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Concert preview: How ‘Lost on You’ singer LP finally found success

First Published      Last Updated May 15 2017 03:21 pm


Concert preview » Now on her seventh record deal, the singer-songwriter is at last seeing some solo success, thanks to her hit song.

Laura Pergolizzi, known to family, friends and fans alike simply as LP, has perhaps more experience with the fickle nature of the recording industry than just about everyone.

The 36-year-old singer is now on her seventh record deal, including her fourth with a major label. She's spent much of the past decade supporting herself as a songwriter for the likes of Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Cher, Backstreet Boys, Rita Ora and Leona Lewis, among others.

In between, she's heard all the promises about this company making her a star and that company utilizing her talent. For all the labels that allegedly saw the vision, none ever did much for her until now. And honestly, even her current label lucked into a good deal.




After she was dropped by Warner Brothers, a man named Panagiotis Loulourgas, the A&R head at Greek record label Cobalt Music, reached out, saying he loved her music and wanted to license her songs for play overseas. The track "Lost on You" soon went to No. 1 in Greece. It followed suit as a hit in Turkey and Romania. It's since blown up in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Israel. At one point, it was the fourth-most Shazamed song in the world.

Those successes, coupled with the song "Muddy Waters" accompanying the Season 4 finale of the Netflix show "Orange Is the New Black," generated interest stateside, leading to appearances on Seth Meyers', Jimmy Fallon's, Conan O'Brien's and James Corden's late-night shows.

LP is playing a sold-out concert tonight at The State Room in Salt Lake City.

And while she's grateful that her solo career has finally worked out, and is thankful for the support of fans, she's also retained enough pent-up frustration to preclude her from getting overly giddy about her current success.

"I didn't really feel like that. I was on Warner Brothers and I played them that song ['Lost on You']. You say that song is great, and a lot of people say that, and I appreciate it, but I played that song for the main f---ing guys at Warner Brothers. And I played them 'Muddy Waters,' which has been synced a bunch of times and recouped my f---ing record deal in two seconds. I also played them 'Strange,' and they dropped me, like a month later," LP said in a phone interview with The Tribune. "I just knew I dig the song. I've moved on so much. I write a song, and then I'm not really in that space anymore. I don't think like that. I already had a career going, and I was like, 'Onto the next thing.' I loved the song, but I loved the song after it, and the song after that. It's kind of a fluid thing. I didn't think about it too much."

For what it's worth, "Lost on You" is a brilliant track, a break-up song about her ex-girlfriend written a full year before they actually broke up. LP saw the signs. The pervasive loneliness that accompanied her even when they were lying next to each other in bed. When the only significant other LP had never cheated on proposed an open relationship, the writing was on the wall.

In the aftermath of "Lost on You" getting so big, LP said her biggest adjustment was having to spend so much of her time rehashing the circumstances in interviews.

"The first month or so when I was talking about it, I was like, 'Oh man, I can't believe I'm talking about my ex-girlfriend this much.' It was like, I haven't talked about her this much in a while and I'm not really wanting to," she said. "But then I was able to compartmentalize a little bit, and I don't mind explaining songs, really. It was more than just an ex-girlfriend, really. It was a deeply confusing negative space I was in for a while, with my career as well. I experienced a very similar thing with my romantic relationship and my work relationship."

She said her years of struggling behind the scenes were actually good mental preparation for being able to handle adversity.

LP admitted she'd previously considered leaving the industry and going back to school, but songwriting opportunities drew her back in. An invitation to sit in on a writing session for Rihanna ultimately led to the song "Cheers (Drink to That)," which opened the songwriting floodgates.

Her burgeoning career as a songwriter not only paid the bills, it led her to conclude that maybe there was simply no rhyme or reason to why some artists made it and others didn't.

"I figured [songwriting] was more up to me. There was a little more control than you have as an artist. 'Cause you don't know as an artist, man," she said. "I've seen brilliantly talented, beautiful, young people never make a dent, that I thought were gonna go all the way. And I've seen people that I didn't think anything of — nothing bad, just OK — just go all the way. You never know. But as a songwriter, that's a lucky thing too, to get a song cut on anything these days, it's a competition, but I felt a little more in control of my destiny when I started writing songs for others as well."

Of course, now that LP's in control of her own performing destiny, and with her new album doing well, she's come to one other conclusion: Sometimes it really can be as simple as having the right people behind you.

"People will try to stir the pot and be like, 'So, why do you think this has been doing so well? Why do you think NOW? Do you think it's the song?'" she said. "I think it's a combination of things — timing, the song, luck, them actually playing it on the f---ing radio. I've never had any song actually put out there like that. Radio is a whole 'nother level of exposure."

Enough so that she's probably done label-hopping for awhile, anyway.

ewalden@sltrib.com

Twitter: @esotericwalden

 

AT A GLANCE

LP

With Josiah & The Bonnevilles

When » Tonight; doors at 7, show at 8

Where » The State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake City

Tickets » Sold out


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