God in the room
Old fashion rock star LP’s gigs feel like a religious experience. Carrie Lyell falls under her spell.
LP might be small enough to pop in your pocket, but she seems seven foot tall as she swaggers into our interview, coffee in hand, with an effortless cool. Her trademark black curls bounce gently as she walks around the room, talking enthusiastically about her gig the night before at Koko in London – “It’s a beautiful venue,” she says, pacing aimlessly. “It feels so… communal. I like it when I can see everybody and everybody can see me.”
An old-fashioned rock star yes – compared to the likes of Joan Jett, Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks – but LP, real name Laura Pergolizzi, is throughly modern. A viral sensation, her latest offering has been streamed more than 120 million times on YouTube. She’s no brooding rockstar caricature either. Warm and friendly, the 36-year-old New Yorker – dressed in dark jeans and a navy blazer – is chatty and full of smiles.
“One time I was playing, Prague or something. It was a beautiful venue, almost cave-like. It felt weird, kind of temple-y. Like I was trying to cast a spell on everybody or something. I was going for more a kinda communal singing to and with people, not to be like…” she throws her arms wide and puts on a booming voice as if giving a sermon. “Nah, I don’t really want to go there,” she laughs.
So many of the musicians I meet say that performing live is the best part of the job. Would she agree with that? “It definitely is, but I really love the writing as well. There’s something so esoteric about writing a song. Like yeah, you can craft all day, but if god is in the room – that spirit or that unknowable thing – writing and realising ‘Oh fuck, this is dope’? That is such a great feeling.” Like divine intervention? She smiles. “Yeah. Exactly.”
Read the rest of our exclusive interview in the June issue of DIVA, available now at divadigital.co.uk.