Laura Marano

After nearly 8 years of creation, Laura Marano is finally ready to share her debut album, i may be an actress, but i can’t fake how i feel with the world. Combining recent compositions with songs written years ago, Marano encompasses her entire career in one project. Officially launching her music career in 2016 with the nostalgic Boombox, she has released a steady stream of singles and EPs over the years, showcasing her growth from Disney channel starlet to an accomplished musician. 

Marano has curated the perfect aesthetic for the album, paying homage to old Hollywood in her album art and visuals. She recently performed a string of shows in New York City at the Midnight Theatre, and brought the aesthetic to her live shows, as well. Taking the stage in a glamorous evening gown and elbow length gloves each night, her dedication to her artistry shined through her performances.

The record will be released in September, and Marano is gearing up to drop the first single since the album announcement. Brand New Heart, releasing August 25th, is a nostalgic concoction with a booming chorus that somehow perfectly launches Laura Marano into her new era, while still holding onto the sound that got her there. 

Ahead of the album release, 1883 Magazine sits down with Laura Marano to chat about the highly anticipated debut album, what motivates her to create, and everything in between.


You’re currently gearing up to release your first single since announcing your album, how are you feeling about it?

I am super excited. I went on tour last year, and I had a few unreleased songs that I really loved, that I knew would be on the album. I performed them at my shows, and fans really embraced them. A few of those songs I’ve been releasing over the course of the year. But, yes, what’s really exciting about this single is that it’s the first one since the album announcement. This album is very vulnerable, very emotional, very sad. As you know, if you’ve heard Brand New Heart, it is not really any of those things. It’s happy, it’s upbeat. There’s a promise of being this new person that you’ve become, a new version of yourself. I think it’s going to be a really fun one for fans to embrace before they cry all of their feelings out when the album’s out. 


Oh, definitely. I’d love to hear a bit more about Brand New Heart and how it all came together. Like you said, it’s more of an upbeat song but I feel as though it still is very honest. It still fits into those album themes.

Yeah! You know, what’s so funny is that I’ve been working on this album for essentially 8 years. I was signed to a label back in 2015 and 2016, which is when I wrote Brand New Heart, crazy enough. I wrote a bunch of songs, an important bunch of songs. A lot of songs that I didn’t record at the time, I feel like that’s a bit indicative of the label experience for young women in pop music. There is definitely, for lack of a better word, a bit of pressure to also record songs that you didn’t write. I love Brand New Heart because that is one I did write, and it felt very raw and honest to myself. But still, to your point, upbeat and fun.

I ended up not staying at that label, went to another label, and Brand New Heart kind of got shelved. I then became independent, and put out a bunch of new music that I had written at that time. It wasn’t until I was working on this actual, official debut album that I was reminded of some songs of the past. I also had sent a few songs for an opportunity to have them featured on something, and Brand New Heart kept coming up. It was a song that, weirdly, I felt resonated with me way more now than it did when I wrote it in 2015. It just felt like, in the context of this album, it was exactly what it needed. It’s, again, raw and honest, talking about being hurt. But, it’s talking about it in an upbeat way that I think this album really needed. 


It feels like a really good song for stepping into a new era. 

Yes! 100%.



Like you said, you’re a writer, and you’re credited as a writer on a lot of your songs. Could you tell me a bit about your writing process?

Yeah! It changes all the time, which isn’t a unique thing to say. I typically start with lyrics, but not always. Sometimes I do melody first, sometimes it comes at the same time. More often than not, I’ll have a concept or idea that I really love, and I’ll go forth and conquer based on that. When I was first writing songs, back in the day, I would just write them acapella or write them on piano. A lot of these songs that are on the album were written on piano, and again, kind of different each time. Sometimes I start with chords and write around it, or have a lyric and make a melody based on that. Sometimes I’ll have the melody and lyric, and just find out what chords work best for that. Everything’s a little bit different. I think I was very inspired to write this album, and it first originated during my breakup where I ended up writing an EP called the Us EP. But, I had all these other songs that I really loved that didn’t make sense for that EP. But that was kind of the deciding factor, when I decided I was going to release a debut album.


Totally. I love the title, it really encapsulates the album themes of vulnerability and honesty. How did you settle on i may be an actress, but i can’t fake how i feel as the title for your debut album?

