“Who’s Next?”… Lolene

You may not have heard of pop singer Lolene yet, but you’ve definitely heard her work. The British born L.A. transplant is only twenty-four and has already written songs for Eminem, Christina Milian, Britney Spears and Shakira. The curly-haired, vivacious, outspoken singer and songwriter is now stepping into the spotlight with her debut album
The Electrick Hotel. We caught up with Lolene and learned a bit about her, from her challenging childhood to her visions for a sexy, sparkling future.

Parlé: Hey Lolene, let us get to know you a little bit. How did this all start for you? What got you into singing and writing?
Lolene: I grew up in England in a place called Bristol and I’ve always been singing, dancing, writing, expressing myself in some way since I was really young. I got discovered by a producer called J.R. Rotem and his manager Zach Katz. So J.R. discovered me and I was out here writing for him and some of the artists he was working on and I really wanted to be an artist myself so I developed my album, The Electrick Hotel. I met with Capitol Records and they loved the idea, the concept, and me. So, we decided to move forward together and put it together.

Parlé: Tell me how your childhood affected you as an artist. You call yourself “independent by default,” as you were raised by your mother. Talk to me about how that has affected who you’ve become.
Lolene: Well I think that when you don’t have that security, necessarily, of a father figure in your life, it kind of makes you a bit of a survivor. It wasn’t through choice that I wanted to be this independent chick, I felt like it was probably because I had to be. My mother is a really strong, wonderful woman and she really inspired me to go out there and do things by yourself and not rely on anyone else.

Parlé: Apart from your mother as an inspiration, who have you looked up to in the field? What musicians have formed who you’ve become and who have you modeled yourself after?
Lolene: So many people, music is my life first of all, it’s like my heartbeat. So, I listen to different genres all day every day, always. I admire many artists for different reasons. I admire Rick James for his showmanship and his flashy vibe. I love Rick James, he doesn’t get enough credit, neither do his bass lines. I love Madonna for her strength and her determination and her way of evolving all the time and managing to stay in the industry. When artists fall off, she’s still here and I love her for that. She’s definitely influenced me a lot. Prince has influenced me vocally. Kate Bush has influenced me a lot because she’s super free-thinking and she doesn’t follow trends. Anyone who’s really not afraid and is fearless really inspires me. Of course there’s more but those are the main ones.

Parlé: I’ve noticed that you’re not afraid to step out of the box and be a little risqué. Other than that, what sets you apart from the other artists in the industry?
Lolene: I think that, number one, a lot of artists don’t write their own material now in pop and R&B music and as a writer, I feel like that sets me aside. Also, the fact that I’m of mixed heritage and that I’m British in America, there’s a fusion there and I feel that it’s that fusion that individuals are made of, and it’s what makes us different and unique. I’ll let your readers decide what makes me different, I’m just myself.

Parlé: You’ve worked with Roni Size and as an artist he developed the drum and bass sound and really brought it on to the scene, so has working with him expanded your mind as far as not being afraid to make a sound that hasn’t been heard before?
Lolene: Absolutely, I’m from Bristol, where Roni is from, and he’s a really amazing person because here’s a guy that came from really humble beginnings and just came and took no prisoners with his sound. He’s really focused and amazing and has been really inspirational to me and he was one of the people that gave me my first gigs in Bristol growing up. He’s influenced me because he’s a workhorse and he works really, really hard and I saw that bravery in him. I’m blessed and honored to know him as a friend, producer, and creative person.

Parlé: So talk to me about your song, “Sexy People.” This song topped out at number five on the Billboard Dance charts. Did that exceed your expectations?
Lolene: “Sexy People” was a dance song that we put out so people could get to know me a little bit and get the party started. My first official single hasn’t been released yet. It’s called, “Rich (Fake It ‘Til You Make It).” So, “Sexy People” got put out in club-land and we never commercially released it so I’m so proud and thankful for what it’s done considering it was supposed to be a fun club song that we just threw out there for people to start hearing my name. I’m really, really thankful and I love that song. It’s such an amazing song for dancing to and having fun and it’s a real celebration of sexiness and bringing people together. Don’t you just hate it when you can’t get into the VIP room? That sucks! I’m trying to say there is no VIP room and everybody’s sexy and let’s go out and have a good time and celebrate that. So yeah, number five is amazing for a new artist and a British person at that, coming to America, I’m really thankful for doing that.

Parlé: Talk to me about your alter-ego, “Miss Foo Foo.” Who is she?
Lolene: Miss Foo Foo is definitely in full effect, she’s out and about often. Miss Foo Foo is a nickname I had growing up and she’s become more present in my life lately because she’s really flamboyant, outrageous and crazy. She’s also the name of my company, Miss Foo Foo, Inc. in which I’m developing lifestyle branding and apparel and things like that. She’s just this crazy, curly, brave girl and she comes out on stage and has a disco vagina! She’s just larger than life. But honestly, I think as a performer and artist you have this inner person that’s trying to get out all the time so it makes perfect sense to give it a name and characterize it. It’s what separates the girl from the artist.

Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit is the editor of Parlé Magazine. He founded the magazine while in college and continues to run it today. Follow him on IG: @parlewithme Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 1774 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit

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