First releasing music in 2001, LP’s career has already split two decades, been privy to a move from New York to LA, and seen her explore multiple avenues of the industry, from songwriting for icons like Riri, Xtina and Cher – Backstreet Boys too – to releasing music on her own terms, be it with a major or indie. As she launches new single “Lost On You” in the UK, we sat down to talk tours, relationships and number ones.
On tours, relationships and number ones.
So your track “Lost On You” has just been released in the UK but has already hit the top spot in 15 countries. Where did the inspiration for this song came from?
Ah you know, relationship shit, the usual. But I think it’s unique for me in that it’s a break-up song about the time before you break-up. The heartache of coming into that reality slowly and wanting to shake the person out of it and save things if possible.
As an American artist, how does it feel to have your songs gain such instant commercial success across Europe?
As an artist I think any success is welcome. You spend a lot of time creating things that never get seen or heard because that’s just the nature of creation and how one thing will lead you to the next. I’m really pleasantly surprised, on one hand, and a bit like yeah, well that’s why I’ve been doing it.
Last year you released the ‘Death Valley’ EP. What was the creative process like behind that?
It was what I’m always doing but sometimes you just feel like you’re on a roll you know? I’ve kind of learned to let the boom times of creating come and let the storing up, not as active times be as well. The pendulum can be a good way to allow things their space.
The EP release was a preview for your upcoming album. What kind of sound can we expect from the new album?
There’s a good landscape going I think. I don’t like when a record gets too homogenised and you lose songs that challenge what people know or think of you. So there’s some gritty stuff, some pretty stuff and a curveball or two maybe, but it feels good and I like the stories. I stand behind them.
“Muddy Waters”, the first track on ‘Death Valley’, featured in the Season 4 finale of Orange Is The New Black. How did it feel to have a song you wrote about the fallout of a relationship in your own life, become so successful of the back of such a prolific show?
It was cool. That song was written in a time of confusion, not just relationship wise but existentially for me and where I thought I was going to go and where I was in that moment. It’s interesting that material and artistic success both could come from that place.
“They don’t fuck around with what they think is cool and you should be honoured as fuck if they think you are.”
You’ve written popular songs for artists like Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Rita Ora. How does song-writing for other artists compare as a process to writing for yourself?
It depends. I try not to guess at what another artist thinks much anymore. I might write a bit more from a universal perspective for other artists but I even have stopped that because I feel like if I just write from the heart, even with details from my own life, chances are another person has felt a similar feeling. However, writing with another artist, we get to delve into their universe and write from there which I really enjoy.
In 2014 you made your debut release on a major, which propelled your name into the spotlight. How do you think your upcoming album will differ to ‘Forever For Now’?
To be honest I feel like that record got a bit out of control, production wise, and this record feels much closer to where I’ve always been at. I feel like I have a foot on both sides of the line of pop in a way; I’m indie and then not, and mainstream and then not, which I like, and this record feels like a true read to me.
You have a headline show at Koko coming up next month. How do the crowds differ between the US and the UK?
I don’t know if they differ so much, but I feel a kinship with England and always have. I don’t think English people fuss about the same things musically, and I feel like they are more open sometimes to new shit. On the other hand, they don’t fuck around with what they think is cool and you should be honoured as fuck if they think you are.
Do you have a particular favourite from the new album?
I have a song called “Switchblade” which feels pretty raw as far as the emotion behind it. I literally wrote it down the street from my house while my girlfriend of five years was moving her shit out of our place; I think some people might connect to it.
And plans for the rest of 2017?
I’m pretty much on tour. I’ll be on a European tour for March and April. A US tour for May through June, and then European festival season for the whole summer and on from there. I love touring though. It’s everything you work for… to experience that ultimate connection heart to heart.
“Lost On You” is out now, while LP’s album will follow in May. Catch her at London’s Koko on the 24th April.
Like this? Buy the Spring ’17 Issue here.