Whether it’s taking on new projects as part of her successful modeling career, cultivating inspired new tracks as as a singer/songwriter, or helping others to find their own creative voices, Carrie Lane pours her heart and soul into everything she does. A true star on the rise, she has been touring with her solo music since 2014, starting out traveling in summer 2014 with YouTube sensations Taylor Caniff and Sammy Wilkinson. She soon went on to hit LA and Phoenix on tour with Winter Lights, which featured pop groups IM5 and Hollywood Ending. In June of 2015, Lane released her successful freshman pop EP “Bows Before Bros” and followed up that successful release with a self-released, second EP, “Bad Idea,” under her new persona Honey Thief. Along the way, she continued to catch the ear of music critics and fans alike, further solidifying herself as an artist to watch in the highly competitive music industry. In early 2017, she unleashed the official video for her latest single “If I Can’t Be With You.” Even with the challenges of balancing two successful careers, Carrie Lane remains laser-focused on honing her craft as an artist. When she isn’t cooped up in the studio concocting future hits, she continues to travel the country and spread her unique brand of good vibes. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Carrie Lane to discuss her influences, her journey as an artist and the challenges she has faced along the way.
What are you first memories of music?
My first memory of music is my mom singing an old lullaby called “I see the moon”. My mom can’t carry a tune to save her life, but it’s still one of my favorite memories. I sing it to myself sometimes when I’m sad.
How did you first start getting involved with the arts?
I performed in my first show when I was 4 years old. I loved musical theatre and everything about the stage growing up and it’s still one of my greatest passions. While my brothers were both playing sports non-stop I begged my parents for theatre classes, singing lessons, dance lessons, scene study, and anything else I could get my hands on. My parents are in the medical and law fields so when this little creative ball of energy came around, they were a little confused where I had come from… ha!
What can you tell us about the process of finding your creative voice as a young artist?
Finding your voice as a young artist is definitely a hard thing to do. You know who your inspirations are and what you want your end game to look like, but you are also are super young and green and haven’t necessarily grown into that person yet. It’s all about finding your voice in the story and being able to talk about the trials and tribulations of getting there.
Who were some of the performers and people behind the scenes who helped to shape the artist we see today?
I loved Sutton Foster growing up. She is an incredible musical theatre actress and a complete triple threat- something I have always inspired to be. Every acting, vocal, and dance coach I had growing up (which were countless) have shaped me into the performer I am today.
At what point did you realize music was something you wanted to pursue professionally?
When I was about 18 years old I lost my way a little bit in college and kind of felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I was pursuing a degree in something I didn’t really care about at the time and all I wanted to do was pursue a creative passion full time. It was during that time that I realized I didn’t so much want to be a musical theatre actress anymore, I wanted to be a solo artist and tell my own story… one I thought people could benefit from.
Dedicating yourself fully to your art is a big step. Did you ever have any reservations about taking the plunge?
[Laughs] Weirdly, no. Anyone who knows me knows that I do everything 200%. I’m ruthless when it comes to the things that I want and I honestly think that is what has gotten me this far.
Before you pursued music, you worked as a model. Did any of the lessons learned in that aspect of your career apply to what you would go on to do musically?
I am still an active model! And I think that all of the creative industries kind of play into one another. I think because I’m not a cookie-cutter model and I come across like that on camera, people can identify with me as more than just a girl in some clothing.
You are clearly very driven when it comes to your career. What has kept you inspired throughout the years as an artist and fueled your creative fire?
Probably my insanely crazy life. I laugh a lot and I cry a lot. I think that’s because I’ve designed a life for myself that is hectic and dramatic and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You originally hail from New Jersey and made the jump to Los Angeles. How has that experience impacted you as an artist?
Living in Los Angeles is actually insanity. You are constantly surrounded by people who are working on their craft which is absolutely amazing. At the same time, you’re surrounded by people who are already doing what you’re doing… but are doing it better. So you have to find a way to make yourself your competition and not the people around you because here, you’re a little fish in a small pond. You’re not going to always be the funniest, prettiest, coolest, most talented person in the room and you need to find a way to make your brand still desirable in spite of that.
You recently released a video for your single “If I Can’t Be With You.” What can you tell us about the song and what it means to you?
This song was written about my high school sweetheart and that kind of puppy love feeling you get when you’re young and dramatic and acting like the world is going to END if you don’t end up with this person. It’s funny, I’m still good friends with the guy I wrote this song about and he recently asked me if the song was about him and I was just like ……. maybe.
You also put out a great video for the single. What can you tell us about the process of bringing it to life?
I got to work with an amazing team Victoria Innocenzi and Hunter Gulan at Glass House Visuals. They both were super amazing at capturing the kind of love story that I wanted to tell, while adding their own spin onto things. We wanted the video to keep you guessing as to whether this love was a good love, a bad love, or a little of both.
What can you tell us about the songwriting process for your music?
Every song that I write is completely different. We start with some sort of inspiration and build on that, but the starting point could be anywhere from a lyric, to a concept, to a melody, to a feeling, to a song etc.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
The first song I ever wrote was called, “Love Tonight” which was a dance pop song about loving each other. I’ve come a long way since then.
Your songs can be intense and very personal. Was it a difficult process to get to a point where you were able to bare your soul?
Absolutely, I think my previous answer says it all. It’s really easy to sing about dancing and loving each other and summer and the good times. It’s harder to say “look you really hurt me” or “I loved you more than you loved me”
I read that you may potentially release and album in the spring. When can we expect the record?
I’ll have to keep you posted on that one! Whether you’re getting the whole album or just a few more songs from it, we will have to see… but you can definitely expect some more releases soon, I promise you that!
What challenges did you face in bringing it to life?
I am a perfectionist and I don’t want anyone to see or hear anything until I feel like it’s in a place where I’m happy with it and sometimes that cycle seems never ending.
How do you feel you have most evolved as an artist since you first started professionally?
I think I have matured as a person and am a lot more comfortable in my own skin and embracing who I am and I think that has translated me into a much more relatable and marketable artist.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an independent artist?
Getting people to hear my music! Now, there are a million and one amazing undiscovered artists out there. Music is so much easier to create and record now and everyone and their cousin is doing it from their living room. So getting your music to stand out and reach people in a never ending see of indie music is definitely a struggle.
What do you consider your biggest milestones along the way?
A lot of great things have come from my latest two singles and I think there are even greater things to come. I’d like to say my biggest milestones are yet to come.
As an artist, so many things can be said about the current state of music. What excites about the music today?
I think the fact that there are so many different styles of music that are being showcased and that are in the forefront of the music scene. Everyone is getting an outlet to shine and I couldn’t love and respect that more.
Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future — with short and long term?
I’m not sure exactly where I’m heading. I need to put out some more music and see how people react to the record live in order to see what is working for me as an artist and what I need to do to keep growing.
What is the best way for fans to help support you at this stage in your career?
I think continuing to share my music with their friends. Purchasing music is also very helpful, streams on Spotify are amazing, but they don’t support the same way that buying music does anymore.
We would love to help spread the word on any causes or organizes you support. What is closest to your heart at this point in time that we can help shine a light on?
I’ve done a lot of work with JDRF which is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This organization is close to my heart because I have been a diabetic now for 15 years and there is nothing more I want in this world than a cure.
You can serve as a great inspiration for so many aspiring artists and young people. What is the best lesson we can take away from your journey so far?
Hard work, smart work. Keep your head down and work hard and good things will come to you.
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.