If Fleetwood Mac met Tupac, they might have sounded like Lani Renaldo

Alt-Rock doesn't even cover her style.

Good luck trying to classify Lani Renaldo’s music in one genre. The singer/songwriter has made her mark in the competitive LA music scene by fearlessly drawing from a collage of music genres. Elements of Motown, ‘90s hip-hop, the latest electronic music, and ‘70s rock ensure that millennials who take a listen will always experience a twist on the familiar tunes of their upbringing. Renaldo’s experimentations within her signature California rock sound has even caught the eye of pop singer Halsey. Neon asked the artist about her eclectic style and lessons she has learned in the beginning stages of her music career.

What songs bring you back to your childhood?

I was a really big *NSYNC fan when I was little, so “Bye Bye Bye” for sure, “Fergalicious” played a very prominent role in my childhood and “Decode” by Paramore as well. I have older siblings so I listened to anything they wanted, which usually was “Around The World” by Daft Punk and “Changes” by Tupac. As you can see, I had a very eclectic taste from very early on.

Describe why you decided to become a musician.

Music has been a constant factor in my life. Whether it was playing drums in bands or singing in school choirs, it’s been an outlet for me. When I realized I had potential to have a global reach and inspire people with my words, I knew that the lasting impact I wanted to leave in life was through my music. It was really a no-brainer.

Is there any piece of art that inspires you musically?

A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m actually really into art. I love Basquiat and Warhol, among a long list of others. I would have to say that Barbara Kruger’s work inspires me a lot. She does a lot of reflective work on power, identity and gender. I think for me, her work is just a reminder to make relevant and impactful music and to stay aware!

You had the cool opportunity to open up for Halsey last year. How did that opportunity come about and what is she like?

That was a really cool opportunity. I was asked to shoot a promotional video with her for Samsung and after shooting, we went to Westlake Studios. We wrote a song together and then she presented me with the chance to open for her at the Shrine! We had a really cool day together and she really opened my eyes up to the industry and people within it. I feel like I definitely learned a lot from her and the experience as a whole.

If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be?

Fleetwood Mac is my favorite band in the world, so to collaborate with Stevie Knicks or any of the members of the band would be a complete dream come true.

What is your favorite music video?

This is a tough one! Right now, I have to go with either Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” because it’s so well made and fierce. The confidence she carries herself with is absolutely ridiculous! Charli XCX’s “Boys” too because the song is super catchy and who doesn’t love cute boys dancing around?

What is your favorite meme?

How has studying at USC and being in LA impacted your music career?

I think being in LA and at USC has been incredibly beneficial to [my] career in music. I wouldn’t have met the people in my band had it not been for the USC industry/pop programs. The Shrine gig wouldn’t have been a possibility without the help of my friend from KXSC. College has served as a soundboard for testing new songs, showing ideas and has been a really collaborative space for me. I’ve been able to write and work with some really amazing people thanks to being at USC and with LA being the entertainment capital of the world, I’ve found my worlds overlapping all the time. In fact, Bram Inscore, one of the producers on my upcoming single is a USC alumnus!

Is there a Vine or a GIF that illustrates your daily mood?

If you could choose one song that describes your life, what would it be?

Haha! Only one? Well, I’d probably go with “Controversy” by Prince.

I’m a big fan of the instrumentals you use in your songs. “What I’ve Been Looking For” reminds me of classic oldies songs. Do you try to steer away from computer generated and electronic sounds?

Thank you! I think it all depends on the project and what I’m inspired by at the time. When I wrote that song, I was listening to a lot of Motown music. Of course, then, they didn’t have the technology we have now. At my core, I love guitars and huge bands, but for this upcoming EP, I decided to embrace pop and electronic music in a way that was authentic to me and my evolving sound!


If you could only use emojis to describe your single “Touch My Body,” what would they be?

What is the biggest lesson you have learned as you are breaking into the music industry? Also, if you could use a hashtag to describe your journey as a musician what would it be?

Treat everyone equally no matter who they are and what they do. Respect goes a long way and the music industry is very small. Being a new artist can be difficult. Despite the music industry changing, there are still practices that have gone on for too long. Be strong, believe in yourself and know that you don’t have to compromise yourself to do what you love. #RightPlaceRightTime #MeToo