Firefly Firefly Music Festival has announced its full lineup for 2013. Red…
- Posted on May 9th 2012 4:00PM by Robert Ham
For the singer-songwriter known as LP (that's Laura Pergolizzi to her mom) it was getting her soaring pop epic "Into the Wild" used in a Citibank ad.
"I don't think people see as many commercials as they used to," she tells Spinner, taking a break from recording session in Los Angeles. "But that was one that people really found. CNN did a story about it. So when I played SXSW, each time I got to that part of the song, people started turning around. 'Oh s---, that's who that is!'"
To LP's credit, her performances at SXSW proved that she didn't need a commercial to draw attention to her sound. Hers were some of the most buzzed about of the festival, including a rare note of praise from the notoriously prickly Twitter phenom @discographies: "LP ... reveals herself to be the sort of resourceful performer who can win an audience Macgyver-style with just a broken ukulele and her impressive whistling skills. One to watch."
What @discographies fails to mention is the deadliest weapon in LP's arsenal: Her incredible voice. Though slight of frame, her vocals are huge and booming, cutting through even the most bombastic moments of the songs found on her major-label debut Into the Wild (Live at EastWest Studio).
The EP was both recorded and filmed for posterity during what was supposed to be a small pre-production session for the artist and her backing band. "Rob Cavallo, the producer, turned it into this massive show," she remembers. "We invited a lot of friends and industry people that we knew. I wouldn't have minded it if were strangers, though."
The five songs on Into the Wild use a spectrum of emotional colors, turning over the pieces of a broken relationship and celebrating the blush of a new love with equal power. And on the title track, LP calls out the modern tendency to get lost in their smartphones and laptops.
"You never see anyone staring into space anymore," LP opines. "They're always looking at their toys. I do it too. I'm on a neurotic cycle of checking my phone every five minutes. But I feel like we're entering a wild, wild west of technology. A runaway train kind of thing that's making it so individualism is going away."
While it's thrilling to hear an artist burst forth as fully formed as LP has, it's not as if she hasn't had some time to hone her skills.
While she's been making music for over a decade now (she released two independent albums in 2001 and 2004), it took until 2007 for LP to really make a name for herself after one of her songs, "Love Will Keep You Up All Night," was recorded by Backstreet Boys. She then spent the next few years working as a hired-gun songwriter, eventually scoring her biggest success co-writing Rihanna's Top 10 hit "Cheers (Drink To That)."
"When I wrote that, I knew it was going to be a fun song," LP says. "It's one of those tunes where I was trying to get into character and trying to really think about what the singer was like. I love writing for people that are such strong characters."
During that same stretch, LP also maintained a weekly gig at Club Bordeaux in L.A., performing almost entirely cover songs, but also packing away a tidy batch of songs for herself. Buoyed by the money in her bank account, she finally started demoing her originals and weaving them into her Thursday performances.
"People went nuts for them," she remembers. "Next thing I know Warner Brothers noticed it and I started making a record."
The momentum shows no sign of slowing down for LP. She's excited to be recording what she calls a "lush, beautiful" new album and excited to hit the road for stops at Lollapalooza and the 3 Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, not to mention her recent television debut on "Kimmel."
"I'm really excited about it all," she says with a slightly nervous laugh. "I'm excited to put out this group of songs and see what happens. After that it's just going to be a lot of touring and a lot of music making."