Laura Pieri is a whole vibe, and you can hear it in her music. Hailing from San Paulo, Brazil, but now calling Los Angeles home,, the singer-songwriter lies “somewhere between spiritual ascension and absolute chaos”… as per her Instagram bio. 3 words to describe her? Curious, creative and passionate.
At 23 years old, Pieri is finally at a place she feels comfortable musically, taking her time and enjoying the process along the way. Her lyrics are sparked directly by real-life experiences, giving the fans something they can relate to in their own life. Most recently, she returned with her explosive new single titled “Grenades,” metaphorically throwing her grenades to blow up whoever is not serving her in her life.
On the music tip, Pieri has been working with some incredible producers, including Cory Rooney who did Brandy’s most recent smash “Baby Mama.” Additionally, she balances her music career with going to school at the Gallatin School of Individualized studies at New York University.
Flaunt spoke with Laura Pieri at Starbucks in Little Tokyo, kicking off the conversation revealing her pet python snake named Frankie escaped his tank in the middle of the night. Read below as we discuss her roots in Brazil, moving to the States, biggest influences, inspo behind “Grenades,” shooting the music video, her fashion sense, and more!
What was it like growing up in Brazil?
It was a big change coming here because you get used to the language, the culture, the food, the energy, the way people interact. It’s a completely different culture. It took me a while to sense the culture shock. It’s interesting because I have a piece of home with me now wherever I go. When I go home, I have this piece of this brand new culture that’s different and in so many ways, like “quasi gringa” They always say “You’re practically American no better. More progressive. Different thought processes to take back home, they’re so interesting to see how everybody relates. My family’s w!” Then I get here and I feel how resilient I am. It’s fun because now I’m a foreigner in two places.
I know Prince was a big influence, who else were you looking up to?
I never was the type of person who had one artist I looked up to. I liked a bunch, I had phases. There was a while where I exclusively listened to Taylor Swift, then there was a while where I exclusively listened to SZA. I go through phases, but I’ve been a long-time fan of Taylor Swift. I’m a big Billie Eilish fan. I love Jesse Reyez, it’s hard for me to pick an influence. I like music in whatever form it’s in.
How would you describe your sound then?
Oh god, fluid. I’m still figuring that one out. I’m taking my time. Every time I think I know, in two months I’ve changed my mind. So I don’t know. [laughs] I’m a Gemini, I change my mind guys. I’m sorry.
How is Los Angeles treating you? How long have you been here?
I’ve been here for two years? I don’t know time. More than that right? Three? It’s gotta be at least three. This is my third year. Last year doesn’t count at all. It was the pandemic, no one did anything. I like it, it’s different. I moved from Brazil to New York and I definitely miss New York more. I like New York. The beat of New York, the city asks more of you. In LA, the day starts at 10am. I’m like “Wait what?” I get more with the culture of New York.
So what brought you here then?
Change. I follow change a lot. I sometimes follow my instincts, to then figure out what it all meant. I do, then I figure it out. I don’t really know why I do things sometimes. [laughs]
Is Laura Pieri your real name?
It’s half of my name. It’s my real name at heart, but my full name is Laura Seripieri, which is challenging so I cut that in half. Portuguese is my first language.
Do you do music in Portuguese at all?
I’m starting to. As I’m getting more into writing, as I’m picking up a bigger role in the studio now than I ever have, Brazilian influences are definitely coming in more now. Portuguese comes through in melody choices, the instrument choices, it’s all coming slowly.
I’m sure that will hit a demographic that will love you!
I hope so. I know that Brazilian fans are known for being a little intense. We’re really warm and passionate people, that’s the biggest thing. We meet you, we already want to bring you home and let our mom cook for you. That’s Brazil.
Who or what inspired “Grenades”?
“Grenades” was inspired by an… I don’t want to call him an ex, he wasn’t an ex. It was an idiot who I spent about 48 hours invested in.
Damn, a whole 48 hours?
A whole 48 hours. It lasted about 48 hours, but the damage was so done. You know how people say “You didn’t hurt me, I used you to hurt me.” It was one of those. “Grenades” was how I came to terms with my own feelings with the situation. You don’t need closure. I hate people saying “you need to forgive to move on.” No you don’t. Sometimes people don’t deserve to be forgiven. Don’t forgive them, that’s your right.
I remember being so angry. This person treated me… well not me, because it wasn’t me. It was a shitty person, there’s no other way to say it. You know what? I don’t care. I want to drag you, even if it was metaphorically. “Grenades” came out as an escape valve for my anger and my undealt with emotions. When I was done with that, I was done with that.
And it felt good?
It felt good and I wish him nothing but peace now. I dealt with my feelings. If there are any unresolved ones on your end, then you should deal with those too. You know what I mean?
I was gonna say, does he know it’s about him?
It’s not about who it is because the song’s really about dealing with people. It wasn’t inspired by him and so much of the feelings that he called on me, which I’m responsible for. No one’s responsible for how I feel but me. My reactions are my responsibilities. Aw damn, coming to terms with what hurt me and why, it’s like nice therapy. Music is great therapy. We artists need the pain. Every time I’m happy, we’ll… I’m unsafe. Then something happens and I’m inspired for months. Just need the heartbreak.
