As a pre-teen, I grew up not having a big female influence in my favorite genre, rock. Now, don’t get me wrong, Hayley Williams (Paramore) was the first woman in music that I looked up to. But I was really into hardcore/ metalcore and loved the different growls, screams and frys that made metal… metal. I was super into Suicide Season era Bring Me the Horizon and wanted to mimic Oli Sykes, but there was one problem: I grew up in a pretty religious household and anything outside of gospel music was pretty much banned in our family. So I decided to play it safe and stick to listening to them in secrecy with my headphones in.
It wasn’t until 2018 that I found this pretty cool band called CrazyEightyEight through YouTube. I was excited to see one of my favorite Youtubers, Jarrod Alonge, partner up with the vocalist of one of my favorite bands (As It Is), Patty Walters, on a project. With Jarrod on guitar and Patty on bass, I had no idea who the vocalist was, but I was more than happy to give their song “Shinebox” a listen. The second I heard her sing, I was impressed! What I didn’t expect was the growl that preceded it. I remember pausing the video just to rewind it and give those first few seconds another listen. After being blown away by another four minutes of her vocals, I did what anybody who finds a new interest does: RESEARCH! That is how I found one of my biggest influences, Lauren Babic.
Lauren is the vocalist for Toronto-based metal band Red Handed Denial and post-hardcore trio CrazyEightyEight. She’s accomplished so much within her 29 years on this planet and she puts 110% into what she does. The same day I discovered CrazyEightyEight, I watched almost all of her covers, with her collab cover of Volumes’ “Erased” being the one I watched the most. It’s still one of my favorite covers to this day. That’s also how I found K Enagonio, another amazing influence of mine! Feeling a spark ignite in me from feeling so inspired, I quickly decided to restart my pre-teen goal of learning how to properly do vocal frys.
The next day, I waited until I was home alone and began my journey – a short-lived journey, that is. I had no idea what I was doing and in the midst of just going for it without any proper training, I nearly destroyed my voice. Although I gave up on becoming the newest metal vocalist, I still admired Lauren not only because of her talent, but for her passion for what she does. Between fronting two bands, touring, recording an album, and still filming videos for her Youtube channel, her plate is full. But she is persistently making her presence known. I hope that other young womxn and nb folx can find solace in Lauren like I did, because the world needs more womxn in the hardcore/ metalcore scene.