In our Artist Spotlight series we have a chance to talk with feature.fm artists about their inspirations and favorite part of being an artist. This month we spoke with pop soul artist, Bago.

Check out our favorites by Bago:

Bago X Feature.fm

F: How did you get started?

B: My love for singing started very young. The first song I learned besides the Barney theme song was I Will Always Love You. I used to stop strangers at the mall, park, wherever to sing for them. No one would tell a 5 year old "No" ha. I grew up singing in church choir and through the high school choir. I went off to college in San Francisco and eventually moved back to Los Angeles. I asked a friend Alexander Spit to send me beats to try writing too. We later became roommates and wrote my first project, Sunday's Best. That was my first experience writing.

F: Who are your biggest musical influences / inspirations?

B: Dolly Parton has the kindest heart and a wild imagination. She is a wonderful writer, writing my first favorite song "I Will Always Love You". She has believable emotion in her vocal delivery and an authentic sincerity in her community service. There is no greater song that I relate to more than "Just Because I'm A Woman". She's the ultimate girl boss. What other female entertainer has her own amusement park, Dollywood in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee creating thousands of jobs for her community? She has a program sending books to children in Tennessee who's family cannot afford them. Dolly Parton is an angel. Johnny Cash. Oh Johnny Cash. What a stud and an incredible story teller. The attitude. My father was a huge Johnny Cash fan. It played at his funeral. I have many fond memories working in the garage or driving in his red Ford truck listening to Johnny Cash. I think the world would have been very different if we never had a man do it like Johnny. When I think of the term "Often Imitated. Never Duplicated", I think of Johnny Cash.
Etta James with her list of hits that make you want to fight and cry. I tell you, she had that kind of soul that makes you blush and hide behind your eyes. You listen to her voice and your body starts to sweat, blood starts to boil. You don't know wether to call a lover or grab the bottle. That woman had something that is unexplainable. A true gift of god.

Amy Winehouse knew pain and she knew how to sing the blues. She was real and you heard it in her voice. Her voice was flawlessly gritty in all the right ways. She lived the words she sang and I thank her for her honesty.

Mahalia Jackson. Her cadence in the delivery of the gospel is unparalleled. You wait for every word and you know she's going to serve it to you. She had the most beautiful vibrato I have ever heard.

I can't not cry when I think about Whitney Houston. Bless her sweet sweet heart. I would not be the same person I know today if I never heard Whitney.

F: Where does the name BAGO come from / what does it mean?

B: Lolo is a common nickname for Lauren. As a baby, my Grandfather called me Lolobagogo. Over the years, friends and family kept calling me BAGO.

F: What message are you trying to send in your music?

B: Love and forgiveness. Love and forgive yourself. Love and forgive others. Live happy. Live inspired. Curate the life you want for yourself. Don't let anyone take away your happiness. Don't let anyone pass on their pain to you. Take "No" and embrace it. It helps you find yourself so you get the "Yes" you actually want.

F: What has been your biggest success/challenge in your musical career?

B: My biggest success is being able to wake up every morning and sing whatever and however I feel like. Being able to create anything I please. Having the freedom to let my imagination take me anywhere I want. My biggest challenge has been said that I have too many ideas. Sure, I understand that some may not have been able to see my vision. My greatest challenge has only helped me find a team of visionaries who don't believe a singer can only be a singer. A team that respects me as a woman with a voice to make a change and do things different. I am beyond blessed to be able to work with individuals that see me different than some of the eyes I've seen in the music industry.

F: What artists/music are you currently listening to?

B: This last week in NY I have been listening to Rihanna, Anderson .Paak, Etta James and Tame Impala.

F: What is your most memorable moment from a tour or show so far?

B: Every show has a different energy and all memorable for different reasons. I'm just glad to be singing.

F: What advice would you give to other artists?

B: Respect others while you create a world that you feel you fit into. Keep doing whatever you feel called to do and don't let a room of bullies change your mind.

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