Lauren Bruns, a New Orleans girl, had the love of music instilled in her from an early age. With a pianist/composer father, the sounds of James Booker, Billy Joel, and the Mamas and the Papas, accompanied her childhood. As an early teen, Lauren became the lead singer of an oldies cover band, ‘The Prescriptions’, performing on stages throughout the Quarter. She later attended the University of Texas in Austin, where she began her solo career as a singer/songwriter developing residencies at several music venues on the world-renowned 6th Street. By the time she reached Los Angeles in 2003, Lauren was a seasoned performer with an arsenal of original music. She was signed to a demo deal with SONY Records after winning V05’s Red Hot Rising Star contest in 2006.
In 2007, with major changes in the music industry, Lauren decided to get out of the recording world and forge a new musical path. With a love of children and years devoted to working in childcare, Lauren decided to offer something close to her heart to the kids in Los Angeles – songwriting. Most music schools offered instrument lessons, but none gave kids the ability to express themselves through their own songs. Over the course of two years, Lauren worked with children in homes and schools to develop a curriculum that made it easy and fun to understand the fundamentals of writing a song. In 2011, with demand building, Lauren is opening her first kids-only songwriting studio, Sessions Songwriting and Music, in Santa Monica, where she offers a range of group and private classes in songwriting, as well as guitar, voice and piano.
Lauren lives in Hollywood with her screenwriter husband, Blake, and their son, Wyatt.
Natalie Angiuli is an independent singer/songwriter from New York City. A recent theatre/songwriting graduate of the University of Southern California, Natalie is so excited to be a part of the Sessions team! Prior to her adventures in Los Angeles, Natalie studied voice at the prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music & Arts and Performing Arts (the “Fame” school) in New York City. A classically trained pianist and vocalist, Natalie spent the end of her high school career exploring new territory: songwriting. She began writing songs at 16 and played her first show in 2007 at a small coffeehouse in Staten Island. Upon graduation in 2008, she departed for the west coast to attend USC and to explore the musical landscape of Los Angeles.
During her time at USC, Natalie studied theatre (starring in numerous shows such as “Spring Awakening” and “Tommy”) while mastering the art of songwriting in the inaugural class of the USC Popular Music program. As a songwriting student of Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester and Tony Award winning writer Jason Robert Brown, Natalie spent hours studying the craft and construction of original music. In this time, she self-released two records and toured the state of California with her band. Natalie’s songs have been featured as recommended picks on the front pages of both iTunes and Spotify; her music can be heard on E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians & Married to Jonas, as well as MTV’s Jersey Shore, Real World/Road Rules, The Buried Life, and numerous other primetime television programs. Natalie’s tunes have received airplay on several radio stations around the country including KVRX Austin, KXSC Los Angeles, KRUZ Santa Barbara, and KPRI San Diego. Constantly in the internet spotlight, she’s been featured numerous times on Hellogiggles.com, a site co-founded by Zooey Deschanel that seeks to provide a positive internet environment for driven young women in entertainment. Her most recent collaboration, “No Sleep,” with DJ/Producer Felix Cartal (Dim Mak Records) earned her a reputation as an upcoming indie starlet in the dance music community, with public praise for her performance from EDM superstars such as Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and Wolfgang Gartner. She is currently working on a release with Atlantic Records/Warner Music Group, several collaborations with a number of professional songwriters, and touring plans with her band.
In addition to her teaching and artist project, Natalie currently works as a top-line songwriter for several major top 40 pop and dance acts. A dedicated teacher at Sessions by day and a hardworking singer/songwriter by night, Natalie performs regularly in the LA and NYC areas, frequenting venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Hotel Café, The House of Blues, The Roxy, The Living Room, The Bitter End, the Knitting Factory and many others. Her latest record, “New Hands,” is available for download on iTunes and at www.natalieangiuli.com.
Natalie is thrilled to be teaching singing, songwriting, guitar, and piano at Sessions Songwriting!
Shani is a Los Angeles native singer/songwriter that began playing piano at the age of 7. Years later, she graduated from USC’s Thornton School of Music in jazz piano, songwriting, and composing, and went on to receive a teaching credential and Masters in Music Education from USC’s Rossier School of Music. In her undergraduate years, she also helped pioneer the prestigious Popular Music Program led by Chris Sampson, and received the Popular Music Department Award for excellence in her field upon graduation.
In 2009, Shani released her self-recorded and self-produced, album “Warm Rain”, and toured the West Coast with fellow singer/songwriter Amanda Holmes. Shani’s ability to combine relatable, heartfelt lyrics and catchy, unique melodies captivated her audiences and helped turn these listeners into the beginnings of a growing fan base.
After 3 West Coast tours, numerous shows in L.A. and abroad, and with the release of her studio album “Merry Go Round” in 2012, Shani continues to perform as a featured artist at the world famous Universal Citywalk in Hollywood. She feels truly blessed to share the 5 Towers Citywalk mainstage with artists such as Cee-lo Green, Colbie Callait, and Carly Rae Jepsen, and recently, to perform at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and the legendary Village Studios in Los Angeles. In addition, she is an officially endorsed artist for Artists in the Plus, one of the most prominent Google+ groups (with over 1.6 million followers) that is dedicated to hosting and promoting live shows for up and coming artists. In September 2013, Shani was selected as the winner of the Artists in the Plus Val Garay Recording Contest, and will be recording with the legendary producer (Elton John, James Taylor, Marvin Gaye) this coming year. She was also was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Unsigned Only songwriting competition, and a Regional Finalist in the 2013 Mountainstage Newsong Contest. Her tune “Perfect Sky” can be heard in the new indie film Mordy to the Max, and her song “Why Did We Let Go” will soon be making its debut in the indie short film World’s Apart.
As a teacher, Shani has 3+ years of experience teaching music in the classroom and privately for K-12th grade as well as early childhood, focusing on choir/glee club, songwriting, keyboard, guitar, and music appreciation. Shani is so excited to be teaching at Sessions Songwriting!
Philip Labes is an independent music and theatre artist in Los Angeles. A graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts and the Thornton School of Music, he is fascinated by the connection between music and storytelling, and believes songwriting is a noble and heroic craft! Classically trained on piano, Philip has also studied under internationally renown voice teacher Jeff Allen and Grammy Award winning guitarist Andy Abad, making Philip a multi-instrumentalist that teaches Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Voice, and even a dash of Ukulele here and there.
Philip has over ten years of childcare experience, starting at a young age as an apprentice to his mother’s professional childcare business. Teaching music since he was practically a kid himself, Philip has worked for over seven years with students in Florida as part of Interact Studios, a program for elementary and middle school students to discover their love of storytelling through musical projects and approachable games.
Philip is also an entertainer of renown in television & film.. This year he was a featured performer in the mid-season return of “Marvel’s Agents of Shield” and last year made a guest appearance on “The Mindy Project.” Later this year, Philip stars in a film opposite Anthony Rapp (star of the hit movie-musical “RENT”.) Philip continues to mentor students in how to navigate the convoluted LA entertainment scene.
Philip’s first EP “G-G-Ghost!” appeared on iTunes and Spotify in late 2014 with a 2015 release on the horizon. The EP received praise from the music community as “a true standout […] a summer earworm.” The music video for the single “Hero” featured Philip dancing around a college campus in a cape! Philip encourages his students to put their hearts into their music, to be as silly and goofy as they want, and most of all to have fun.
More thoughts and music at www.PhilipLabes.com