Laura Pergolizzi, singer behind Lost On You, went from writing for Rihanna to making hits of her own


If you had to paint a picture of the archetypal rock star, chances are it would end up looking a lot like Laura Pergolizzi. When we meet one bright morning in an east London hotel, LP (as she is better known) is dressed head-to-toe in Hedi Slimane-era Saint Laurent, sunglasses “deadstock from the French army in the 1950s” – permanently fixed on her face, which is framed by an unruly head of Bob Dylan-esque curls. Tattoos peak out from her loosely buttoned shirt. Certainly she looks the part, but make no mistake – there is substance to the style, too.

Over the last couple of years, LP’s fame has rocketed, due in no small part to her hit single (and title song of her new album) “Lost On You”. Released quietly in 2015, the song seemingly took on a life of its own, travelling through America and Europe and eventually topping the charts in eight countries. She’s been on the road almost ever since, playing sold-out shows across Europe as well as back on home turf.

You could be forgiven for thinking that LP is a new arrival to the music industry. The truth is, you’ve probably heard lots of her material without realising. Having written for the likes of Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Rita Ora and the Backstreet Boys, LP’s songs have been everywhere, she just hasn’t been the one singing them. Writing songs for these sorts of artists might seem incongruous to the bluesy, guitar-driven music (and her signature expert whistling) she has gained a following for, but that doesn’t mean LP isn’t interested in pop. “Pop is not a bad word,” she says, sipping on a strong coffee. “What’s more interesting than changing the chemistry in a room in three minutes with a song?”

By her own admission, LP’s career has been through peaks and troughs. There have been stints in working in bars, and times where, despite having written “140 [of my own] songs” nothing was released. “I’m on my, like, seventh record deal,” she says. “I think ultimately there’s always a little bit of confusion about what to do with me because I’m at once a rocker in a way, but I have a pop sensibility with my voice. It’s been one of the difficulties for me.”

Was she surprised, then, having worked in the music industry for so long, at the success of Lost On You? After all, when she first played it to the record label she was signed to at the time, they promptly dropped her. “They did me a huge favour actually,” she says, laughing. “I had a huge debt with them and that became null and void. You can’t forget the subjectivity of this business. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Indeed: at the time of writing, the song has over 170 million views on YouTube.

The great thing about discovering a new singer like LP, is that there’s already a back catalogue to delve into, although she describes her first two albums as “shots in the wind and me growing as an artist.” That might be the case for LP, but clearly there’s a strong appetite for her output: “a song of mine has almost two million hits on YouTube and I don’t even know how it got off my computer,” she says. Something tells me everything LP writes will get heard from now on.



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