If you haven’t yet familiarised yourself with Lauren Bennett, be prepared to become a little obsessed. This British beauty is uber talented; she’s a singer, songwriter, dancer AND model (…cruel isn’t it, to be that good at all of those things!) and one of the sweetest, chilled, raddest girls you’ll ever meet, with a wicked sense of style and the sultriest tones your ears ever did hear.
Lauren has worked with some ridiculously talented musicians and is most famed for featuring on LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem – only one of the biggest hits of all time, no biggie. Lauren was part of the group GRL until they were rocked by the death of one of their own members; Simone Battle and since then she has been shining the light on and helping raise awareness for mental health.
Last year saw the release of her first solo EP: Hurricane which is all about vulnerability and represents two different aspects of pain; the pain that someone suffering from mental health faces and secondly, the pain that those left behind go through. Lauren is incredibly passionate about mental health and is so beautifully using her profile to affect positive change and help others. She is an ambassador for Change Direction – an amazing U.S. charity whose purpose lies behind the beautiful message that if everyone is more open and honest about mental health, we can prevent pain and suffering, and those in need will get the help they deserve. The Change Direction initiative is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness.
And with fellow GRL members, Lauren is also a supporter of Australian charity RU OK? which raises suicide awareness and promotes meaningful conversations to save lives. GRL reformed last year and toured to continue spreading the message of girl power and general awesomeness around the world. Lauren has most recently formed the band: BENNETT with her equally talented brother and together, they are a serious musical force to be reckoned with.
So, yes…not only is this lady ridiculously talented in spades and incredibly beautiful on the outside, but her beauty from within shines out so freaking brightly. Full transparency: whenever I read Lauren’s interview (and I have read it multiple times!), I get goosebumps – full blown-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing-up-actual-goosebumps. I was blown away the first time and I still am even after reading it x264729292 times.
Trust me when I saw that you will find incredible inspiration from this super rad chick. She is kind to everyone around her and most importantly, to herself. She is real, tells it like it is and is a cheerleader for all the women around her, she wants others to chase their passions, be their best selves and succeed – and she wants to encourage and help them to do that in any way she can. Lauren knows first hand the importance of women not only sticking together and supporting one another, but the importance of always coming from a place of kindness and compassion – speaking kind words to each other and ourselves. Because, let’s be real for a second…if we’re not kind to ourselves, how can we chase our dreams? Which is why Lauren so strongly believes in positive self talk and having an encouraging internal dialogue happening, which is something we all need to do more of – and let’s extend that encouragement to conversations with one another too.
Lauren is so authentic; what you see, what you read, what you hear – is what you get. She is honest and has a really cool attitude towards life, she is following her dreams, working her butt off and learning as she goes along. I have no doubt her interview will inspire you to up the ante on your own self-belief, check in with your friends to make sure they’re okay, and trust in the reality of your dreams.
LAUREN BENNETT // SINGER, SONGWRITER
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Still learning… #sheisSTILLLEARNING
What is your philosophy on life?
Well I think as we get a little older we figure out what we are best at, so we study and learn and discover new ways to develop our talents. I believe that it is important not only to learn all that we can in our time but to be innovative and creative, so that when we are gone we leave behind something of value. Something to pass along to the youth that will inspire them, and that’s when it becomes bigger than you.
And of course, we really need to just enjoy our time, be kind, laugh a lot, travel as much as possible to see the beauty in the world and create good memories.
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway.’
What would you tell your 18 year old self?
I’d tell my 18-year-old self “you know nothing” and “listen more”! and to stop being so opinionated and judgmental, not only to myself but others too.
I was a little over opinionated for my age, there is certain wisdom you can only gain from growing up. I also wish I had the confidence I have now, then; I think my shyness definitely held me back when I was younger.
If you could have lunch with any woman who would it be and what would you love to talk about?
I would choose my friend that is no longer with us. Although I believe I was a good friend when she was here I wish I had asked more questions things I know now that I didn’t know then.
The single best realization you have ever had?
