Lola Colette’s music career started earlier than most, but she’s found her own peace and true voice through nature, grounding, and support from others.
Lola Colette grew up in Laurel Canyon, where she spent her childhood and teenage days following a hidden and unpaved pathway to a mountain across the street that overlooked Los Angeles, right across from her secluded home at the top of a hill. Learning early on the power of meditation and journaling in her special hideout, Lola developed an unwavering sense of self that has since transformed her love of nature into an ethereal and dreamy musical persona. Lola is now a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist whose music fuses pop, rock, folk, and bossa nova.
That persona wasn’t born overnight, though- it blossomed over time from years of hard work that started quite early. When Lola was 5 years old, her parents signed her up for piano lessons. There were times when she struggled to find the joy and freedom she was searching for (and found in nature) amidst the discipline of classical piano. Lola studied with her piano teacher, Ganna, for 12 years and credits the former teacher, now friend, for pushing her to persevere and find the magic that she had never before connected with.
“There were moments when I wanted to quit and didn’t enjoy it as much…Ganna changed her teaching style and would incorporate stories and nature. So when I was starting to feel like I didn’t have my own voice, Ganna helped me find it.”
Ganna, along with Lola’s vocal coach Julia Gregory, and Lola’s dad, Tyler Bates, all saw something special in Lola and played pivotal roles in her becoming the well-rounded musician she is today.
Lola’s early glimpses of professional musicianship continued. At age 12, Lola recorded at Capitol Records and was credited as a pianist for the feature film, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1. She then went on to perform with the London Symphony at Abbey Road Studios for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II, where she contributed as a colorist and session player for the film at age 15. She mentions during this era, she was absorbing so many different genres from the Beatles to Elton John to Yes to her all-time fave Joni Mitchell, all preferably on Vinyl. Her relationship with vinyl records fostered her musical ear.
By age 18, Lola picked up bass and guitar and had truly mastered the piano. She spent three years living in Nashville, studying music business and production at Belmont University. After being asked to join as the opener for Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains’ Brighten US tour, she moved back to Los Angeles last September a seasoned road musician at the age of 21. She shares always having a soft spot for LA due to its bountiful pockets of nature; being back has gifted her a deep feeling of belonging.
Her debut EP Loveland is set to drop in the late summer though you can hear her playing tunes from the record with her band around LA. The EP is promising as a debut could be. Lola’s melodies never take the easy route which is refreshing to the ear. She loves to play with dissonance in her chords and melodies and the unpredictability of where she may go vocally or instrumentally make for a one-of-a-kind listening experience. Lola’s vocals are up there with her spectacular instrumental capabilities- she has a wisdom and a soothing quality to her tone that pulls you in and makes you feel cradled. If Lola had to pick a color to describe her music, she mentions blue, purple, and dark red which she explores often in her creative work as a painter.
Focusing on Lola’s process, a lot of her music starts with piano, bringing her back to those early-set roots.
“I have a very spiritual connection with the piano. It’s like a friend you can always go to and she’ll always respond.”
Speaking of spirituality, Lola seeps her own tea every morning and hydrates, repeating a self-written mantra daily. Based on all Lola has learned and experienced so far, her future is absolutely luminous and when her new music drops, we will all hear why.