Planting Seeds To Grow – An Interview With LP

A year into this global pandemic, and it feels like nothing much has changed. Or has it? We’re still sitting at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use this time, while we’re patiently waiting for our vaccine, as a window of opportunity. For LP, home is in the city of angels, Los Angeles, and that’s where she remains for now, surrounded by the sea, the mountains and the trees, letting her creativity run wild. Due to covid, she performed her planned world tour as a ‘Virtual World Tour’. But even off the road, 40-year-old singer-songwriter LP remains a busy lady.

“I’m looking back on the past year as an opportunity to get some things in order, on a personal level and on a business level. I was able to style my upcoming album a lot more than I would have in different times. I wouldn’t have gotten to this exact group of songs and genres if I hadn’t had this inspiring, creative and global experience of learning how to adapt to certain situations, cope with different things and live in the moment. It’s about planting seeds to grow, as an artist and as a person.” In these past few months these seeds have blossomed into beautiful flowers, as LP released the first three singles of her highly anticipated album: ‘The One That You Love’, ‘How Low Can You Go’ and ‘One Last Time’.

Her latest single, ‘One Last Time’, pulls at the listener’s heartstrings, and the dramatique and nostalgia are reasons why. Being the hopeless romantic she is, LP can’t help but reimagine precious moments, pondering about the things she wished she’d said or done. “My mother has been passed away for some time now, and when I think of the times we spent together, I feel at home and at peace with her. She put a lot of love into me, that I get to share with others through interaction and my music.” Even though ‘One Last Time’ is extremely danceable, it definitely has melancholic aspects to it with the lyrics: “You know it only feels like darkness / Til somebody turns on the light / I’d live it all once again / With an alternate end / And I’d pay the highest price / To hold you one
last time.”

I think we really have to understand that things are subjective, in art and in life. If it wasn’t, you would fall in love and date everybody.

As far as writing goes, the American singer-songwriter is always trying to conjure up new ideas. The 40-year-old remembers the days when all everyone told her was to “write what you know”. This annoyed her because for her creativity is an idea where you just go with things that may not be in your exact world experience but makes you time travel in the essence of a song. “I will tell you that as being an artist, as well as a professional songwriter, sometimes you got to go out on the limb. Bob Dylan is a great example: he is a genius, a poet, a sjaman, but he didn’t experience all those things he wrote about back in the day.”

Having (co)-written for superstar artists like Rihanna, The Backstreet Boys, Céline Dion, etc. has made her an expert in translating a specific experience into something universal. It’s something LP says is hard to master but oh so crucial, because a lot of times songs are getting picked these days for other people, from tracks you’ve written for yourself. “The key is to write something that cuts to the very soul of the collective population, where each individual also hears something that tears at their specific heartstrings. That’s what separates men from the boys, as far as songwriting goes.”

Laura Pergolizzi known as LP has had a wild ride, in her road to fame. In 2001 she released her debut album, but world domination came fourteen years afterwards, when she reinvented herself to a career penning hit records wonder for other artists. Eventually she put herself on the map with a monster of a break-up song, that reached number one in eighteen countries. “I wrote this song, ‘Lost On You’, in 2014, at a time when everything was falling apart. But the next thing I know, when the song was released, I’m touring the world and it has changed my life. I used to look back on it as the worst year of my life, but now I think of it as one of the greatest years,”, LP laughs. For that very song, the one that blew up all over the world, the singer-songwriter was dropped from her label, Warner Bros. After that, the American artist got signed by Vagrant, a little indie label, and another year later ‘Lost On You’ started hitting the charts. This switch created a huge change in her life, a life-altering moment that puts everything into perspective,“I think we really have to understand that things are subjective, in art and in life. If it wasn’t, you would fall in love and date everybody.”

It took determination and seven record deals to get where she is today. “I find it very important to figure out what’s the unique thing you have to offer and you will never allow someone to take from you or make compromises. Once you find that thing, stick with it and fight to the end to protect it. I really went through it in the music industry, which didn’t make it easy to keep myself intact
but all I had to do was not quit,”, LP explains. And quitting is one word we definitely can’t find in her dictionary.

We’re not only going through a musical renaissance, but also through a cultural one. People are tired of taking the backseat to one type of person, and it’s time to stand up and be counted. In today’s progressive society, labels shouldn’t even be a quota anymore, but sadly that time is not quite here yet. As an LGBTQIA+ woman, LP has a large group of fans connecting with her through experiences and asking for advice. “I’m always flattered when someone thinks I have any idea what I’m doing. The best advice I can give is: don’t back down, always be yourself and never apologise for that. I mean it.”

Some might think she’s a one hit wonder with ‘ Lost On You’, but with over two billion streams, a wealth of experience to her name, and unmistakably meaningful lyrics, combined with very danceable pop-rock vibes, the facts beg to differ. Her rise to the top wasn’t a walk in the park, yet it has only made her strronger and into the artist she is today.

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Written by: Lien Joos // Photo Credit: Ryan Jay

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