Align Magazine got the chance to sit down with one of Atlanta’s up and coming Millennial creatives to discuss her latest projects, opportunities, and her love for music. Here is what she had to say…..
Lola, tell thanks for meeting with us. Tell our readers a little about yourself? Well, I’m a sultry songbird and musician that goes by Lola Ladae’. I am also the founder of The Basement Unplugged which is a monthly secret concert series that features art of all types – music, painting, producing, etc.
Tell us about The Basement Unplugged platform. What made you start this type of business? I’ve always been passionate about music. So I knew that in the end, I would choose music. After I graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelors in Animal Science, I thought I would end up in grad school to finish my masters and on to my doctorate. However, I chose to move to Atlanta to take my music and myself seriously. So, in 2018 I worked three jobs day in and out for about 6 months, bought me a really cheap and small car and drove myself to Atlanta. I moved here and literally immediately hit the ground running. I would go to open mics at Apache nightly, I wandered the streets of Little 5 Points and East Atlanta Village and found any stage I could get on. Eventually, this resulted in meeting so many people – Guitar Gabby for example. She’s the founder and lead singer of The Txlips Band which is an all black woman rock band. Gabby reached out through a mutually connection of ours and asked me to play bass in the band. That was another huge thing that connected me with a lot of people. In March 2019, I started The Basement Unplugged which is a monthly secret concert series that features all types of art , from singing to producing and cooking to crafting. That has been a huge success, I finally have help with running the event so my concert manager, Devin Stanford and I will be planning The Basement Unplugged Festival to take place in March of 2019 which will be our one year.
Has your journey been an easy one so far? The journey hasn’t been easy but it has been a humbling, enlightening and a lot of lessons learned within it. Mind you, I’ve only been here for about a year and a half, so I’ve overcome, experienced and achieved a lot within that time frame. So I’m proud with what has happened thus far.
What’s one thing we should know about you or your business and your art? The Basement Unplugged is about organic support and talent. I require every artist that wants to perform to attend one show before submitting. People usually ignore me or no longer want to perform when I tell them this. I see it as, expanding your network and also supporting the artist before you. A lot of artists are so busy with their own rehearsals, album planning, etc that they don’t take the time to continue to build their network. You’ll always discover a new artist at The Basement Unplugged and you’ll never be disappointed.
What sets your event apart from other similar events out there? What sets The Basement Unplugged apart from other events is the structure and vibe of the event. It’s a BYOB, 4/20 friendly event that features black owned businesses as vendors. At each show there’s always a different type of talent whether it be producing or painting, each creator is given a platform each show. It’s not over saturated with one genre more than the other, there’s no fee to perform and all shows are hosted in a secret location.
What has been your fondest moment in your career thus far? My fondest moment is literally every moment after The Basement Unplugged is over. To know that this only started from a vague vision and I acted on that vision and to see it come to life is fulfilling.
What do you like to do in your free time? During the day I’m an after school teacher and a dance instructor. When I’m not doing that I’m probably training clients as I’m very big into fitness. Outside of all those things I’m usually writing, creating or rehearsing.
” Always do what YOU feel. Not what others are telling you are best for you. “Lola Ladae’
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now? In 5-10 years I see myself at the height of my musical career. Living my day to day life with what I love to do. Still helping people, loving people , networking with people
Who has been the most influential person in your life? There’s not one person I can point out but I know for sure my cousin Kiara Cross is a very influential person. Her drive, ambition and everything are unmatched. I’m the same way. Once I put my mind to something, I do it. No matter what sacrifices have to be made.
How were you as a child? I was a rebel. Adventurous. Spontaneous. Creative. Curious. Smart. Mature
Is your city a good place for what you’re doing? Eh, Saint Louis is a hard place to make it musically. A lot of people are too Hollywood to work with other people. It’s all a competition there, no one really shows you any support unless you’ve already made a name for yourself. It’s pretty discouraging as an upcoming artist in Saint Louis, you have to prove it to STL. They’re not called the “Show Me State” for nothing. Of course you have your crew who supports you but it’s not a community thing, you know? This is why I decided to move.
I have absolutely loved being in Atlanta. The culture here is so admirable, of course you have your few people, your few bad apples who try and get over on a lot of artists….and there is a lot of exploitation in the city of Atlanta, however, when you know how you learn the people, you start to really see the culture especially the black culture in Atlanta. Atlanta has taught me what support means is, what really believing in yourself and others are is. When someone really supports you here, you can really feel it genuinely. I’ve only he on Atlanta for a year and a half but I’ve made so many connections it’s crazy. I’ve grown an event that I thought is from 40 RSVP’s to selling out and double that and it’s because of the support I have behind it.
What would you like people to remember about you when you’re gone? Just my work ethic man, the things I do, I’m so particular about. I want people to know I’m serious. I won’t just talk about an idea because it’s dope, I talk about it to make it come to life and get it do0ne I want people to be aware of my good heart.
Give one piece of advice that you can share with fellow Millennials A lot of people will see the raw talent in you because you’re able to recognize the extent of your talent yourself. This is a very vulnerable stage in your music career because you’re just wanting to work with everyone you can and build great relationships and networks. My advice would be to, one, read up on all the music business and industry as you can. Educate yourself. A lot of people have hidden agendas and will try to take advantage of you if you’re not aware of yourself. A lot of individuals feel like it’s your responsibility to know the music business and if you don’t, it’s your fault. Instead of being a mentor or educator some people take the “easy” route. Also, always do what YOU feel. Not what others are telling you are best for you. Experiment with your sound, be comfortable with what you create and know that there’s only up from there .
Latest Release: On May 10, 2020 at 5 p.m., my single “Angela” will debut. Though the song is being released Sunday, I recorded it back in 2016. I didn’t like it at first, honestly it took me a while to like anything I recorded but after a very long time of listening and letting others hear the song, I decided to release it. I met with a Videographer by the name of Zahir and he loved the song! I told him my vision for the video and he produced what was supposed to be a promo video for the single at first, but after we finished filming, we had so much content that we decided to construct a full video which will also be available Sunday May 10, 2020 on YouTube. I wanted to redo so much in regards to the vocals on the song but I wanted to show people my growth as I evolve through music and finding my sound. So I decided to stop over thinking, do it and release it. Now it’s just fuel to my fire for future music.
Please search “Angela” by Lola Ladae’ on Spotify and YouTube.