A beautiful soul inside and out, one filled with kindness and overflowing with creativity. When singer-songwriter Louisa Wendorff enters the room, this fact is made abundantly clear through her warm smile, relaxed demeanor, and the creative energy that radiates from her being.
Perhaps it’s because of her SoCal roots, or the fact that she now calls Nashville home — a more relaxed and down to earth city I’ve yet to find — but upon shaking hands with Wendorff, it’s as if you’re reuniting with an old friend. One you haven’t seen in awhile but are greatly looking forward to catching up with.
Musically inclined since childhood, Wendorff gained wide acclaim for the mash-ups of popular songs that she began recording and posting to YouTube, which were accompanied by striking videos created by friend and collaborator Blythe Thomas. After releasing her debut EP, Arrow, in 2014, which features six songs penned and recorded by Wendorff, the two hit the road to spread the word, playing small venues and festivals, working together to create more gorgeous music videos and short documentaries, and gaining legions of fans in the process. After one listen to this superb talent, I can guarantee you’ll be a fan yourself.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with the Nashville-based songstress, first in NYC and then right here in Philadelphia. With personal style as noteworthy as her musical talent, I just had to grab some shots of her in her element while she shared her story with me and spoke of a few of the exciting projects she has on the horizon (hint: they’re gonna be good). Read on for the interview and scroll through for more inspiring style pics:
Thank you so much for chatting with us! Could you share with our readers a little bit about yourself? Where are you from?
Yes of course! I grew up in a beach city south of Los Angeles called Palos Verdes. My entire extended family is all in Southern California and I am lucky to be close with them all.
When did music first enter your life? Did you always dream of making it your career?
In preschool — and even before — I guess I would bounce around singing things I would make up myself or had heard in the car. When I was seven I was invited to perform at a concert, which after being on stage under the lights in front of a dark mass of people, I knew I had found where I belong. From that moment on, I knew music was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and I feel so grateful to call it my full-time job.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as edgy-pop.
You’re now based in Nashville, what brought you to the city? What do you love most about it?
Belmont University and music are what brought me here. Music was not as easily accessible where I grew up, so it’s amazing living in such an inspiring city where creatives are pursuing their passion fearlessly. My favorite part about Nashville is by far the community, it is such an inspiring and encouraging atmosphere to live in where I’m pushed creatively, both as a writer and musician.
Do you think living in Nashville has influenced your music?
Nashville has definitely influenced my music. Being surrounded by amazing songwriters and producers and going to endless shows has helped me find and shape my sound.
You’ve made a name for yourself through your YouTube mash-ups of popular songs, do you think the idea of the mash-up is something that infuses or influences your original work, or do you see it as entirely separate?
I see them as separate facets of who I am, yet very much coming from the same place. Every song I choose to cover in a mash-up is strategic to me as an artist and person, just like the type of music I choose to write and the sound I produce.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I am inspired by a multitude of things; conversations, cities, nature, relationships, God, personal experiences, movies, shows, you name it. I live with my heart open to receive life and all it hits me with.
Who do you dream of sharing a stage with?
If Ella Fitzgerald was still an option I would without a doubt choose her! But if we are talking current day, dream tours of mine would be Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, MisterWives, Taylor Swift, Tori Kelly, and Katy Perry.
You’ve been on the road recently, playing small venues and filming for upcoming videos, what keeps you sane while you jump from city to city?
Calling my parents. Within seconds, I can talk to either of them and feel completely at peace. Its actually quite amazing how well they know me and can calm me down when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Also reading and walking really centers me and gives me space to process what’s going on.
Your EP, Arrow, was released in 2014 to wide acclaim – what can fans expect from you for 2015?
My new music is next-level! I am so thrilled to be releasing a sound, message, and product that I believe in. My sound has evolved, while still maintaining my original vibe.
What’s something you’re hoping to accomplish outside of your career in the next year?
I want to love well. I want to master separating my personal and business lives and being fully present with who I’m with and where I am. I want to live with intention, love with passion, and empower others to be themselves fully.
And finally, what does it mean to be ‘free’?
Being free means living without fear, shame, and doubt. To be free, you must learn to overlook other’s expectations of you and fight for your soul, passions, and quality of life with everything you have. Being free means embodying joy and having a carefree spirit, and approaching both with intention and focus. Its hard to be free, but it is oh so worth the fight!
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Thank you Louisa!
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