An Inspirational Interview with LP

>> A couple of weeks ago Krit and I were fortunate enough to go and see LP (Laura Pergolizzi) live at the Waiting Room in Buffalo. Before the incredible, sold out performance we had the opportunity to sit and talk with her about song writing, her inspirations, and touring.

From our quick talk with LP it was obvious that she is a true down-to-earth person who genuinely appreciates all of her fans. When asked what her favorite thing about touring was she responded, “Well I mean my favorite thing is, straight up, the fans and meeting people and how happy people get when they get to see you live. If they like your music when they see it’s truly like...the look on their faces, it’s such an honor, you know?” We saw this first hand during the show, people in the crowd that we talked to came from all over just to see her, the couple behind us came from Massachusetts and one woman even flew over from Belgium! It’s hard not to become a fan when you see LP perform live, you have the whole experience; the notes she hits, and the vocal range she has is nothing short of breathtaking. LP also shared with us her least favorite part of touring.

“I mean the worst part is [that] it’s like a uniquely lonely space to be honest. Especially if you have a loved one at home or loved ones, and it sounds so...I think any musician who wants to tour would be like ‘Oh shut up!’ you know, but once you are touring a lot you really you wouldn’t trade it, you have to do it it’s part of the game but it’s a lonely space.”

You never really think about the hardships musicians face while touring, hearing about them first hand from LP made me even more grateful to be seeing her live. Her passion for songwriting and music is striking. When asked which of the songs she’s written is her favorite she responded, “I wrote this song, which is the title of my last album, called “Forever for Now”, and I wrote it on my mom (who has passed away) on her birthday in the summer in Big Sur on a friend and Isa Machine (from Florence and the Machine) we got together and I played her it and she produced it and helped write the rest, yeah it was kind of magical. I really felt my mom around that day, it was like a really beautiful other-worldly experience.” When this song was performed later that night I felt a deeper connection to it knowing more of the meaning behind it.

Curious about the seemingly endless creativity behind her catchy and lyrically beautiful songs, we asked her about where she gets her inspiration for songwriting. “I guess from living the shit out of my life. I try to stay open and I try not to think too much about it. I collect snippets from everyday and things that pop into my head and I don’t really know how it goes down because it’s what I do all the time now I try not to push it. If I don’t write for a little while then I don’t write for a little while. But I also like a schedule, when I adhere to a schedule I keep going and writing and writing and writing and not really worrying about it. I just make sessions and show up and write. I’ve taught myself to write on command. I think some discipline is good for you.”

LP has written songs for big name performers like Cher, Christina Aguilera, and the Backstreet Boys. During our conversation about song inspirations she mentioned, “I think I also like writing for other people. It keeps me fresh, so I don’t have to always be digging the mind for my own thoughts and what’s going on with me. I can kind of just float into someone else’s world. It’s nice.” She loves the input of a collaborator within the songwriting process as well, “I think that’s one of the reasons that I really like to collaborate. If I have the right collaborator, this is really sad I shouldn’t even admit this, I can usually tell if something is good on my own like a small piece of it but I have trouble finishing something and being like, ‘It’s great and I know it!’ I need like the tree falling in the forest kind of confirmation, I need someone to go like ‘Holy shit, Yeah!’. Then I get all happy and I know it’s just how I am.”

When talking about the hardest thing about songwriting LP eloquently said,“Whenever you come off a high of having a song, like a big song, or even a good song that everybody in your camp is liking, every time you begin a song again it comes from silence that’s the hardest part, the impetus. I think it’s just the feeling of making something from nothing, it’s a daunting task, in any artistic endeavor I think.”

We also had the chance to talk about the music industry and what she thinks could be improved upon. The main improvements she would like to see are more diverse playlists for radio and writers getting paid properly for their songs. “I think writers should get paid properly, I think it’s a bummer, and a little bit of bullshit, that a writer could make so little money on a song of theirs that’s getting millions of plays. That’s sad because if you went to a famous artist’s house and just were like, ‘Yup, I’m just gonna take this, thank you!’ and walked away with their painting. That’s essentially what people are doing with people’s songs everyday. It’s hard to tell a 13 year old kid that kind of stuff, but it’s still happening all the time and people are getting music for free. I don’t know how they are going to figure that out. As far as selling songs I don’t know, they’re getting better at having streaming pay off so that’s a good thing. I’m an optimist, I hope for the best!”

Eventually the conversation turned into the controversy of using phones at concerts to film the performance. LP had an opinion on this as well, “My thing is like, do what you want, but try not to ruin it for another person. Keep your phone to yourself you know. I think it’s a sweet thing for people to want to remember it, so I hate to….when you’re on stage it’s kind of cool to look out and see a bunch of lights cause people are not doing lighters anymore, so that’s what it is and it’s kind of cool but leave your fucking iPad at home for goddamn sure! That’s just like the Hummer of the concert, it’s like BEEP BEEP! I think just try to be considerate. That’s one of the best things and sometimes a shame if someone isn’t like that but it’s usually a good feeling at concerts if people are kind to their fellow man.” Ironically later at her performance we saw a woman holding up an iPad to film LP while she performed.

Curious about what music that this talented artist listens to we asked her. She responded, “I’ve been listening to a bunch of Christine McQueen’s for a while. Listening to that new Kings of Leon new record, I really like it. I like the Weeknd record, really into that. I listen to a bunch of classic shit like I’m always listening to Zeppelin and the Stones and I love Lucinda Williams. We were listening to Keane last night, the band, old good! When I go Spotify, I go all over the place, cause again Spotify is either the angel or the devil I can’t decide it.”

We finished off the interview by asking LP to tell people who haven't listened to her before something about her and her music. “I think I’m coming from a true place, an authentic, heartfelt position. I think...and I’m trying to connect, I’m not like, I’m not just singing to hear myself sing, which isn’t a bad thing if you like doing that,but definitely striving for a connection to the person and share a feeling. That’s about it!”

If you haven't heard of LP before, I highly recommend a listen you check her out on Spotify, or if you’ve decided Spotify is the devil pick up her latest album “Lost on You”. <<