Unapologetic. Vulnerable. Flamboyant. Indiana-based vocalist, producer, and dancer Von LaRae exudes all of these traits while delivering ethereal melodies that provide an almost transcendent experience into LaRae’s seductive, sexy, and alluring world. LaRae’s latest album “The Art of Sex” is an exploration into themes of intimacy, addiction, vulnerability, and sexuality with emotive lyricism and dance rhythms that excite the soul. We talked to LaRae about their beginnings, inspiration, and favorite songs.

Hi! How do you think that you have grown as an artist since your beginnings? What has remained the same?

Overall, I have gained so much more confidence in my voice. I used to be such a shy singer, and still am at times, but I have really started to lean into myself more. I think the only thing that has remained the same is making it all in my bedroom. Nothing more magical than your own little sanctuary.

How much of your work is strategically calculated, and how much of it is spontaneous? How was on the case of “The Art of Sex”?

Honestly, I would say it’s half and half. My first singles were all spontaneous. My EP was planned, even though the title track was written over a year prior. For this album, I would say it definitely started out spontaneously and then I kinda found my footing. After ‘Speed Racer’ was released I would say I really experimented with sound while also still keeping my vision of this world that I wanted the album to live in.

I remember sitting in the park having an identity crisis and anxiety attack because I wasn’t sure that my dream that I’ve had since I was little could ever be a reality.

Was there any song on the album that was particularly a challenge to write?

ABSOLUTELY! ‘You’ took me months to write because I kept changing the chorus over and over. I changed the verse and played around with different melodies, but the final version felt the most similar to the movie that plays in my head when I hear it. The song itself wasn’t fully finished lyrically until just a week before the release date.

What do you hope listeners take away from the album “The Art of Sex”?

I really hope they get the goosebumps I feel when I listen to it. I hope they can take some lessons and anything that might have resonated with them. Most importantly, I just want people to get to know me better as not only an artist but a human being as well.

For newcomers to your music, if you had to pick one track that shows people who you are as an artist, which one would it be?

Oh my god, that’s a really hard one! They all have such different moods! If I had to though, I would probably say ‘Kitchen Light’. That song is some of my most personal lyrical content so far and it showcases my vocals so beautifully, I think. Whenever I hear it, I just feel like I’m floating on a cloud. It’s just so cinematic to me.

Please tell us a bit more about your album, “The Art of Sex”. What is the message you’re trying to convey with this release?

First and foremost, I wanted to establish that I am not an artist that can be tamed or placed into a box, musically speaking. I wanted this album to also show the poetic side of me. I’ve always loved writing little stories or poems. I felt that this was a great representation of where I was at that point in time. I just turned 21, and the album just felt like a closing of a very long chapter in my life. I don’t want people to see this album as a destination or a place I have arrived at, but rather as a version of myself and the season of life that I have left.

I remember sitting in the park having an identity crisis and anxiety attack because I wasn’t sure that my dream that I’ve had since I was little could ever be a reality.

Which song is unquestionably your favorite from “The Art of Sex”? Why?

‘D.O.A’ for sure. That is the most personal song to me on the record, and it is a really big reminder of how far I have come in my recovery. The song was written at my rock bottom, to say the least, and it just reminds me that I actually made it through that darkness to something brighter and more beautiful.

Do you believe in inspiration or is it more of a myth?

Oh, I don’t think I would even be an artist without some kind of muse. I love telling stories. I gotta have some kind of grasp on what I speak about or else it doesn’t feel like me. Sometimes though, I use stories that I have heard throughout my life so far and imagine them in a new light or even make them sad or angry.

What was the craziest idea you had – whether feasible or not – that you really wanted to go forward with?

Honestly, this. I remember sitting in the park having an identity crisis and anxiety attack because I wasn’t sure that my dream that I’ve had since I was little could ever be a reality. Growing up, I always heard that I had to find something realistic. I finally had enough and thought, “Why isn’t this realistic? Whose to say I can’t be the people I listen to on the radio?”. Here we are, a year and a half later doing an interview with CVLTARTES Magazine. I’d say it was a really good idea.

What would be the most unconventional place you can imagine performing? Would you see performing, for example, on the catwalk?

I have thought about performing on a billboard with some beautiful animations behind me helping me tell a visual story while also giving a performance. A catwalk would be my dream and would be a full circle moment as the first artist I ever saw live performed on a catwalk.

I don’t wanna make music that burns out just as quickly as I could make it, just because I fit in with a trend.

People tend to listen to music when they do this or the other. What activity fits Von LaRae’s music?

Honestly, I am a very big advocate and really good friends with our girl Mary Jane, and I personally believe that sparking up and listening to this album is so perfect. I love just laying in the park and watching the sunset while listening to the B-side of the album. I love having a dance party in my room while bopping the A-side.

An album is considered successful when:

I can listen to the full project over and over and still get the first listen feeling. Those goosebumps that never fail are a big sign.

Do you believe it’s difficult to come up with something unique that sets you apart from other artists nowadays?

I don’t think it’s hard to find something unique. I think the hard part is believing in our vision when as artists we are told to make what’s hot right now, to hop on trends. I don’t wanna make music that burns out just as quickly as I could make it, just because I fit in with a trend.

What are the main aims and objectives for you in the future?

In the future, I am gonna continue to push my artistry while I am also still discovering myself. As an artist, I always wanna remind myself to not get so caught up with what’s going on outside, and remember what’s inside, my intuition, and build from that.

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