“My time at Montclair State has been very valuable. Not only valuable because of my major, but valuable because of the people who I networked with,” says Lauren D’Imperio ’14, a talented singer, songwriter, blogger and alumna of Montclair State University. Lauren graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Arts. A talented singer, singing since the age of two, she notes that upon entering college, her parents discouraged her from going into music. “My parents are both very supportive, yet my dad didn’t want me to go through the ups and downs that an artist would go through, being that he’s an artist himself,” says Lauren. She explains her choice for choosing Communication and Media Arts as her major. “Going to school for communication has put me on a different level,” she says. She feels that her communication background gives her an edge.
Driven by her passion, Lauren and a few of her colleagues are addressing the issues going on with rising artists not being paid fairly for their work due to the digital age, streaming, and free music hosting sites. “I don’t go into a pizza store and take a slice; that would be considered stealing. The same goes for music in terms of stealing an artist’s song,” says Lauren. She and her colleagues decided to create their own organization called #ProtectOurFutures. This organization is a movement by artist for artist, and anyone who creates content for the Internet, to have their work protected. “I’m looking to really make a difference. The goal of the organization is to promote artist rights, raise awareness on issues of Internet piracy and Internet safety, and to pay it forward by getting involved with local charities. We’re all about the artist,” she explains.
The grass roots organization is still growing and plans to expand its awareness on Internet policy. As of now, they are supported in New York, Georgia, and other areas, and are now trying to get more involved in their community. Lauren and her colleagues plan to reach out to local schools and raise awareness with the younger generation.
Not only does Lauren have big plans for her organization, but her plans for her future are even bigger. Currently, she performs both as a soloist and with vocal ensembles and bands in churches and other venues. She is also teaching herself how to play two instruments: the guitar and piano. Lauren is also taking voice lessons with Valarie Van Hoven, a faculty member at the John J. Cali school of Music at Montclair State. Now don’t think Lauren has forgotten about her Montclair State family…She sure hasn’t! Since 2012, she has been actively involved in Montclair State’s renowned choral program. Under the direction of Director of Choral Activities Dr. Heather Buchanan, Lauren has had the opportunity to sing in spectacular venues such as NJPAS, The Theatre at MSG, Carnegie Hall, and last winter, traveled to London with Vocal Accord. Currently, she is a member of “Prima Voce”, an all-female project choir where she comes to campus for rehearsals, and she is looking forward to being involved in future projects. “I’m here on this earth to sing, as political as it may or may not sound. I was destined to sing,” she says.