With a wealth of experience to her name, Laura Pergolizzi aka LP is no stranger to hit records. In fact, you’ll likely recognise many of her breakout songs (Lost On You, Strange, When We We’re High) slathered with gritty singing swagger and an unmistakable pop-rock edge. The American artist has over 2 billion streams to her name and has penned some of the biggest pop songs for stars like Cher, Rihanna, and Leona Lewis. Now, resigned to a world of songwriting and album planning, LP is getting back to basics with her new music.
So, how have you been?
I’m good. Nothing new really has happened as far as what’s going on. I feel like, in my heart, things are getting better. In some weird way. I have no evidence to go on except I just feels like that a bit. I think this time is some fertile ground to get to where you mentally want to be. I’ve been writing and I’m travelling all the time and all that. When I’m on tour, I’m slightly isolated anyway. I don’t really sightsee that much when I’m out and about on tour, I’m doing my thing, I’m in my room and I’m going from the stage to the bus, to the room to the stage, to the bus, and to the road. I love the community and the camaraderie of being on a bus with my friends. Its very familial and it reminds me of summer camp back in the day. You get to see people’s full arc and it’s really fun. I have personal contacts and relationships with people in Italy, Russia, the UK and France. I can see all their faces as I name off these countries and when I get there it’s like the global friend group and that’s what I wanted my life to be about. For me, it’s the way to live. So, for now, I’m doing things like reading and doing yoga. Meditation is the final frontier for me.
With live shows unable to go ahead, what else have you been doing to fill in your spare time?
I think this pandemic is not designed for it, but it’s a great thing that you have to deal with yourself and with the world and it’s kind of forcing people to do that. Because, in my opinion, the world would always be much better if everybody took responsibility for their own actions and they should. Then people would act more responsibly and with more empathy — I think that that would change everything. But, we don’t get to look at that when we are like buzzing around and not being present with ourselves.
You mentioned writing is quite cathartic and a self-reflective process for yourself. Are you still working on your upcoming record?
Writing is a very reflective kind of deep battle in yourself. It’s like a push and pull of receiving and giving in a way. I try to get what’s actually happening inside out on the page. I think I got it down to a point where I don’t think about it too much. But, I feel this constant collecting of ideas, concepts, songs, chords, and everything. I’m on the homestretch of this record right now and writing new songs for the next one. I think this record will be going for a minute when it comes out, but I don’t really think about a timeframe of when songs come out, because they have their own lives once they’re finished. I think will they make a record wherever they go? Who will sing them? Will I sing them? I think I’ve adapted well to what is happening right now. It still blows my mind but there is an ebb and flow. This is not unlike waiting for the world to turn back on. It’s not unlike doing your work and working on yourself when you’re trying to become an artist and you’re working on shit so you can get signed. You don’t stop doing it. It’s really weird and it reminds me of the old days I remember. Managers, minor business people or friends would say to me: ‘I don’t know when, but it’s gonna happen’. I would always say whatever, dude, but it was true, and that’s how I feel about the situation. I don’t know when it’s gonna get back, but it’s gonna be fucking glorious.
What’s your favourite part of making music?
I just love collaboration. There’s nothing like when you’re in a room with people and you’re creating something dope from nothing. I’ve had, I’ve had so many experiences. I remember writing a song for Rihanna and I was writing with a friend, Stacy Barthe, and I don’t think I could tell that it was a hit, but I feel like she could. She started inviting all her friends down and they wound up singing a group sing-along in that song. I don’t know, especially at that time, I still don’t know a hit from a hole in the wall. I just write it and see what happens. It was fun to be in this festive situation of writing for one of the biggest artists in the world. But even for writing Lost On You, I had this title and I had a few chords. I kept going off to the bathroom and I come back singing ‘When you get older, plainer, saner’ and Mike and Nate were like what the fuck. I kept coming up with these ideas and when I got back to the room it just feeds into your memories and back to the creative process, and you realize there wasn’t anything so holy about it really. It’s just a simple thought that comes out and you’re like that could make the rest of your life like it could change your life.
As an acclaimed writer, how does the ethos and principle of songwriting feed into your everyday life?
Songwriting is just this beautiful gamble in a way. You just throw all this shit out and you see and Lost On You had such an interesting journey. I wrote it, wrote another 30 songs snd then I played it for my label, Warner Brothers at the time, and they dropped me. Then I got signed by this little indie label, Vagrant, and then another year later it started to hit and it changed everything for me. That song went through it. It wasn’t immediately like ‘Oh, you wrote this big song’. In fact, I wasn’t even kept on a label after writing it. So, you think about life like that and I think it’s a beautiful metaphor. It’s like going through a terrible relationship with somebody that makes you feel like you’re less than and then finding someone who will never want to let you go and you have the most incredible life with them.
We’re seeing more LGBTQ+ stars make it big with incredible record deals and chart-topping albums. What do you make of the ongoing progress?
I just want [sexuality] to not be an issue; I don’t give a fuck who you fuck – that’s going to be a T-shirt I make someday. I just don’t care. If you’re gay like congratulations, great. I just don’t want it to ever be a quota anymore. I have been told ‘We have the gay rock thing covered at this label’. Sure, okay, I’m not even that. I think it’s really cool when we can drop labels a bit, but that time is not quite here yet. So, to answer your questions, I think it’s fantastic that people are getting noticed and at a high level. It’s not like ‘Oh, pretty cool for a gay guy’ or ‘Doing pretty well for a gay’ — that’s ridiculous to me. I feel there’s slightly more dignity in the air so it’s nice to see it be as less of a title or it doesn’t proceed that way. Having said that, I think there’s like a little bit of, for lack of a better word, the pride of being ‘I’m this and I like men. or I like women’.
Did you know you recently went viral on TikTok?
Why did I go viral?
It was a video of you performing Strange and LGBTQ+ fans were celebrating the lyrics.
I did this private show in New York and I was super tired because I had just been on Jimmy Fallon. It was pretty wild. That’s another song that I played for a label I was dropped by. That’s the cool journey of a song because five years late after I wrote it, it was used for a Samsung commercial or something. It’s so weird. And then, of course, it went viral on TikTok. I love TikTok. Everybody thinks it’s cool but it was the perfect thing to come about with the epidemic. Everybody turned to TikTok for their entertainment. First of all, I passed cool a while back, I don’t give a fuck about cool. Cool could suck a dick. Don’t tell me something’s not cool. Anything that gets you out there to like people who might like your stuff. I think what’s cool is getting out there and finding more people that like enjoying shit.