Lainey Dionne won Third Place in the International Songwriting Competition for the Adult Contemporary category with her song “Hey London.” Hailing from Rhode Island, Dionne is a graduate from Berklee College of Music. Creating music that makes you feel things deep inside. “Hey London” is an upbeat pop track with an extremely catchy melody and chorus and relatable lyrics. Lainey has such a great voice and really sings from her heart! I had the opportunity to interview Lainey about the inspiration for “Hey London,” her musical influences and her musical career.
Where are you originally from? Where are you located now?
I grew up in a small town in the smallest state- Smithfield, Rhode Island. Right now I am located in Providence “The Creative Capital”, 20 mins down the road from where I grew up. I love being from Rhode Island and still creating in Rhode Island.
When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career as a musician?
I played a talent show at my high school as my first time ever performing. I sang and played A Day To Remember song on my acoustic called “If It Means A Lot To You” and the crowd was singing the gang vocal part of the song underneath me and I instantly knew I wanted to do music for the rest of my life. I did that talent show every year after and it was the best part of my high school experience. When it came time to graduate, for my senior project I did a whole powerpoint presentation on how I was going to make a career out of music and then went to Berklee College of Music to make it happen.
Who is your biggest influence/inspiration to become a musician?
I’d say when I was younger I was really into Paramore and Avril Lavigne and really wanted to become them. I ended up being in a pop/punk/post hardcore cover band throughout high school. Those were the fun crazy times and then I really started taking music seriously. After attending college I really found my own voice and started writing my own songs. I had been writing songs since I was 12 but I was trying to be a Cheetah Girl and the songs were cute but weren’t decent by any means. Once I found my own authentic voice in my own songs, I’d say it’s the artists I find on my Spotify Discover Weekly that keep me inspired and motivated. My influences now would include Gabrielle Aplin, Sigrid, Lorde, and Reputation era Taylor Swift.
What genre of music do you consider yourself to be?
I’d say indie pop, alt pop, and dark pop are my realm. There’s a little of each on my upcoming album. I used to be a folk singer/songwriter but I’ve branched into this pop world and I’m very proud of this new sound.
What was your inspiration for writing the song that you submitted for the International Songwriting Competition?
So… kind of a crazy story. I started dating a guy I found in a game chatroom 5 years prior. He lived in the Netherlands and I traveled back and forth to be with him. I was then accepted into a songwriting retreat in France where I met a British guy. The relationship with my dutch boyfriend had ended and I pursued this British guy. I ended up going to live with him for a month in England where things went south in our relationship, thus creating “Hey London.” I would say my feelings in “Hey London” reflect on a whole bunch of poopy relationships I’ve had. The song is about feeling like your significant other isn’t putting in the effort you deserve and you’re fed up constantly chasing them so you’re over them.
What do you hope for listeners to take away after listening to your song/music?
I hope listeners feel empowered and connected when listening to my music. That’s all any artist can hope for. I wouldn’t have gotten through one of my worst break ups without Lorde’s Melodrama and I want to be that for someone.
What is your favorite song that you’ve released and why?
I’d have to say “Skin” might be my favorite so far. It is so deep and raw. Most people had no clue I’ve ever been deeply depressed until this song came out. It was an insight into what I was going through with my mental health and it’s such an emotional song for me. I’ve had people reach out to tell me how that song has helped them and that is the reason why it would be my favorite so far. I definitely have a different favorite that takes the cake though. It will be released on August 27th with the rest of my full length album Self Titled. The track is called “Wake Up Call” and it has the most personal, authentic, present lyrics I have ever written. Can’t wait for you to hear it!
Who were your favorite musicians growing up? Do you feel that they played a role in influencing your music today?
I mean I definitely think I still carry a little Hayley Williams in me today. I still aspire to hit her notes and to hit people in the feels the way she does with her vocals. I was such a scene/emo kid in high school and I don’t listen to a ton of that music anymore other than for nostalgia. I loved Paramore, Yellowcard, Sleeping with Sirens, Red, Bullet For My Valentine, Breaking Benjamin, etc. A couple of constants that have always been my favorite musicians throughout the years are Coldplay and Radiohead. I could see some Coldplay influences on a handful of tracks on my album.
If you could collaborate with any musician throughout history, who would you choose and why?
I would really like to hear my voice with EDEN. Whenever I hear his music, I see images of space and stars and it makes me feel some type of way. It's not exactly calm but it isn’t chaos either- it’s just atmospheric. I would love to have my voice on a track like that.
Do you have any new projects that you are working on?
Yes! My full length album Self Titled will drop on August 27th and I am so beyond excited!!! You will learn so much about my dating history on this album and I bet you will learn about yourself too! You will either learn that you are lucky and picked some good ones to date, or that we are in the same boat and can cry in our cars together, break stuff, or celebrate being single! It will be one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
Are you planning on touring/performing any shows in the near future?
With the pandemic things are tough to say, but I am playing 17 shows in July including the NewportFilm Festival! I’m trying to book as many safe outdoor shows as possible! In the winter I will be going back to doing weekly livestreams on my Facebook page so be sure to stay tuned!