I was so nervous, to be honest. Obviously it’s so long, and I was like, I can’t name the album this… right? Some people I would talk to were very supportive, and others not as much. I always do the thing where I over explain it before I say it. Half the people would say it’s incredible, the other half would say it’s way too long. I knew I wanted to name my album an iteration of that sentence/lyric. How it originated was from a lyric that I was writing, I remember the moment so clearly. I was in the garage of my apartment building, getting in my car. I was thinking about a lot of things, and that lyric popped up. I was obsessed with it.

I then planned my whole album aesthetic around it. Some of the songs I released earlier, I decided to do this classic Hollywood theme. Each artwork essentially paid homage to an incredible actress that I look up to. I did an Audrey Hepburn look, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor… As the months progressed and I continued to work on the album, I just felt that it was lame if I tried to cut the title in half. Like if I called it “I May Be An Actress…” or “I Can’t Fake How I Feel”, it just didn’t say what I wanted it to say. The only thing that encapsulated what I wanted to say was the entire sentence. 


I’ve seen some videos of your recent NYC shows, and onstage you were wearing these beautiful evening gowns and long gloves. Are you bringing that old Hollywood aesthetic into your live show as well?

Yes, I was! Yes, exactly. I decided to go hard with the theme all year.


It translates really well to the stage as well. So, how did the creation process for this album differ from your previous projects? Like you said, you’ve been working on it for so long, how did it all end up piecing together?

At its core, it’s a concept album. It’s definitely very stream of consciousness in terms of my feelings, hence the title. It’s about my career, my identity, my relationships. All of these things affect each other, and when I say it like that, it feels obvious. Sometimes, the most obvious things in life don’t really hit you until after the fact. When I was writing my last EP… I essentially had a trilogy of EPs that I was very excited to put out. All of those EPs were written around basically the same relationship. When I was writing for the EP, my career sort of came up. I have found, in most of my relationships, that it’s such a hard career to date in. For a variety of reasons. It got me thinking about it, beyond just affecting my relationships. I continued to include songs I wrote about the relationship, then all of a sudden there were songs that were just about me.

I have a song called Boundaries that is essentially about navigating how to set boundaries in my life, which has been really hard for me because of my career. I also think that’s something that people outside of the entertainment industry can identify with. I really wanted to include interludes as well. 7 of the songs on the album are interludes. They are even more raw and personal explorations, or reflections, on my career and life in general. And how my identity has been affected over the past year of doing what I do. It’s a really all encompassing album, it truly has been years in the making. This year, of course, was the most purposeful and most of the songs were written in the last two years. It’s definitely been all encompassing, in terms of me creating it.


Definitely. Do you have a favorite memory from the creation process? Was there a particular session or moment that stood out?

For sure. To be honest with you, there was something in the air. This has been the weirdest year, really hard. I just feel like, to no one’s fault, a lot of making this album was really hard. I felt really lost in the process. It wasn’t how I expected this process to go. When I dreamed of writing my debut album, I dreamed that I would feel really sure of myself. It wasn’t until recently, after those New York shows that you mentioned, I went to Nashville to finish the interludes. I was there for a week just working on those songs. It was truly some of the most fun I had. To be quite honest, it’s because the songs are really weird and creative. They are very much not typical songs, they have sound effects… we went weird. I loved it. It felt so creative, and like it brought the whole album together. It was around the end of June or beginning of July. It wasn’t until that moment that I really felt that sureness and fun that I had been seeking in the process.


Totally, it sounds like it was a really good form of self expression.



Have you felt that making this record has been therapeutic for you in any way?

Yeah, it has. I think it was that specific week. Leading up to it, a few of these songs… Sometimes when you write about your experience, it can get a little too raw. When I was writing right after my breakup, it didn’t feel therapeutic at that moment. It felt too present. But, finishing those songs, and writing new ones that were more reflective, it 100% felt like closure.



Absolutely. You’ve been releasing music since 2016, how do you feel that your sound has evolved over time?