Not to hold back, although I still do, it’s something I hate. I really admire people that don’t get embarrassed or afraid to do what they want. I constantly work toward improving my confidence, the more confident I am the better I feel about myself in everything I do.
How do you pick yourself up when you’ve had a really bad day?
I’ll find something to watch that makes me laugh or maybe do something productive that makes me feel accomplished.
‘I think it’s important to be aware of your negative thoughts, know that they are not real and counteract them with something positive.’
How do you combat negative self-talk and why is it important to be a little kinder to ourselves?
I have a huge motivational board on my wall in front of my bed full of positive words and reminders, quotes etc. One of them says ‘whenever you are afraid tell yourself you can do it’ it’s so cheeeeeesy haha but it really works I think it’s important to be aware of your negative thoughts, know that they are not real and counteract them with something positive.
What is something you don’t tell yourself enough?
I talk to myself a lot but I guess one thing would be ‘be patient’ I think I set unrealistic expectations for myself at times and I let myself down.
‘It’s a breath of fresh air to receive a genuine compliment from another woman.’
Your thoughts on ‘fear’ and ‘comfortable’?
Another quote on my board is ‘Don’t get comfortable’ because I think being comfortable is un-motivating, I think it is healthy to be able to accept our most uncomfortable moments, embrace them and try to turn them into something good.
How do you cope with stress?
I like to make a list of my goals and I try to do something daily to contribute to at least one of them, that way I can sleep at night knowing I have done something good for myself. There’s also the quick fixes like meditation, spa, audio books etc. that also work for me!
Have you experienced challenges and setbacks and what have they taught you?
Yes, many! And it is extremely stressful, you have got to have patience and perseverance. The challenge is a part of the experience, nothing worth having comes that easy and if it does we don’t appreciate it as much.
Just need to keep moving forward, the plan may change a few times but the most important thing is keep going.
Easier said than done!
Why do you believe in kindness?
Being kind not only makes life easier for you but for everyone around you too.
Why is it integral for girls and women to support one another and build each other up and in what ways can we do so?
There seems to be a lot of competition between women especially with social media, girls compare themselves to an image that is unrealistic. I think every woman has done this at some point.
Giving or receiving a compliment makes one feel good about themselves on both ends. It’s a breath of fresh air to receive a genuine compliment from a woman, it also shows that she is secure and confident in herself and in return you admire her also.
‘It’s almost like it takes just one person to give you an ounce of belief that you can do it, that you will be ok, then everything starts to turn around.’
What is your view on the concept of see something / say something and why is it important?
If you notice a change in behavior in anyone it is absolutely important you say something. Even just asking if they are ok goes a long way. If a person is down it is crucial that they don’t feel alone and they have support especially from a female friend that can relate.
How do you find strength?
I find strength in getting through my most difficult moments when I’m in it. It’s sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once you get through it is unbelievably empowering.
There was a time in my life where I felt that I was having a mental breakdown and I thought I’d never be the same again. It was terrifying. At the same time, it was a blessing in disguise because I got through it and now I know that it’s possible.
Thank goodness for my friends. It’s almost like it takes even just one person to give you an ounce of belief that you can do it, that you will be ok, then everything starts to turn around.
‘The belief makes it a reality, if you truly believe in yourself and it is genuine, it is so much easier to succeed. Everything sort of falls into place naturally.’
What is your ‘happy’ song?
I was at a low point in my career and I took some time away, sort of isolated myself form the world for a while. I had no idea what was going to happen next and all my worst fears were coming to the surface. I wrote this little tune called ‘Be Alright’ because at the time that what I needed to hear ‘everything will be alright’. That’s my happy song, hopefully I’ll get to share it soon 🙂
Advice you can share on believing in yourself, following your heart and dreaming big?
The belief makes it a reality. If you truly believe in yourself and it is genuine, it is so much easier to succeed.
Everything sort of falls into place naturally. You have to firstly know exactly what you want, then do everything
you can to make it happen, if you want it bad enough it’ll come.
Your favorite mantra that always inspires you?
It’s hard to choose just one I love… “feel the fear and do it anyway”
**Images via Lauren personal + Instagram