The Set List
By Brian Washburn
Lauren de Miranda may be about to find the kind of success not linked to many Northwest Arkansas musicians. Yes, we have had those who have hit it big in the country music sector, the national alternative rock scene and a few emerging hip hop stars, but the kind of fame de Miranda is embarking on is the kind that could rocket her to national fame, screaming pre-teens and a hefty paycheck if it all goes as planned. You know, the kind of fame endured by Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and every other pop superstar Disney and the major music industry seems to be throwing our way these days.
De Miranda recently signed a deal with Bus Radio, a concept that puts popular music and radio stations into elementary, junior high and high school buses throughout the nation. While the radio station’s content varies depending on the age group, it usually contains Billboard’s top 40, as well as certain public service announcements and DJs.
De Miranda landed the gig not based on connections or by bribing anyone. No, she landed the gig of playing to a audience larger than any LA radio station the same way she has garnered fans for the past few years in NWA: her music, a poppy, upbeat rock in the vein of Kelly Clarkson, Pink and, yes, Miley Cyrus.
“(Bus Radio) decided to choose an independent artist to release music through the Bus Radio format. They searched across the country and I was chosen after they found my music,” de Miranda said.
The Arkansas native has been flying back and forth to Los Angeles for the past year and has started recording a few songs with some big name producers including one who produced High School Musical, Hannah Montana and whose projects have gone more than 17 times platinum. But the pop singer says she will not have a full-length album out on a major label anytime soon.
“There has been one label that has been following closely and reaches out every month and checks in, and a couple others showing interest. But independently getting radio airplay is huge, especially to over one million kids and big audiences without a label,” de Miranda said. “If it continues on a path like that, working with brands and marketing and ads, then I am open to staying independent.”
Though the current state of the music industry seems to be in turmoil and backlash, one aspect has been thriving: the Disney generation of pop-rock stars that seem to have pre-teens everywhere going nuts. While this might turn off a songwriter and alt-acoustic rock enthusiast like de Miranda (Ben Harper is one of her biggest inspirations), she embraces whatever genre she is placed in and whoever is drawn to her music.
“Pop music in general appeals to a younger demographic, and generally speaking a lot of interest from younger group sponsorships reaches younger audiences,” de Miranda said. “That age group is really open and true fans. They like the music and follow you and want to know what’s next. They are active in your life and career. I really enjoy that demographic and age group.”
The pre-teen age group that are starting to follow de Miranda through different means of social networking are going to have to keep on their toes in the upcoming year, as de Miranda has many things in the work, including new songs, heading into the studio with platinum producers, rising to the top of the MTV soundtrack chart and she has even been talked to about acting in a couple of film and TV gigs, which she already has experience.
Whatever comes next for Lauren de Miranda, it is sure to bring much hype and hysteria to the Arkansas pop star’s career, especially with the pandemonium stirred by the peers she has chosen to follow.