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Laura Marano has been quite busy after her hit Disney Channel series Austin & Ally went off the air in 2016. Since then, she has become an absolute powerhouse in music and film, and her impact on both industries only continues to grow. 

In just three years, Laura has starred in some of Netflix’s biggest original films, such as this year’s The Royal Treatment, and she’s also released two EPs. Her incredible talent and strong work ethic are both clearly at full force, as this year she will be releasing another EP, US, and starring in Netflix’s first ever interactive rom-com, Choose Love.

Pop Crave had the opportunity to speak with Laura about her Netflix films, an upcoming tour, and the release of her new single, “breakup song.”

Hi Laura, congratulations on all of your recent success! With so much going on for you in both the music and film industries again, how has balancing the two been for you?

Thank you so much! Yeah, I’m definitely caught in between feeling so much gratitude and feeling pretty exhausted. I don’t think it’s shocking to hear that balancing both a music and acting career is incredibly challenging, and I for sure haven’t figured out the secret of how to achieve the perfect balance, but I truly love doing both music and film/television so much, so I’m going to keep trying to figure it out!

You recently announced your first ever tour, The Us Tour, starting July 14 in Atlanta, GA! What are you most excited about when it comes to touring?

I am legitimately so obnoxiously excited. I’ve been imagining going on tour since I was a very small child, so it definitely feels like a dream come true. I feel beyond happy thinking about connecting with my fans in person, especially after a time of literally only being able to connect with them (and most other people) virtually. I can’t wait to actually be in person with them!

Has planning the tour been difficult? What are some things that have surprised you so far about the touring experience?

Oh, the logistics are pretty intense, especially because I moved some dates around before we announced the tour due to my filming schedule. So, the route is a little unorthodox, and it’s definitely going to be an exhausting experience, but I literally don’t care…I’m just so excited. 

Your fans have been sharing their excitement since the announcement of your tour and upcoming EP. Is there anything you can share with us about the EP?

The US EP is the official conclusion of the ME EP trilogy, and the content of the songs is very different from the music I anticipated to be writing for this EP because my life has taken a very different direction. I always knew I wanted to release a trilogy of EPs, and I wrote the ME EP during a time I was falling in love, and the YOU EP was created in a time I was in a very serious relationship. The US EP centers around a love that didn’t work out, so the music very much reflects that. 

Since the release of your last EP, YOU, is there a song that sticks out to you as being your favorite from that project?

Oh man, I love all my little babies on YOU so much!!! “Run” means a lot to me because it’s the first song I ever put out that I wrote entirely by myself. “When You Wake Up” is also very important to me because it’s just one of my favorite songs that I have ever written and very much inspired the direction I realized I wanted my music to go (or at least the music I was making during that time period). “Something to Believe In” is probably one of the most special songs for my fans and me, and that’s one of the songs I’m looking forward the most to sing on tour, to be honest.

You’ve recently worked with some amazing artists like Alextbh, Wrabel, and Grey. Who are some of your dream collaborators that you would love to work with in the future?

I have worked with so many amazing people!!!! I’m very thankful for any artist I have worked with in the past few years, and I definitely want to keep collaborating with as many people as possible. I’d love to work with a few more people in the EDM space because that music is just so unlike anything I ever work on. There are also so many insanely talented singer/songwriter/producer artists that I would love to work with, one being Labrinth (who I think is one of the most talented people in the music industry).

Not only are you about to tour and release a new EP, but your film, The Royal Treatment, just recently released on Netflix. What did you take away from that experience? 

I am so grateful for The Royal Treatment! It was such an amazing experience, and like many of the amazing experiences in my life, it was absolutely exhausting. I produced it as well as acted in it, and I truly love producing so much; but it’s also so intense. However, The Royal Treatment has been one of the first experiences in my life where my acting and music career felt very distinct from one another (I didn’t play a character who sang), and yet mixed together so smoothly.

Your own song, “Dance with You,” was featured in The Royal Treatment. How did the song come about, and how did it feel to once again blend your music career with your acting career?

I knew I wanted to write a song for the movie, so I started working on “Dance with You” before we even started filming. I recorded a rough demo while I was shooting the movie and gave that demo to the director to hopefully include in his edit (if he liked it, which thankfully he did!). Afterwards, so many pieces fell together perfectly, especially when Michael and Kyle from Grey hopped on the song. They were the most amazing collaborators, and I’m so thankful I got to work with them!!

You are constantly doing livestreams and connecting with your fans in so many different ways. How has your relationship with your fans impacted your life?

I mean, I know it sounds cliche, but it’s the absolute truth: I don’t know what I would do without them. My fans allow me to do two different careers that I’ve always wanted to do, and I sometimes can’t fully comprehend the gratitude and love I feel for them. I cannot wait to connect with some of them on tour, and I know it will just make me more antsy to travel to more places and countries so I can connect with more fans. 

Congratulations on landing the lead role in Netflix’s Choose Love! The concept of the film is incredible. What were your thoughts when you heard that the audience would have complete control over your character’s fate?

That was one of the top reasons I wanted to do the project. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there were a few other very enticing and exciting pieces of this movie, but the interactive element absolutely sold me. I’ve obviously never done something like that before, so I was very intrigued to do something not only new for me, but new for many people with this genre.

For many in my generation who grew up on both Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, a Laura Marano x Avan Jogia crossover is something we never knew we needed! What was it like working with him?

Avan is just so lovely! The whole cast is really special, and I’m very thankful to be working with everyone!! But yes, Avan and I have definitely bonded over the experience of being on a kids show involving music – I mean, how could we not?!

Most of your recent projects have been romance or rom-com movies. What do you think draws you to this genre of film?

I mean, a lot of rom-coms are the comfort movies I watch when I need a pick-me-up (that and a few animated films), so I love the idea of cheering someone up or bringing joy or comfort to anyone who needs it. I’ve also really loved that the characters I’ve played in each of the films have felt quite different. The movies were romantic comedies, so they obviously were similar (it’s not a surprise that there is some sort of standard structure rom-coms usually follow), but each of the films had something special that made them distinct from one another, and that makes me very happy. 

What is the meaning behind your new single and what do you hope fans take away from it?

My new single “breakup song” is a play on the fact that, as a songwriter, you typically use your pain to create something, and though that can be a helpful outlet, it can feel a bit draining when you’re still healing from that pain. When I was at the beginning of my breakup with someone I cared about very deeply, I constantly would get people telling me I’m about to write the most amazing songs, and I thought about how unworthy of a consolation prize that was…and then I wrote one of my favorite songs about that. That irony is not lost on me.

Do you have a favorite lyric from your new single?

I love the second verse. The lyric is “Have trouble sleeping, thoughts of you keep me awake. Ideas won’t stop, wish I had writer’s block about you.” I was very excited to get the phrase “writer’s block” in this song. But honestly, I am so proud and in love with every lyric in this song, and beyond excited for fans to hear it!

Get tickets to Laura Marano’s The Us Tour here:

Laura Marano’s new single, “breakup song,” is out now.