After a nine-hour work day, she would head out to the studio to work on releasing her first ever single — with some studio sessions lasting from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.
“It was really a blur,” the Ball State alumna said about the work that went into producing the single.
After two weeks or 19 hours in total at the studio, Lauren Hall finally released her single “Rainy Day in the City” toward the end of May — a song about “being sad and heartbroken and crying to yourself in your room … but also moving on from it and coming out stronger.”
Hall’s first single comes after years of being passionate about singing while balancing it with her other passion — soccer. After transferring from the University of Arkansas, she played as a midfielder for Ball State Soccer.
While playing soccer at Ball State was “one of the coolest things in her life,” she found herself always singing — even performing the National Anthem for sports events at Ball State.
While Hall “struggled to balance” her two passions, she still managed to find time to squeeze in her musical interests — at times sneaking into Studebaker East to play the grand piano.
“It was tough because [being] a division one athlete — it’s almost like a job,” she said. “The only thing that really kept me going was my love for music.”
After graduating with a degree in advertising, she spent the summer at home before moving out west because it was “always a dream” of hers. She joined California State University Dominguez Hills for her masters and played Division II soccer for a while, before later becoming a graduate assistant coach for the team.
“It took me about a year and a half, two years to find my footing and get to singing again,” Hall said.
Today, she works as an executive assistant at a film marketing agency and resides in West Hollywood where she also performs at smaller club and hotel venues while also working as a server on weekends.
“I wanted to release music … I wanted people to take me seriously,” said Hall, who after giving up her money and with her family’s support found a producer in about two weeks with whom she recorded the single.
While music was her “true passion,” playing competitive soccer taught her perseverance, strength and her work ethic.
“I use a lot of the tools that I learnt in that part of my soccer career and put it towards my life and my music career,” Hall said. “No matter how many nos I got, no matter how many times I failed … I kept getting up and kept trying, whether it was soccer or music.”
Pat Quinn, deputy athletics director for compliance and operations, who knew Hall well, remembers her as an “exceptional soccer player” and “very talented as far as a singer was concerned, while still being “sincere” and “pleasant.”
“I was just totally impressed with her,” Quinn said. “Knowing that she was heavily committed to singing and heavily committed to soccer yet still able to be an outstanding student, I was always amazed at what she was able to do. She handled all of those challenges very, very well.”
He said Hall was someone who was totally focused and concentrated on whatever activity she was involved in at the time.
“I think she had a great talent of being able to do what was in the moment and make the full commitment to it,” Quinn said. “So, I couldn’t tell you she was better at one than the other because I think she was pretty dang on good at both.”
He said while coaches follow NCAA rules and limit their practice times accordingly, “they also expect the athletes to go a little bit further on their own.”
“I think you have to be a unique individual in order to do what’s expected of you in your sport and still exceed what the coach wants you to do,” Quinn said. “It’s tough and I think our athletes do a really good job of it.”
For Hall, being at Ball State taught her “how important a community is,” from her team, to the athletic department, Greek Life and Ball State in general.
Apart from hearing her music, she wants people to support local musicians and their friends “who want to pursue bigger things.”
“I just want people to continue to follow their dreams no matter how hard it may seem,” she said. “I believed in myself and it helped that also other people believed in me, and I never thought that what I’m doing right now is possible, but I finally took the leap.”
Contact Rohith Rao with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RaoReports.