Co-writing songs such as Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That),” Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful People,” several songs on Heidi Montag’s album Superficial, as well as many, many others, LP has made a name for herself in the music industry as a well-known and respected writer, artist and performer. LP has worked with several record labels, collaborated with songwriter and music producer Linda Perry among many others, and in 2012, became the first female Martin Guitar Ambassador – quite an honor.
LP grew up in New York and was exposed to music at an early age. After many years of writing and performing, she took the plunge and moved to Los Angeles, where she currently continues to write and perform.
Her latest album, Forever For Now, was released this past June on Warner Brothers Records and she recently completed a West Coast tour. We caught up with LP to learn a little more about her background, writing and her new album.
GGM: Let’s start at the beginning…when were you first exposed to music?
LP: My mother sang opera and she played it all the time. Maria Callas and Pavoratti mostly with some show tune stuff thrown in.
GGM: Growing up, who were some of your first musical influences?
LP: All the classic stuff like the Beatles and the Stones, Zeppelin. And then Jeff Buckley and Nirvana became my main obsession.
GGM: Do you come from a family with a musical background?
LP: Well, my mom sang but my dad was tone def. So…sorta?
GGM: What was it about the ukulele that attracted you to it and when did you start playing?
LP: I started playing in 2009 when I pretty much thought I would just be a song writer. I loved the smallness of it as far as just taking it around. But the sound just made me really chill and brought out a quiet in me that helped me reach places when I wrote with it.
GGM: Can you tell us a little about your instruments?
LP: I’m an Ambassador for Martin Guitars. They make all my ukuleles to my specs. They’re awesome. I play concert size mostly but we’re working on a tenor. I also just got a really small parlor guitar from them that is Nashville tuned (which means with the high strings from a pack of strings for a 12 string guitar) and it sounds awesome.
GGM: Yes, in 2012, you became the first female Martin Guitar Ambassador which was quite an honor. Can you share with us that experience and a little about your Martin Uke?
LP: I was really honored and surprised!! They are just an amazing company and their instruments speak for themselves. Every time I get a new instrument or something vintage of theirs, I just feel like there’s a thousand songs in them. I had Martins before I signed to them so I was stoked.
GGM: You have such an exceptional voice. Did you train professionally?
LP: Thanks. I did. I studied opera mainly scales. I did the scales religiously for years so I wouldn’t f**k my voice up in the road and it made my voice a lot stronger.
GGM: Originally from New York, you moved to Los Angeles back in 2010. What was the decision behind moving to LA and how has it helped advance you in your musical career?
LP: It was just that all the writing was out here and I just felt so inspired. The desert air does something to me. It’s like a muse.
GGM: Speaking of a career in music, when was it that you decided you wanted to pursue a career in music?
LP: Like late teenage years, I didn’t think I was pursuing a career really ‘cause I didn’t know where to go. But I knew life was short and I needed to do something that mattered to me.
GGM: You have quite a catalog of songs. Where do you find your inspiration? And it’s not limited to one genre. How do you cross over from rock to pop to other genres?
LP: I just write with all different kinds of writers and producers and try not to get stuck in one type of song. I get bored otherwise.
GGM: How do you approach the writing process and how does it differ as a solo artist versus a co-writer? Which comes first, the melody or the lyrics?
LP: Usually melody but I like having a concept or a title very early on or I can get stuck.
GGM: You’ve had songs great songs performed by major artists like Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Cher, and Joe Walsh, just to name a few. How did those opportunities come about?
LP: I just do a lot of sessions. Sometimes it’s a song I wrote for me and it winds up on someone else’s record (like Joe Walsh).
GGM: What would you say was your first big break?
LP: Probably getting signed to Island Def Jam in 2006. My first major label deal I feel opened up a lot of doors even though it didn’t work out in the end. It got me in the song writing path which kept me going and led to my artist career eventually going again.
GGM: You just recently finished a West Coast tour. Any one particular moment that stood out on the tour?
LP: Canada!! Love those guys!
GGM: You’ve worked with Linda Perry in the past. Linda recently finished “Make It or Break: The Linda Perry Project” on MTV where contestants had the opportunity to work closely with Linda. How was your experience working with Linda Perry and what impact do you feel she had on you in terms of learning about writing, performing, recording, and the music industry as a whole?
LP: She’s an all-around bad ass obviously. I mean she can do everything in the studio by herself. I think she’s an incredible song writer. She’s a great example of just being authentic as an artist and not giving a sh*t.
GGM: Your latest album Forever For Now was released this summer. Can you tell us about that album?
LP: I love the album but I will tell you that I think it was overproduced and it was a learning experience. This business is hard to navigate sometimes and you’re forced to compromise sometimes when you shouldn’t.
GGM: After having worked with several labels, as well as writing and touring extensively, what’s the one piece of advice that you would like to share with aspiring artists?
LP: Find what it is about you that is unique and stick to it. And write, write, write … never stop.
Five Fun Facts about LP:
What are the top 3 songs on your playlist?
1) “Once Upon A Dream” – Lana Del Rey
2) “Riptide” – Vance Joy
3) “She Thinks I Still Care”- Harry Dean Stanton
First concert you ever attended? Billy Joel
In one word, music to me is: Everything!
My favorite music venue in LA is: the Satellite
What’s one thing you want people to know about LP? Geez, I dunno. Do what you love!
Official Music Video for “Tokyo Sunrise” from Forever For Now
Download ‘Forever For Now’: http://bit.ly/1iS9MQd
Connect With LP: