New York born, LP has an effortless charm. Earlier this month, the acclaimed recording artist and songwriter released her highly anticipated full-length album “Lost On You” through BMG.
Her raspy, soulfully charged vocals have taken hold of many adoring fans, but it hasn’t always been an easy journey, saying, “I started music because my mother died when I was young and it occurred to me that life was short. I wanted to do something authentic that spoke to my soul and not something conventional that I was told to be by the world and by my father”. Born Laura Pergolizzi, she shortened her name because, aside from being her actual initials, a girl in the bar she used to work at shared the name Laura and “I had always enjoyed being called LP by a friend of mine at summer camp, so I suggested the name; it was around the time I started my first band and it just became something everyone called me. I grew to love it”.
Driven by her signature ukulele and raw acoustic sound, the lead single “Lost On You”, which is about an ex-relationship and its journey, has amassed, to date, over 135 million plays across her channels; “It was a very difficult situation”, she says speaking of the breakup, “but I feel the songs are helpful in cleaning out the debris that’s left from traumatic situations”.
“The album came together over the last two years”, LP continues, speaking about the process of creation and her inspirations. “I had come out of a rough breakup, personally and professionally, and a lot of songs were by-products of that situation. However, there are many songs that are about my life since then as well. I feel like it’s a truthful account of the ups and downs of my life over the last couple of years”.
I, like many people, can relate to a difficult breakup. Mine was for the right reasons, for others maybe not. But it’s the idea of being able to relate that’s important for LP; “I definitely strive for it”, she adds. “Connection is the main reason why I do this and I feel that’s what art is for. I don’t think you have to change what you make to fit any audience, but a lot of artists’ intentions are geared towards communing with their audience. The message I want to deliver is about inclusiveness, acceptance and a way of commiserating the common human experience”.
“I’ll tell you what my ideal day is”, she said coyly as I asked what a typical day looked like for LP. And this is when she’s not penning tracks for the likes of Rihanna, Cher and The Backstreet Boys by the way; which is a “total honour”, she adds, “I used to approach these projects on a more ‘write for that person’ level, but unless I’m writing WITH the person, I tend to just write my own experience, as universally as possible, and see if it works out”.
Pretty cool, huh?
So, how about it then… “My ideal day is sleep in with my dog, take him for a walk, do some yoga, hang out and play ukulele or guitar and then go out and have a few drinks with my friends. The end!” Truth be told, this isn’t far from a typical day. Except when she’s on tour. So, um, minus the dog… I know, sucks right?
And if there’s one thing this deep spirit can’t live without, it’s her ukulele and her yoga mat, because they both save her soul.
“I was not supported to be an artist when I was a child”, LP said quietly, a girl with dreams beyond textbooks. “If I weren’t a musician, I’d probably be a doctor. I was brought up in a more academic household and encouraged to go to school for as long as possible. I feel pretty much solely responsible for pulling myself into the career I have. But I think my family has caught up and gets it now”.
Musically and aesthetically, LP describes herself as being bold, androgynous, melodic, relatable and emotional. Continuously pushing her boundaries, the music she explores is compelling. Equally, the video for “Lost On You” creates a hazy vision of lost dreams. Her voice is unexpected. It’s hauntingly beautiful.
Having listened to the track on repeat for the last hour and a half, I find myself wanting nothing more than to sink into myself and contemplate my own life; But in a way to appreciate what I have now. LP has been on a journey of self-discovery from the beginning. Now, she’s found herself and opens up through her music. “Lost On You”, both in sound and vision, flows seamlessly into the perfect escape.
Each sound resonates with a refined confidence, but “I used to be shy about my voice”, LP says. “Particularly when I was a child. Like anybody else I was scared of rejection and of people not thinking I was good enough so I hid behind not doing it very seriously”. A feeling I’m familiar with. “But then, again”, she continues, “I decided life was too short and I just kept at it. It was the only thing that interested me after a while. Being shy is sometimes selfish, and I think that you can cure that by doing the thing you fear the most”.
photographer CAROLINE QUINN
LP is playing in London at Under the Bridge on the 2nd July