As the sun sets outside of a Williamsburg bakery, Lauren Legato sits down at a table, a synthesizer sitting in her bag next to her, and shares her heart. No stranger to this, Legato shares her heart often and in many forms.
Legato has a YouTube channel focused on beauty in which she shares makeup and style tips, but also discusses her life and faith. “I struggled to connect with girls growing up because I was surrounded by [my] brothers,” she says. This inspired her to connect with women through her channel.
On a separate YouTube channel, she shares her voice through song, singing covers as well as her own songs. Legato has videos of recent songs as well as videos that date back to 2012. “I look back now, and it’s inspiring because I can see in my eyes everything I was experiencing and why I was singing those songs,” she says.
Her music channel went through a hiatus during a particularly difficult season in her life: a breakup. During that time, Legato remembers sitting in Dumbo, Brooklyn for hours, watching the sun setting and the colors in the sky changing. “Something inside of me was turning at the same time,” she says, reflecting on this powerful moment in her life. “I remember all of my confusion and depression turning into hope.” From there she knew she wanted to share her music with the world.
Growing up with parents who are both pastors, she was taught to love herself and protect her heart, but she went through a massive rebellious phase that lasted her entire adolescence.
“I have a journal entry [that says] ‘I’ll deal with all of the pain I’m causing myself when I reach my twenties’,” says Legato. “That’s exactly what I did.”
Unhealthy relationship patterns threatened her physical, emotional, and mental health. She recalls her safety being threatened by someone she was dating.
“I remember collapsing to my bathroom floor praying to God that He would just change me,” she says. The rebellion ended, and she started on the road to healing.
Legato’s relationship with God evolved over those years. “I abused the freedom to choose what my relationship with God would be. I took his redeeming grace for granted.” says Legato. “I’ll never be perfect, but now I’m learning God’s sustaining grace.”
She is now in a happy and healthy relationship, but recognizes that her joy and self-love isn’t dependent on it. “I am able to love myself enough to be loved by someone else,” she says.
Another self-love journey has been with her body. “Where I’m headed now is to go to the gym, not because I hate my body and I want to change it, but because I love my body, and I want to take care of it,” says Legato.
Sharing these journeys with her followers through her YouTube channels has been transformative. “I’ve let them into my life and as a result they’ve let me into theirs,” she says.
She would go through all of the pain and struggles again because she knows it happened for a reason. “Accept your experiences for what they are, but become a better person because of them,” she says.
“I’m excited to bring authenticity and truth into people’s lives,” says Legato. “In the next year I want to release my first body of music,” she says, excited to share her story through music.
It grows darker as the sun on the other side of the café window is slowly setting, but Legato’s face lights up speaking about her future and her present. The sun may be setting, but this star is rising.