Ventura RAWards 2013

Winner/Musician of the Year: Lauren Hulbert

Lauren Hulbert’s melodic voice pours through your ears and spills down your spine stirring soulful memories both sad and sweet. Her sound is a full blend of Americana including Indy-folk, country rock, bluegrass and R&B. Lauren’s smooth mix of these musical ingredients caught the attention of the RAW judges enough to crown her winner of the 2013 Ventura RAW Musician of the year.

Fun-in-Ventura had the chance to catch up with Lauren shortly after to get to know the artist behind the music.

What led you down your musical path?

LH-Music has always been in my life. My Mom sang in a church choir and played the flute. I also sang in the choir. I also took classical piano lessons. I found out that I kind of had a knack for music. I was always very disciplined with my practice lessons. My Mom even said I could quit if I wanted to, but I said, no. It was like I had this weird responsibility with it and it was fun to play a piece when it was all done.

What inspired you musically?

LH- The Get up kids, Alanis Morrisette and New Amsterdam inspired me early on. I learned guitar by learning to play their songs. Now, I listen to Joan Osborne and Spiced.

What about now?

LH-: When I discovered that I have a talent to sing and learned how a song is structure and what chords go with what chords, music turned into this therapeutic thing for me. I write from my experience and while I still enjoy doing covers, I like to create from my own heartfelt experiences.

You said that one of your favorite pieces is “Fallen.”

LH- Fallen is one of my favorites because it is a good example of turning something painful into something beautiful. That song came easy to me because it was written at time when an important relationship ended. For some odd reason I felt invisible, like I didn’t exist to him. It’s a sad thing when a relationship ends. It’s like that person is completely gone. Music is a great way to make you feel like you are not alone and I think most people can relate to that feeling.

Now you live in Oakland with your boyfriend, Dave.

LH-Yes, we both have a passion for non-profit work and an opportunity came along to move here and I thought it would be fun to come up here.

But you are from Ventura County?

LH- Yes, I am from Newbury Park and my family is still there. I will always have ties to Ventura. I remember in High School, going to Ventura Theatre and the Warp Tour and learning to surf at Mondos Beach. When I started to do shows, I did the open mic night at Zoey’s. I am sorry to hear that it closed.

You have a passion for travel too.

LH-: I’ve taught English in Thailand. Played in Bankok. Taught music at school in the Amazon. When I was traveling, I met a girl who helps impoverished communities through music. I helped with fund raising events to bring music to these communities. Music has a broad audience. More travel is in my future but it can be exhausting to travel for a year too. I love new places but not really long term stuff.

Beside Travel what else does your future look like?

LH- I’m like the queen of off jobs. But I’d love to take my music to the next level and play more shows and do a musical tour. Get a manager and be able to license my music to the movie industry. I’d also like to work for other artists. Basically, I’d love to make a living from music. But what would be really cool is to use my music for a greater good and partner with other artists for benefit causes. The power of artists using their art for a greater good is really rewarding.

For now, where is the best place to hear and buy your CD’s?

LH- At my website: and I have a Facebook Page.

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