So much. I first put out Boombox, which I am still proud of. I love that song. Definitely way more in the pop realm, very much in that genre. From there to now, I’ve gotten way more in touch with a singer/songwriter vibe. That’s what I enjoy listening to, and what I like to write. There are still pop songs on the album, for sure. Like Brand New Heart, one of the most upbeat songs on the album. I think a lot of the songs I’ve put out this past year… I put out all of the happy songs. Every other song on the album is not like that, very sad and emotional. I definitely feel that my writing in general… I leaned more into singer/songwriter which I really love. I think it more represents the kind of music I want to put out.


For sure. Do you feel that your motivation has changed over the years? What inspires you to keep creating these days?

That is such a good question! I’ve been independent since 2018, and it’s hard. It’s a hard road. For me, I’ve been so focused on this album. This album has 23 songs, it truly has my blood, sweat and tears. Blood metaphorical, sweat and tears literal. It’ll be nice to live in the moment, instead of wondering what the next thing is. I’ve been doing that ever since I’ve been releasing music. You work on something, and even before you release it, you’re looking towards the next thing. For the first time in my music career, I am just focusing on this album. To be totally transparent, I think I’m yearning for a bit of a break. I feel so strongly that I want this piece of work to be out, but I don’t know what the future holds or what the next step is. I’m really proud of this album, and so excited for it to be out. It really does feel like a culmination of the last few years and what I’ve been working towards.


It almost feels like it would be somewhat of a weight off your shoulders. You’ll be able to breathe for a second.

For sure, 100%. I keep getting closer to that easy breath, like when the album was finished. I agree with you, though. I think it won’t be until it’s officially out that the deepest of breaths will be taken.


Absolutely. Back last year, when you were touring, I saw some videos of your show on my Tik Tok feed. It looked so high energy, so fun. Can you tell me a bit about your live shows and what makes them so special for you?

Yeah! Those shows were so fun because they were so intimate. It was my first tour ever. I was hoping to go on tour in 2020, obviously that didn’t happen. So, I had no idea what to expect from this tour. It was so ambitious, 22 cities, a van tour. I got COVID in the middle of it! It was so hard, so exhausting. Some cities did great, some cities not so much. Even with all of that, it legitimately was some of the best times of my life. It was really special for me to realize, I had no idea how I was going to feel. I had performed one off shows a few times, over the years. I felt like all the times I performed, I didn’t really have music out. I never had that experience of people singing my music back to me.

This time around, that was what was so special. I think people were a bit older than I anticipated, I had wondered if I would only get kids. I was going to be thankful for whoever came, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was more college students. A lot of people knew the music, and there’s no feeling like someone singing back lyrics that you wrote. I think the high energy parts of the show were so fun because I was jumping around the stage and singing my heart out, but my favorite moments were the more intimate parts of the show. Me on the piano, singing ballads I wrote, and people singing them back. There is no way to describe that feeling.


That’s where you can truly see that you’ve made a tangible impact on people, which is amazing.

Totally! I literally had never experienced that. It was my first time performing songs that people have heard, and connected with.


In addition to your music career, you are obviously also a successful actress. How have you learned to balance the two over the years?

It’s hard, it just is. Each one is a full time job. I think I’m still figuring out that balance. There have been times where one took precedence over the other, like during COVID. There was no way to act. The touring industry was obviously not happening, but you could still write and release music. You could perform on a live stream. For the first time, I was able to just focus on music. In a weird way, kind of a similar situation currently. When I’m filming, I still try to do weekly meetings about my music, which was really hard. I made a point to do it because I didn’t want to stop any momentum. The last few films that I’ve done are such a blur. It’s definitely hard, but I only do it because I love it. 


It’s like an ebb and flow, absolutely. My last question here, to wrap up, is what do you hope that listeners take away from this album?

I hope that it gets them in touch with their feelings, in a way that I think that we not only downplay our feelings, but wish them away. I know I have. This album is very specific to my experience, which scared me at first. I am talking about what I face in the industry. Obviously, a lot of listeners aren’t in the industry, so I wondered if it would be relatable to them. But when I listened to the album, I realized it’s more about how feelings, as hard as they are to have in our lives, they make us grow. That’s the only way we can keep going, by feeling. I hope it reaches someone at the right place and right time, where they can realize it’s okay to feel and take a moment for themselves.


Interview Brigid Young

Photography Julie Pacino

Lighting Technician Aron Meinhardt

Styling Joaquin Aristides Flores

Makeup Melissa Bedi

Hair Matilde Campos

You don't have permission to register