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Interview | Singer LP on Adam Lambert, exes and making it as a queer artist

"By labelling someone through their sexuality they’re assuming that’s the only thing that person has to offer."

By Thomas Stichbury

Sharing really is caring for singer-songwriter LP, who has penned tracks not only for herself, but a roster of superstars, namely Celine Dion, Cher and Rihanna – that’s one hell(a, ella, ella) of a hit list.

The American musician – whose 2016 heartbreak ditty ‘Lost On You’ has amassed over 300 million streams – is back with new single ‘The One That You Love’, about not knowing where you stand with a partner. Relatable stuff.

In an exclusive interview with Attitude, LP, aka Laura Pergolizzi, opens up about writing about her exes (and why she should be receiving thank you notes), carving out a career as a queer artist and her friendship with Adam Lambert.

 Credit: Darren Craig

What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘The One That You Love’?

I’m often feeling kind of unsettled in my emotional life. It’s sometimes because of my partner, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s just because of me. I think constantly, maybe not talking about it per say, but thinking about where I stand as far as my romantic relationship [is concerned] – am I okay, are they okay, are we okay? That’s just the way I am. I’ve always felt like that and it’s something that has been an inspiration for my work.

The music video sees you break one of the ‘rules’ of showbusiness, which is to never work with animals. How was the shoot? A smooth or bumpy ride?

I think it’s a silly rule to be honest, because I had nothing but a good time with Madara, the horse that I rode. He was a lovely creature, and his handlers were fantastic. I had ridden horses before, so it was kind of an easy experience. It was more about trying to get the cool shots done that day. But I really loved it and I would do it again.

You also recently launched your 2020 Virtual Tour. How has lockdown pushed you or made you reconsider things as an artist?

It’s really just a waiting game for when we can get back out there. I will be out there for sure as soon as we can, bringing music to people. It’s just made me strive to get connected as often as I can in different ways, make people not feel like they’ve been forgotten. It’s just a courtesy almost. I want people to feel connected to me through this time and then when we all get back together it’ll bring us even closer.

Credit: Talayeh Nasirzadeh

What themes or subject matters do you tend to find yourself drawn to in your music?

Romance and emotional love, but also just trying to find peace and calm in the storm of life. I’m always trying to make myself feel better and I hope it makes someone else feel better.

You’ve written, or co-written, for the legendary likes of Cher and Rihanna. Who else would you like to put pen to paper for?

I just kind of go with when people want to work with me, I guess. I don’t think about it much, these things happen when they’re meant to happen. The less I look for it, the more things come.

What is the toughest thing you’ve written about, or worked through with the help of music?

I’ve had a lot of tough things, but breaking up with someone is usually pretty hard. I’m sure you can hear it in my voice in the song ‘Lost On You’ when I was very much suffering from somebody falling out of love with me, at least for a little bit. I felt bewildered and disillusioned by it. ‘The One That You Love’ also feels a bit like that as well.

Which LGBTQ artist are you most excited about at the moment and why?

Adam Lambert is always exciting to me because he is really kind and cool, doing his own music, and representing another legendary LGBTQ person. His talent and the respect that it commands… I find him very dignified and inclusive and sweet. He’s a friend of mine, and I love the way he handles himself in the world.

Has your sexuality ever been an issue while you were crafting a career in the music industry, and if so how did you overcome it?

I mean, sure, I could tell in certain situations. I’ve had many record deals, and they started amazing and have fallen apart… I can definitely remember times when it seemed as if [it was] going down the wrong path because they just don’t get it. I feel like it was broader than that [though], not just because of my sexuality, they just don’t understand the whole thing sometimes.

People think very narrowly. Even if they’re not being mean about it, they have a narrow scope of what’s out there, of what people are feeling, of what matters to people. There’s such a diversity of people and by labelling someone through their sexuality they’re assuming that’s the only thing that person has to offer, [like] ‘I’m going to now sing you ten songs about being gay.’

You’re subject to that kind of discrimination at times. It’s laughable… I don’t think anybody hearing ‘Lost On You’ that didn’t know me/of me, thought that I was gay by hearing that song. That just shows you, it has nothing to do with anything. 

You’ve written about relationships or lost loves in the past. What kind of responses have you had from your exes?

I don’t know their response to the songs to be honest. I think that I would be stoked if someone wrote a song about me. I won’t hold my breath, but it would be nice to get a thank you letter.

What’s next?

More of the same, rinse and repeat. More writing songs, more releasing songs, more touring as soon as we can get back to touring. That’s my story.

LP’s new single ‘The One That You Love’ is out now