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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 27 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 52
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Hometown girl Mary Lambert sets her sights on bright future

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

If 2013 belonged to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, maybe 2014 will be the year of Mary Lambert.

The Seattle-born singer-songwriter gained international attention when she penned and sang the chorus of the mega hit 'Same Love,' earning a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year and an MTV VMA statue for Best Video with a Social Message.

Not shabby for a young woman who graduated from Cornish College of the Arts a short time ago.

Lambert now embarks on her own musical journey, releasing a brand new four-song EP entitled Welcome to the Age of My Body, which hit record stores last week. She'll perform February 1 at The Showbox Market.

Having just returned home, I spoke with the musician by phone at her home in Belltown. Here's what the talented, Grammy-nominated Mary Lambert had to say inside The Music Lounge.

Albert Rodriguez: Do you know yet if you're performing on the Grammy telecast?

Mary Lambert: We're not totally sure yet. But I hope so; it would be unbelievable, if we could. I'm just thankful to be nominated.

Rodriguez: Have you picked out an outfit for the Grammys?

Lambert: I'm working with an incredible designer, someone from Seattle, and she's making me the most amazing dress. It's amazing!

Rodriguez: Who's making the trip to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony?

Lambert: My mom is my plus one. My mom's partner will be there, and my girlfriend.

Rodriguez: Your new EP was just released. Does this lead into the release of a full-length that will come out later?

Lambert: This is sort of like a sneak peek of what I do. The full-length - hopefully, we'll have it wrapped up by May or June. I am feeling really, really good about the project and I'm really proud of what we came up with.

Rodriguez: How did the collaboration with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on 'Same Love' happen?

Lambert: We have a mutual friend, Hollis Wong-Wear, and she's a really good friend of mine and helped them on their record. They were sort of stuck on the chorus. They had a completed song, except for the chorus, and they had tried a bunch of people and asked a bunch of people, and no one wanted to touch it.

So, my friend Hollis called and asked if I wanted to take a shot and I said 'definitely.' They sent me the track that day. I had about three hours with it and I just reflected on what I wanted to say, and what I wanted to say is that all love is incredibly fulfilling and I wanted to invoke that certain emotion into the song.

Rodriguez: 'Same Love' was widely embraced by the LGBT community. But, were you surprised with its acceptance by straight mainstream America?

Lambert: Totally, it was honestly unexpected. My vision was that it would take off in Washington state, that it would be a big local hit and then be really popular in the LGBT community and maybe on college or university radio. That's what I had planned on. And then it just snowballed, and when we did Ellen I thought, 'This is just crazy!' When it hit radio, that was double crazy, and when it hit hip-hop radio it was way, way beyond anything that anyone thought it would be.

Rodriguez: For The Showbox performance, will you have a full band, a trio, or will it just be you on stage?

Lambert: I'm still sorting it out in my head, but it won't just be me solo, and whatever it is, it'll be magnificent.

Rodriguez: You're a Seattle girl, born and raised. When you're away from home, what do you miss the most besides family and friends?

Lambert: Yeah, family and friends is number one. But number two is really good coffee. It's not an exaggeration. The Pacific Northwest in general, Seattle and Portland, you can get some really good coffee when you're home. But when you're away, it sucks when you've only got Dunkin' Donuts or places like that, it's so sad.

I miss the coffee and I miss the climate, too. Being on tour you go through so much extreme climate change - like we were in Miami, which might have been around 80 degrees, and then we were in Columbus, Ohio, which was about 40 degrees. We went through those temperatures within a matter of 1 to 2 days; that's rough. We have such a mild temperate climate here, so I love that.

Rodriguez: What's the blueprint for 2014, now that you're embarking on a new chapter of your solo career?

Lambert: We're gonna push the EP and the single and start working on the full-length. I'm gonna be touring, as much as I can, hopefully do a full national tour, maybe international; and I would like to have my book published this year. I have a lot of things that I want to do [laughs], so it'll just be a matter of how much time I really have.

Rodriguez: What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Lambert: I'm dating a new girl and I'm going to be with her on the East Coast. I'm excited! It's the first New Year's that I haven't worked since I was 16.

Rodriguez: Do you have a special holiday greeting for Seattle Gay News readers?

Lambert: I hope that everybody has a Happy New Year! I wish everyone the best beautiful Christmas, holiday wishes in the world and I hope everybody gets to spend it with someone they like and that everybody has the best year!

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