With cleverly branded festivals that celebrate the spirit increasingly popping up around the country, Lauren Gin ought to have no problem at all further padding her already extensive festival performance CV. Really, who else should events with names like Gindulgence and Gincredible be enlisting to DJ the closing party and bring the house (tents) down? We can’t imagine why she’d possibly Say No, other than in the course of performing her newly released single of that name, an emotive future bass banger that further signals the Auckland DJ’s intentions of becoming just as well known as a music producer. Say No features on NZ On Air‘s NewTracks compilation this August.
Lauren Anna Fong, I’m born and raised in Auckland. I DJ, produce music and also play the piano.
When I was young I used to play the piano and have regular lessons. This was a useful skill that trained my ear later for other musical pursuits.
Last year I released my debut EP called ‘Supernova’. It’s a four-track EP that showcases the combination of trap and future bass genres.
I started DJing six years ago (when I was 20 years old). I started off by playing in small bars and clubs around Auckland and then eventually landed my first festival performance at Splore. Since then I’ve played at Rhythm & Vines, Bay Dreams, Soundsplash, Electric Avenue and more. Recently, I’ve spent the last couple of years focusing on making original music as I begin to traverse into production.
When I first started producing music I used to make really heavy sounds that had a gritty taste to them. Now I’ve developed into making a wider range of sounds that are somewhat ‘lighter’, but also incorporate a heavy bass-driven element. It’s a nice balance and it really depends on what I’m trying to achieve with a particular track.
My artist name, Lauren Gin, maintains my identity – predominantly by keeping my first name. ‘Gin’ is my mother’s maiden name, so basically my ‘other’ last name. I thought about this artist name for a while, and I like the ring to it.
There have been so many amazing moments in my career it’s hard to choose. I’m grateful for all of them. One particular highlight was performing at Electric Avenue 2021 to an overspilling crowd in a huge tent. This was my first time performing in the South Island and it was a set to remember. The energy of the crowd was nothing like I had seen before!
It stands out for me as it explores new territories of sounds, primarily future bass, accompanied by soft vocals. It’s a unique song for me due to the feeling it evokes – it’s euphoric, powerful, and overall it moves you. Each chord progression creates this momentum that carries through the track.
The story behind Say No is that I wanted to make a banger for 2021. I sat down and explored various sounds for the ‘drop’ and what you hear as the final product is very different to the previous drops I was tinkering with! It took many iterations to achieve a sound I was finally happy with. As for the vocals, my good friend Rachel Cammell, aka Rachel Leo, sang on the track and her voice compliments the song so well. It was a final touch to complete the euphoric mood I was going for.
My favourite part is when the chords move at a faster rate, it’s one of the drivers behind creating depth and movement. It’s then followed by an arpeggiator which is a lovely brief effect adding some layering to the overall melodics.
Rachel Leo and I co-wrote the lyrics. It was a really fun process. She’s so easy to work with and every time we came up with the lyric she just made it flow. Funny story, I actually discovered Rachel on TikTok, a short 5-second video of her singing popped up on my newsfeed. No exaggeration, a few days later I brought her into the studio and the rest is history!
I want listeners to feel stimulated and feel good. It creates an uplifting mood and has a catchy melody to it. I would be so happy to see people feeling energised and just fully vibing out to the track.
When I listen to it, first off I have to really love it if I’m going to publish the work. That’s the best starting point. Secondly, I try and listen to it with a different lens, that of the target market of my listeners. So for example, would someone who loves to listen to trap producers (e.g. RL Grime) like the sound that I’ve created? Also having a perfectly polished mixed and mastered song is important – it must sound amazing as the final product.
I’m a self-managed artist so it’s just me at the moment. As for my bookings, I’m lucky to be with Twice The Hype – Fenella Stratton and Jaz Kapow. They took me on board last year and have supported my journey of performing at NZ’s biggest festivals.
I’m looking to release another track later this year, hopefully collaborating with another female vocalist. I have a few in mind but I can’t say yet. It’s important to me for me to collaborate with other wahine in the local music industry.
This is my first application for NewTracks and I was ecstatic when I found out I got selected. I haven’t applied in the past. I applied for the New Music Single Grant for Say No but didn’t get it. That’s okay though! My advice for others would be to keep on applying every month and don’t be disheartened. Also, make your application stand out with plenty of information about the goals you wish to achieve with your track.
Sniffers and Undertheradar. I love reading both local and overseas up and coming talent which both these outlets cover so well.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me while I poured all my time and energy into making Say No. I couldn’t have done it without certain individuals who constantly motivated me to get to this stage. Also to every producer out there, never give up! It’s a long game but a fun one. I’m just at the beginning and learning so much.
New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand on Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.