Talk about the creative vision with the music video. Where did you guys shoot that at?
This was peak pandemic when we decided to shoot it out. Peak of the second wave in LA, because there were two waves. Most things were closed and we really wanted to make sure that everybody was safe first. We’re location scouting the day before, because we were set to shoot a different music video for a different song. The day before, we said “Okay, let’s look at open spaces. What can we look at that’s going to be clear, fresh air? What can we bring to tie it all in to connect it with ‘Grenades’?”
We stuck with the neon language and said “Beach, rooftops, open spaces!” The whole visual aesthetic came together in a matter of a couple hours. I went home and took photos from my phone of the outfits that match the different locations. We did everything in reverse. We shot everything the following two days. A little rushed, I’m so surprised we pulled it off. [laughs]
Lauren (publicist): We had to get pyrotechnics happening. We had fireworks going off.
We had one firework and we had to make it work. “We have one shot!”
What’s the best memory?
I had a good time on set all day, really. It was a great shoot. It was funny mostly, we all had to do everything because production was scaled back significantly. The people on set were really tight. We all had to chip in. When we had lunch break, there wasn’t food on set. We all had to like, sit on the corners or sit in the parking lot to eat. That’s my favorite memory, lunch break. I looked crazy because I had makeup on and coconut gel in my hair since the next look was a beach scene. My eyes were dark, I’m in full makeup and it’s 4pm. People are looking at me like, “What the hell?!” We’re all sitting in the parking lot with a bunch of lights, it was fun. A great time.
Talk about being on the Snapchat show Endless and how that happened.
I had a great time on Endless. It was Season 3, the season before this one. I was with Summer McKeen and Dylan Jordan. I had a great time with them, they’re really fun. Out of everybody, it’s funny I got really close with Dylan’s girlfriend. I played Dylan’s interest on the show. Me and Quincy met on set and I got so close with her. We still talk, we still share stuff on DMs. We still Snapchat each other every now and then.
It’s funny I still keep in touch with her and that was a year or so ago. The show was great. It was my first introduction to a Snapchat show. I do like the platform a lot, because it gives you a very direct line to people you’re talking to. When the show was going on, they had started with the replies. The option to reply. It was right around the time that people were starting to ask questions and get involved, so definitely an interesting, fun experience.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
If you can think it, you can do it. But if you don’t think it, then you won’t. Nobody else can do it for you. I like art in many ways, shapes or forms. This is something that spoke to my soul at a very, very young age. I don’t really know what pulls me to it. Anyone who’s a creative, you feel this way too. Take steps and trust that there will be ground where you step. Walk before you check. I was on the phone with my mom yesterday, I go to NYU…
Yeah! I wanted to ask about that too.
I’m about to graduate, hopefully in the next year or so. I’m doing it credit based, so I don’t really know. I was talking to my mom, she said “but do you think you’ll actually finish?” I said “well mom, I think I might. But if I don’t feel like it, I don’t know if I will.” She goes “I’m sorry, what?” I told her “as a creative, I’m at my best and I do better, I’m able to be better for everybody else and for myself when I follow my instinct and not my head.”
I do what I feel first. If I feel like selling everything and going to volunteer for two years, then my gut must be telling me that for a reason and I’m gonna follow that. Same with art, even “Grenades.” I was supposed to finish a different song, but my gut… I couldn’t think about anything else. My feelings were somewhere else and I had to deal with those. I follow the feeling.
What can we expect next from you?
I have no clue what to expect next for myself. I’m definitely getting more creative in the studio, so definitely expect some more music. I’m following my artistic intuition a little bit more freely now. It’ll take me into some new territory. I don’t really want to have a niche, so I’m excited to see where I go and where things take me. I don’t really know where everything’s going.
Talk about your songwriting on “Grenades,” how have you grown?
I’ve been taking a bigger step into the craft of my own craft. Getting more involved with production and writing, taking a bigger role in what I’m singing. I’ve written some songs, but a lot of the songs I put out I didn’t write. I definitely enjoy writing more now, so I’m investing my time and energy into that. I’ve been finding spaces I’m more passionate about that I never knew I was passionate in before. I’m definitely exploring that and letting it take its time, it’s like a baby. If it’s not ready for the world, then it’s not ready for the world.
How’s your experience been working with Cory Rooney, the producer?
He’s incredible. He’s legendary. He’s worked with some of the most talented people ever. If anybody has taught me to have faith in the process, let the process be the process and it’s something that takes time, it’s him.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
I have 3 modes. I either have home or going out, no in between. Do not perceive me, and that’s mainly when I look like a 12-year-old boy. It’s just comfortable. Why are boxers so comfortable? Talk to me, why? When I’m at Gap picking up boxers, everyone’s looking at me funny. It’s comfortable, it’s great for sleeping. Don’t look at me funny. I’d say eclectic, I’m very eclectic. I like what I like and I don’t really care if it matches anything.