The 18-year-old, who went famous on TikTok for her heartfelt breakup ballads, discusses new love, heartbreak, and her impending album. Lauren Spencer Smith shines in the ‘Flowers’ official music video.
Lauren Spencer-Smith composed “Fingers Crossed,” her viral hit, during a difficult period in her life. She was staying with a friend and conducting interviews from her car, unsure of what would happen next.
After weeks of previewing the music on TikTok, the 18-year-old Vancouver Island, Canada native debuted her third single, “Flowers,” on Thursday. Her life has changed drastically since she initially announced “Fingers Crossed” in November 2021.
Following a life-changing on-stage performance with Keith Urban in 2015, Spencer-Smith began releasing covers on a YouTube account. She won a competition and performed alongside Urban at a festival in her hometown. “That’s when I realized I’m going to do this for the rest of my life,” she told PEOPLE.
Steve Harvey noticed her cover of Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way” and requested her to appear on his show in 2019. She went on to compete in the 2020 season of American Idol, finishing in the Top 20 and gaining a significant social media following.
Spencer-big Smith’s break came thanks to TikTok and the outbreak of the pandemic. In November 2021, she posted a 15-second preview of her original song, “Fingers Crossed,” before she even had a demo. The video went viral and has been viewed over 30 million times since then. She told PEOPLE, “Every video I browsed through on TikTok was [using] my music.”
Her team scrambled to get the song ready for release after the huge response. After a “chaotic” month of preparation, “Fingers Crossed” launched on Jan. 5, and the response far beyond her expectations. It had “10 to 15 million streams” within 12 hours, she said. Getting such types of figures used to take her months. “Oh my gosh, this song is truly going to do well,” she says.
Spencer-Smith currently has a social media following of over 3.5 million, and her January release of “Fingers Crossed” looked to confirm her as a rising star in the music industry.
Her latest hit, “Flowers,” is about her struggle to move to a healthy relationship, just like “Fingers Crossed.” “It was quite difficult at first,” she admitted. “I don’t think anyone talks about how difficult it is to enter a [new] relationship after being in a truly poisonous one because you have to unlearn so many things,” she says.
According to Spencer-Smith, the new single represents a “contrast” to the previous one. “‘Fingers Crossed’ had been enraged. ‘Flowers’ is depressing “she clarified The title was inspired by her “trauma response,” which she described as occurring when her current boyfriend did lovely things for her. She cried when he brought her flowers since she had only ever received flowers as an apology.
Her understanding that her prior relationship was toxic is detailed in the chorus of the song. “I guess flowers aren’t just for major apologies / I guess I should have been more aware of how you spoke to me / since when we fought, you’d give me space and not speak / and for a long, I believed that’s what I should appreciate.”
She told PEOPLE, “It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.”
Despite the success of “Fingers Crossed,” Spencer-Smith was nervous about the release today. “When one song does well, the fear is that the other songs will not do as well,” she explained. It’s especially nerve-wracking because there’s no way of knowing whether the TikTok attention will translate into something more tangible after the song is out, she said. “Sometimes when something goes viral on TikTok, it doesn’t make it to a streaming platform.”
Spencer-Smith has been named a YouTube Artist on the Rise for her emotional songwriting. “Crazy things like that continue to happen, and it’s still really strange,” she said. “I’m just thankful.”
For her, things are most likely just getting started. She confirmed to PEOPLE that her debut album will be released this year, and listeners can expect more of the “gut-wrenching” sorrow ballads they’ve come to love. The album will be about how “tough” it was for her to “get through those months of not being able to trust” in her new relationship, similar to the first two singles.
While she’s been able to channel those feelings into some very great music, Spencer-Smith says the act of sharing those songs is more “happy than sad.”
“When you’re happy, you look back and understand that everything happened for a reason, especially if you turn it into a song and people connect with it. I’m like, I’m so relieved that someone completely ruined me. It makes me feel better to know that I can make a living from it.”