Nanaimo singer Lauren Spencer-Smith, 15, has been recording new songs at Grammy-winning producer Harvey Mason, Jr.’s studio in Los Angeles. On July 27 she performs at the Port Theatre. (Photo courtesy Songster Studios)

Teen viral video star headlining first concert in hometown Nanaimo

Lauren Spencer-Smith, 15, has been recording new songs with Grammy-winning producer

A young Nanaimo singer with a viral video just got the attention of a major American producer.

In the last week of June, 15-year-old Dover Bay Secondary School student Lauren Spencer-Smith was in Los Angeles working with Harvey Mason, Jr., a six-time Grammy Award-winning producer who’s worked with pop and R&B superstars including Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

Spencer-Smith said Mason invited her and her manager Andrew Van Slee to L.A. after Mason’s daughter showed him a viral Facebook video of Spencer-Smith singing a Lady Gaga song, which has amassed more than 23 million views since March.

“Harvey Mason, Jr., the producer, reached out to me and Andrew and wanted to work with us, get some stuff written, kind of just see what we’re like,” Spencer-Smith said.

Spencer-Smith, who performed on comedian Steve Harvey’s talk show in May, said she worked with Mason’s team of songwriters and engineers and ended up writing and recording a trio of new songs, which are now in the process of being mixed.

“It was absolutely amazing. It was such a great opportunity to have that a lot of people don’t get the chance of having,” she said. “I’m very grateful and thankful to all of them. It was super cool.”

She said that even though she’s still new to the music world, Mason and his team made her feel comfortable.

“It was a little bit overwhelming to meet people because [Mason] is very well known in the music industry and all the people he works with … but this is what I want to do with my life so I was definitely more excited than overwhelmed about it,” she said.

Spencer-Smith said this summer she’ll be singing at Cowichan Valley’s Sunfest Country Music Festival and the Vancouver Island Exhibition in Nanaimo, but before all that she’ll be performing her first headlining concert at the Port Theatre on July 27.

Spencer-Smith has been rehearsing in Vancouver and said she’ll be singing originals and covers of songs made popular by singers like Adele and Alicia Keys. She said, “I take pop songs and slow them down.”

She said she’s looking forward to performing for a local crowd full of friends and family.

“I’m definitely way more excited than nervous about it,” Spencer-Smith said. “That’s also a huge opportunity, which is amazing, and we get to showcase a lot of different songs.”

WHAT’S ON … Lauren Spencer-Smith performs at the Port Theatre on Saturday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $49 and $79. Available at the box office and online.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new infrastructure spending on the Lower Mainland on Monday, flanked by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidate Cheryl Ashlie and Maple Ridge-Mission candidate Chelsa Meadus. (Neil Corbett/Black Press)
Wilkinson says plan to rebuild B.C. will work for Vancouver Island

B.C. Liberal leader talks to the News Bulletin about homelessness, forestry, infrastructure

Plastic checkout bags could be banned in Nanaimo by next summer if a city bylaw receives provincial approval. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo moves closer to banning plastic and other single-use checkout bags

Nanaimo city council votes to forward checkout bag regulation bylaw to province for approval

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
WorkSafe BC investigating man’s death during Oak Bay tree removal

Man was working for contracted tree removal company when incident occurred

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich residents warned to watch livestock after bear kills llama

Officers with Conservation, Saanich police could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

North Cowichan's council is looking to change the name of Indian Road, located near Quamichan Lake. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
North Cowichan looks to rename Indian Road

Name considered inappropriate as Rowing Canada looks to relocate to area

Crew members with the Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) deploy a containment boom from one of their workboats during a fuel spill drill in Alberni Harbour on Oct. 15, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni marine clean team learns the spill drill

Spill response members simulates fuel spill for practice in Alberni Harbour

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

A woman was injured cycling, prompting road closures in Oak Bay on Oct. 16. (Twitter/Ray Bernoties)
‘Erratic’ cyclists potential cause of rider injured in Oak Bay

Female cyclist was reportedly injured at Hampshire Road and Bowker Creek Avenue

Fanny Bay residents conducted a neighbourhood meeting in the summer to discuss problem properties in the area. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Regional District initiates legal action against property owner

Officials decide to crack down in response to complaints related to FannyBay property

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read