with permission from Joey Amato
Meet Allana Rachel Zerrudo aka “Lana Blue” is a 22-year-old independent queer musician living New York City. She writes songs to make sense of life and sings them from the heart hoping her art resonates with people of all kinds. The Filipina-American artist enlisted the talented Derek Dunivan to produce the track, which is now available on all streaming platforms. “I work really hard to represent, uplift, and support the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities as well as LGBTQ community and all other BIPOC communities in every way I can.” Allana answers questions for readers of Adelante about her career and future goals.
When did you realize you wanted to be a musician?
Born and raised in New Jersey by a family of medical workers, I was always the black sheep of the family. No one in the family had a musical background. My mom always made jokes like “where did that come from?” I think it all started when Taylor Swift debuted in 2006 when I was 8 years old. I saw her video for “Teardrops on My Guitar” and instantly knew that was what I wanted to do. I asked my parents for a guitar, and I’ve been playing and writing music ever since!
Has Performing Been Difficult During COVID?
The past year has been challenging. I consider myself a bedroom pop artist who played school talent shows as a kid. As a young adult did a bunch of open mics down the Jersey shore and in NYC. Instead of college, I spent my last 4 years in NYC modeling and acting to gain confidence and build connections. Music was always the goal though. Running a career as an independent artist is a lot more than having talent, especially if you’re not born with connections. It’s being smart with finances, building a team, a brand, a social media following, attending workshops and networking on top of honing your craft. At the present age of 22, with my support system and the mental growth I’ve had after quarantine self-reflection, I finally feel ready to debut as an artist.
What is your favorite song/artist to cover live?
My favorite song to cover live is probably “Somebody Else” by The 1975. I remember being so in awe when I saw them live at Madison Square Garden. I came out of the closet literally that month, so their rainbow lights and aesthetically pleasing stage really stuck in my mind. Whenever I cover that song, I’m right back to that night. I love front man Matty Healy’s rocker stage presence with the band, but also how he can encapsulate a whole different energy solo with an acoustic guitar. It blows my mind how he can strip the same songs down to something so raw and heartbreaking.
Talk about the process of writing and recording “I Was Never Yours”
“I Was Never Yours” is a nostalgic lo-fi alternative-pop song relatable to anyone who lost an almost-lover. We all have that “one that got away” when we were younger. I wrote it about my first romantic experience with a girl ending abruptly. At the time I was a closeted cheerleader in high school. So, the girl and I had a “more than friends…but not together” kind of situation going on. She showed me a lot of the music that inspired my sound today. She was the first girl I ever loved, after hiding that part of myself for so long. It hit me hard when it ended before it officially started. Moping about her late one night, I wrote the lyrics to a lo-fi track on Soundcloud by Magnus Thompson “I’m Not Sad. I Just Made This for The People Who Are.”
Not long after I went to a Jon Bellion concert where I first saw my producer Derek Dunivan. (He was Jon’s guitarist that night.) Years later whilst in lockdown, I reached out to him and he agreed to produce for me. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to release as my first song… and realized everything I am today all comes back to that first girl. Because of her, today I am out and proud as a queer pop artist. So naturally, I chose to debut the song I wrote for her and hired a famous lesbian artist Jenifer Prince to create the cover art. I swear I’m over her though (maybe it still stings just a little).
When do you expect the album to be completed?
Summer 2022. It’s looking like it will be 13 tracks right now. Until then I’ll be pushing singles, music videos and maybe a surprise EP.
If there is one artist you would like to duet with, who would it be?
Definitely King Princess. I think our east coast indie alternative vibes would mesh well together.
What are your hobbies when you aren’t singing?
I was a cheerleader my whole life up until college. I dropped out after I made the team. I was like I can’t do this school/cheer thing for another four years. But today I still enjoy tumbling. I always joke that one day I’m gonna do some flips on the “Tonight Show”. I enjoy other flexibility-challenging workouts like Pilates, aerial yoga, and dancing. I also have a passion for thrifting and designing clothes. I want to start a gender-neutral clothing line.
I don’t really watch TV these days. If I do it’s something educational like documentaries or spirituality videos to expand my consciousness. I feel most at peace when close to the earth and animals, so I enjoy being around them. I garden, surround my house with lots of plants and have 4 dogs. I’m also a collector of random things like crystals and stones, vinyl. I just found an Elvis one I’ve been looking for called ‘The Sun Sessions’. It has my favorite cover of his Blue Moon.
What is your vision for your career? Who would you like to emulate?
My vision for my career is to be both a successful businesswoman, and artist like Rihanna. I want to be a power woman in the entertainment industry, but also start my own businesses. Right now, I am collaborating with several queer and BIPOC – run businesses regularly on Instagram. Two businesses you should check out which I plan to work with long-term are Outplay – which is a Miami gender neutral swimwear company, and Brooklyn-based Hustle + Flo which is a Latinx female run CBD product company. I am a proud pansexual Filipina-American and I want to represent and make my community proud. It’s important to me that my audience knows I am an advocate for equality, the planet, feminism, the LGBTQ rights and all other communities that need their voice amplified.
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