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#617: LP on rocking the ukulele, playing for CitiBank, and the worst songs to put on a Valentine’s Day mixtape

 
 

Photo by Tamzin Brown

The name Laura Pergolizzi may not immediately ring any bells, but the music that she’s been an integral part of, either as a songwriter or the performer is widely familiar. Pergolizzi, better known as LP, is responsible for co-writing Rihanna’s hit “Cheers (Drink to That),” and has penned tracks for artists from Christina Aguilera to Joe Walsh. Her own song, “Into the Wild,” received widespread acclaim after appearing in a CitiBank ad that got a lot of play a bit back, leading media outlets like Esquire and Vogue to tap LP as a rising star and artist to watch.

Tonight, LP opens for Irish rockers Kodaline at the Paradise. This being Valentine’s Day and all, Vanyaland caught up with her for a 617 to talk songs you definitely don’t want to play for your lover, her affinity for the ukulele, and what sort of benefits come with getting your song in a credit card commercial.

:: SIX QUESTIONS

Michael Christopher: Your new, ahem, LP is coming out “soon” but definitely this year. When are we finally going to get to hear this thing?

LP: It’s coming out this May!

Getting tapped as an “Artist to Watch” has sort of that “next big thing” attachment to it. Does it get daunting at all?

Naw it’s cool. I feel like you can’t get hung up on that stuff anyway. It’s really nice but I figure you just have to keep doing what got you here.

How does your approach differ in writing songs for someone like Rihanna or Cher compared to when you know it’s going to be just for yourself to perform?

I get to talk more about sex and stuff [laughs] no, I kid… but I tend to allow the melodies to go a bit higher than I do for other artist than myself. But other than that I still always strive to put an emotional content in the song to connect with people which I feel music of any kind is about.

Let’s talk about the ukulele. When you see someone as big as Eddie Vedder decide to do an entire album based around the instrument, are you like, “Come on man, leave my little guitar alone?”

No, never, I love when I see that because to me the ukulele is as serious an instrument as any and I want for it to go beyond novelty and take its rightful place as a legitimate instrument in people’s minds which I think it has to some extent. There are some amazing players like Jake Shimabukuro who prove that… and I recently discovered that Sam Cooke wrote a lot of his songs on the uke so if that’s not legit enough for you I don’t know what is.

Sitting on endless hold with the credit card company is one of the most irritating things to deal with in communication. After using “Into the Wild,” did CitiBank give you a secret phone number to bypass that hassle when you have an issue with your card?

No but they did give me a lifetime unlimited credit card …which is pretty cool.

About the question you continue to ask during “Into the Wild,” did you ever find out who it was that left the gate open?

I think it was Steve Jobs to be honest, but I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

:: ONE RECOMMENDATION

I would see the movie Her — it is amazing; just seems so on point with how complicated things are getting emotionally in our world. The end just totally devastated me …and don’t watch the Jonah Hill parody until after you see it!

:: SEVEN OF SOMETHING

You’re playing Boston on Valentine’s Day. What are seven songs that you definitely would NOT play to profess undying affection to a significant other?

“To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” – Willie Nelson
“It Ain’t Me Babe” – Bob Dylan
“I Want to Break Free” – Queen
“Hound Dog” – Elvis
“Love is a Losing Game” – Amy Winehouse
“I Hate Myself for Loving You” – Joan Jett
“You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi

KODALINE + LP | Friday, February 14 @ Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston | 8:30 p.m., all-ages, sold out | advance ticket info

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