Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL is May 16-18, 2014 - www.hangoutmusicfest.com

Lauren Pritchard’s Awake and Wasted

“It was definitely brave,” says singer Lauren Pritchard about her decision to move to Los Angeles when she was only 16. The young songstress, who made the decision to be a professional singer at age 13, pushed through the fear, a broken heart, and many other obstacles to become an accomplished performer. After living in two countries, being part of a Tony Award-winning musical, and pouring her past into an album, Lauren Pritchard is coming back to America for a homeward-bound tour.

Before she was even finished high school, her parents took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles so that she may pursue a music career. “When I think about where I’ve ended up and what I’ve been through, I have lot of respect for [my parents]. I owe so much to them for deciding to take me there,” Pritchard says. Unfortunately, her mother and younger brother had to return to their hometown of Jackson, Tennessee when her brother had a skating accident. Not yet 18, she was almost forced to return home as well. Thankfully, her friend Riley Keough offered Pritchard her home. Even though she didn’t want to impose, Keough’s mother insisted, saying that Lauren would regret not pursuing her dream.

Keough’s mother happened to be Lisa Marie Presley.

After staying with the Presleys for a while, Pritchard auditioned for what she thought would be a six-month gig in New York. After she moved to the Big Apple, the small musical Spring Awakening became a smash hit, winning eight Tony Awards. “It was a total blessing. I moved there to just do this little off-Broadway thing for six months. One year later we’re performing at the Tony Awards.”

After her run on Broadway, Pritchard got a record deal, but was not satisfied with this label as they had a different direction in mind for her than the one she wanted. After splitting with this label, she moved to London and recorded songs with Eg White, who had previously worked with Duffy and Adele. One session led to another, and they eventually recorded her album Wasted in Jackson, which was released in the States in February.

Wasted in Jackson shows off Pritchard’s soulful pipes as she lays her broken heart out for the world to see. “This album especially was about heartache,” she says. “I starting writing just as a three-year relationship was coming to an end.” Not one to shy away from her feelings, Pritchard risks reliving the heartache each time she performs. “Sometimes I keep the feelings distant, and sometimes the feelings come back to [me]. When that happens, I kind of go ‘Shit!’ To have to relive it isn’t really too much fun. It’s a really weird feeling.” However, she hopes her raw lyrics and emotional performances will help listeners have their own unique experiences while listening to her songs.

Fortunately, Pritchard’s heart is healed and happy. Heartthrob Michael Socha of Being Human was her co-star for her video “Stuck.” The two are now dating. “We’re nerdy talking about it,” she says. “We met each other and ended up liking each other.”

Lauren Pritchard is happy to be returning home for her American tour. Her story is one reminiscent of a fairy tale, and she calls everything that’s happened “a dream come true.”

Lauren Pritchard will be at The Parish at House of Blues on Monday, March 14.