Lo Lo Dishes on Being Young & Making Mistakes, Bad Advice & Writing Tunes

Toronto-born-and-raised Lo Lo (Lauren Mandel) burst on the pop scene last year with her smash debut, “Yours.” She was selected as iHeart Radio’s Future Star and has racked up over two million streams across platforms since. Her newest EP, Sweater Collection, doesn’t shy away from her own complicated relationships and lost connections.

“The Sweater Collection EP is the first body of work that I’ve put out into the world. It’s an honest reflection of the last couple years of my life—the highs and lows of being young, dumb & in love,” says Lo Lo. “I want anyone who listens to be able to play it from start to finish and actually hear a story. These songs were mine, but now they’re yours.”

We’re gonna bet you won’t be able to get it out of your head. 

We chatted with Lo Lo this week. 

SDTC: Describe your dream vacation/getaway scenario.

Lo Lo: Disneyland, but no lines.

What is commanding a lot of attention in your life lately?

Creamy Garlic Dipping Sauce. I’m currently in LA for the month and I really miss it. It’s pretty much all I think about. There’s no Pizza Pizza here.

What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

I learned that I could do a lot more if I just set my mind to it. Also, I learned that I like cherries.

One fun little-known fact about you?

I used to be a figure skater. That’s what I wanted to be when I grew up, until I started getting more into music stuff.

What show have you really connected with recently, and why?

GAME OF THRONES. Amazing writing, amazing acting, crazy things happening…it’s just straight-up insane. If you’re reading this, please watch it if you don’t already.

What’s the worst piece of career advice you’ve been given?

Someone told me I should do a country album.

What is your motto at the moment?

“Champagne 4every1.”

Any goals for summer?

I’m hoping to write a lot more songs and put together another EP. Here we go again…

What are the qualities you like least (and most) about your parents?

I hate that my mom is hotter than me and my dad is funnier than me. It’s not fair. I love that they both would do anything for me.

Rewind five years. What advice would you give yourself?

Don’t cry so much when you’re sad, just write songs instead! It’s way more fun. Don’t dip dye your hair blonde before prom and DON’T WEAR LOW RISE JEANS. THEY DO NOT LOOK GOOD ON YOU.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

I wrote a song about being dumped on April Fool’s and then let everyone hear it.

What childhood memory makes you laugh out loud?

My little sister had bangs as a child. I wanted her to look more like me (no bangs), so I simply cut her bangs off. Safe to say, that is not the correct way to get rid of your bangs.

What unnecessary object would you love to own?

A cotton candy maker.

What tip, technique or hack has made your life better in the past year?

Trying not to care about what other people think and just living in the present moment.

What issue do you wish people took more seriously?

Mental health.

What outfit do you wear more than any other (your uniform, basically)?

My comfy Reebok pants and my “favourite sweater” Lo Lo merch.

What has surprised you lately, and how?

I just recently had my debut show in Toronto, and I was pleasantly surprised at how many people were singing back the lyrics to me. Best. Feeling. Ever.

When you look back on your life, are you at where you thought you’d be by now? Why or why not?

I never really had assumptions of where I’d be, but I definitely had hopes that I’d be actively working in the music industry. So I guess I am currently where I hoped I’d be someday. I think it’s never good to assume where you’re going to be but to just set optimistic and achievable goals and then to slowly put a check mark beside those goals. I’m proud of myself that I’ve achieved a bunch of goals that I was never sure I could achieve or not—like releasing music, getting a song on the radio, or putting on a concert. Now that I’ve achieved those, I have new ones in mind.

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