel their goodness and sadness so I would make room for their negativity and accept them. Now I can accept them but not have them in my inner circle. The people there need to share the same integrity as I do and be kind, compassionate people.
Is there a song, book, movie, show, or anything that always gives you the motivation you need? John Lennon’s IMAGINE
What is the mantra of 2022?!
It’s not just about the music, it’s about the healing. Give all the inside scoop on your latest project! The new singles, “Kiss Me Now” and “If you Want,” are out now! They’re a precursor to my newest album, Messages from Aphrodite, dropping this fall. I’ll also be releasing two more singles and official music videos to join my latest video for “If You Want.”
Live U.S. shows starting this fall through the end of the year will also be announced soon. I”m so happy to be hitting the road again
Watch: "If You Want"