Aimee Lovett Sommer, champion of collaboration, is the powerhouse front woman of the band Loretti. Read on and you will discover her way with words extends well beyond her songwriting. See her this Saturday's at CGCM's LA show at The Hotel Cafe!
CGCM: How do your Texas roots affect your music life in Los Angeles?
Aimie: Ironically, I never really embraced my southern heritage musically until I moved to Los Angeles in 2010. The few years prior to my move I was aware of the influences of my youth on my songwriting, but viewed it as an obstacle rather than platform. When I arrived in Los Angeles I experienced a personal epiphany, one that sent me on a path of going with the flow rather than resisting who I was at my core. Suddenly I found myself sinking deeply into the most fundamental sounds and voices I could recall from my childhood. Voices like Marty Robbins, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, John Denver, and Linda Rondstat (whose style and versatility is my strongest influence). The harmonies of gospel groups like The Statler Brothers also took up so much space in my music archive that it was inescapable. I discovered that for me as an artist, finding my way home meant a deliverance from angst when it came to songwriting.
CGCM: Tell us about your company Softer Sex Productions.
Aimie: Softer Sex Productions was born from conversations about the struggles for female and femme artists between Rose Shawhan, a dear friend and fellow musician, and myself. We realized that to accomplish any changes in the community we had to be part of the movement to alter the community by assisting Female artists in booking and playing desirable venues in Los Angeles. We attended a couple of the PLAG workshops, and were inspired to get to know every female artist in LA, grow our network, and also grow an audience that was purely seeking out talented and deserving Performers. Our shows are designed to be beneficial for both the audience and the artists. We strive for a positive experience for all involved, including the venues.
CGCM: If you could give a piece of advice to new female artists just starting out, what would it be?
Aimie: I have a couple of things that I really wish I had known a few years ago. For one, write! Start writing music, keep writing music, and never stop writing music. Don't let a bad song stop you from writing! We have music in us, some of it works for stage and some of it doesn't, but you have to materialize it to know for sure. Write every line and thought that you have down, develop everything into a melody, make voice memos constantly. Build your library because even if it doesn't seem "good" now, it may be useful in a new project later on. Save all of those jewels from your life!
Secondly, I'd say go to shows. Don't even think about it if you have to go alone. Just go to every show in your area that you can. Introduce yourself to musicians, venue staff, bookers, and fans. The more visible you are in your community the easier it is to find your people. Community works! I don't mean tedious or fake "networking", I mean be true to yourself and go where you will find your kindred spirits in the music world. As a musician you will need so much support. Band members, writing partners, photographers, videographers, sound engineers, producers, booking agents, etc, they all gather together and you should be there too. Face to face meeting is becoming a lost art, and it can be so meaningful when you share interests and goals.
CGCM: What's next?
Aimie: With our recently released Single, Congratulations, we hope to make the rounds early spring in search of our Audience. Social Media promotion can only get you so far. Loretti is a unique sound that I find hard to describe, so the best way to grow our fanbase is to let music lovers see us. We will be playing several LA venues in early 2020 and anticipate a release of our EP sometime in late spring. We are currently working on video content as well. In the New Year I plan to go back to the studio with Mike Post at MooseCat Recording Studios, to record some covers and new Loretti songs. Mike co-produced the new single and upcoming EP and I cannot express what an asset and joy he is to work with! I've know Mike for a few years and have found the perfect partner for the Loretti sound landscaping. I also plan to work with Ainjel Emme at Box of Joy, recording and building on some other potential projects. Ainjel is an inspirational Female Figure in LA, both as a trail-blazer and a mentor. She also happens to be one of the most genuine and generous women I've ever met.
Photo by BKM Photography