Ooh La Lola
"She looks like a lot of fun,” the Milk Los Angeles receptionist tells me as she nods to the side. I turn to see a pretty young girl with bright red lips reading a magazine. She’s wearing brightly colored tights that sparkle in the daylight and a baggy sweater that loosely hangs off one shoulder. Her head is wrapped up in what appears to be a colorful turban that reminds me of the kind Jambi wore in Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. This is Lola Blanc.
"I was always dressed really extreme,” Lola says. “In high school I fancied myself a punk. I wore three belts, baggy dickies, Misfits t-shirts, safety pins all over. You know, the whole thing. Then Avril Lavigne came around and ruined it. Since that phase of my life my style has always morphed from day to day or week to week. Right now I’m into this futuristic-rockabilly-John Waters sorta style. But I’ve always loved sparkles and lots of color and crazy hair. If my style stayed the same forever I feel like I wouldn’t be growing as a person."
The continuous metamorphosis that Lola’s look goes through sort of fits her life’s M.O, including the off-the-wall hobbies she builds into her life.
"This is me in my ventriloquism phase." Lola shows me a picture on her phone of a younger her holding up a doll on stage. "Look how rad my style was. I mean… I’m wearing a sparkly USA dress and mis-matching platform shoes… and I’m owning it!" Obviously her clothes were not the hard part for me to wrap my head around as the jewels dangling from her turban swayed back and forth. I was much more interested in how a little girl became interested in becoming a ventriloquist.
"My mom was a motivational speaker and she liked to learn fun skills to incorporate into her talks. So she’d be listening to ventriloquism tapes when I was riding with her in the car and I guess I just picked it up because I don’t really remember learning how to do it, I just remember knowing how to do it. My mom and I started traveling around performing together. Sometimes my brother would join us and perform magic and he and my mom would do escape art or something."
"Then after we got over the ventriloquism, my mom and I went to auctioneering school together to learn how to be auctioneers. So I had a pretty well-rounded childhood,” Lola says with a laughs, knowing full well that hers did not mimic the childhood that most kids had. Her father, a practicing Mormon and former CIA agent, moved the family around a lot when Lola was young. Though Lola’s zip code and set of hobbies may have changed with the seasons, the one constant in Lola’s life was music, and her love for writing music. Her skills as a songwriter have recently helped her win some pretty important credits in the world of pop music.
"Well, I wrote the song for myself and then gave it to Britney Spears,” she says. “I was writing with this producer named Ammo, who has done a bunch of Kesha’s songs and Katie Perry’s song E.T., and Ammo and I go show this producer Dr. Luke – who is like, the king of pop music production right now – and we play it for him and he was like ‘This would be perfect for this Britney Spears song I’m trying to make for the Smurfs 2 soundtrack.’ I loved the song but obviously this was something I had to do."
Besides the monetary value of writing a song for someone like Britney Spears, the credit can also be a huge step forward for someone who is hustling her way into the music business one blog post and viral video at a time.
"When you don’t have a record label like I don’t, you have to do a shit-ton of stuff yourself. Just keep hustling and moving and making sure you are growing and then after all that people are like ‘Oh she’s an overnight sensation!’ and it’s like ‘uh, no. This is 10 years in the making.’ It’s all about building it to a point that it finally can’t contain itself anymore and your music or art or whatever you’re working on just has no place to hide anymore. Then people like to think they are the ones that discovered you. It’s awesome."
But writing music for other people isn’t the end goal for Lola, and although the money and ease that comes with writing songs for someone else might be nice, the young pop star hopeful will not allow herself to become distracted.
"To accomplish what I want to accomplish and to do what I want to do you need total focus and I know that. So I have to put up some blinders when it comes to certain opportunities that have come my way that don’t help me put myself and my work as an artist in the spotlight. You see songwriters that get caught up in songwriting and the money and then they stop. That’s not what I want. I want to entertain people and perform and make hits with my name on them. That’s what I’ve wanted since I was six years old and that’s what all the decisions I make and projects I take on are for."
This hustle to put herself in the spotlight has mostly taken place on the Internet, where her social media and networking superpowers can push her music into the ears of as many people as possible. Lola is one of a select group of featured bloggers for Buzznet who use their personal persona as their main topic of writing, and she has been featured in music videos such as LMFAO‘s ridiculous single "Sexy and I Know It" and most notably as the lead role in Interpol‘s enigmatic and slightly erotic music video "Lights" (a job she booked by scouring the internet herself for various casting calls.) In the end, all of these jobs are means to get her music heard.
"My biggest fear is not being heard,” she says. “For a while the scariest thing to me was that I wasn’t going to find my voice or wasn’t going to be able to find people to make music with that I love and am inspired by, but now that I am making the music that I want to make my biggest fear is that I’ll make all this music that I love and no one will hear it. That would just break my heart. Even thinking about it right now sort of breaks my heart. I don’t even care if people hear it and hate it, but if people don’t even have the opportunity to hate it, that seems like the ultimate lose for me. That’s why I’m not going to stop no matter what. I mean, I learned how to be a ventriloquist when I was just a little kid… obviously I have determination."
Lola’s currently finishing up her very first music video as a recording artist for her single Bad Tattoo which features an appearance from another one of Milk Made’s favorite new rising stars Maceo Paisley. Until then you can stream some of Lola Blanc’s pop-tastic music by clicking here.
Photos By: Haley Brinkerhoff
Creative Director: Kalvin Lazarte
Make-Up Artist: David Rodriguez