LP on writing for Rihanna and why virtual gigs can never fill void of live music

LP

Singer LP is one of the many stars for whom 2020 took an unexpected turn due to the coronavirus pandemic in terms of touring, but she’s hoping we’ll one day be able to enjoy live music as we have before. 

LP recently performed a ‘virtual world tour’ for the fans that have missed out on seeing her in person this summer, telling Metro.co.uk: ‘It was great, to a point it really felt like – I was just really happy to be able to do something for the fans.

‘But I normally wouldn’t have someone come out and tape the first day of the tour! It’s like “Hey, we haven’t toured in nine months, why don’t you come make a DVD on the very first night?” That is not my idea of a good time! 

‘But you know, I did my best. It was kind of fun in a way. I’m looking forward to doing a few more and getting a bit better at it.’

While she’s used to performing around 200 live dates a year, LP admits performing virtual shows can be a lot more unnerving. 

She explained: ‘It kind of reminded me of an extended night-time talk show performance, that’s what it felt like. It was a little bit like a Jimmy Fallon performance but for like 14 songs! 

‘I think those are my hardest shows as well, that was the last vestige of me being any kind of nervous. I don’t really get nervous for shows but for TV performances like that it’s kind of unnerving, so there’s always that element to it.’

With restrictions still ongoing the world over thanks to coronavirus, many stars have turned to virtual performances to give their fans a little something to tide them over, but LP hopes that one day we’ll be able to get back in venues and enjoy great music around others once more. 

‘It’s not going to fill the void of live music – there’s no way around that,’ she admitted. ‘That’s I guess what we have to look forward to when the levee breaks and we’re back at it. 

‘I think we can’t quantify how intense that is going to be. I keep saying that the last plague that the world had was in 1918 and then after that they had the “roaring twenties” – that could be what we are in for.’

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With touring having been unexpectedly put on hold, LP has been racking up the tracks for her next record and enjoying the rare chance to be in the studio for the whole of the production process rather than being sent her mixes on the road. 

‘It’s been nice in some ways to be able to be closed in on the production because normally I would be out on the road and listening to mixes and stuff there, and now I am in there in the drum sessions and listening in to things in real time.’

LP also filmed the music video for The One That You Love during lockdown, admitting that it took a lot of planning to pull the shoot off. 

‘That was one of the first ones back and we were trying to plan it and suss it out, it almost didn’t happen. 

‘There was quite a lot of room between everybody and I liked that element of it because it felt like that really comes across and it was perfect for the song. 

‘Darren Craig, who was the director, nailed it with that one. This one felt really special.’

LP is also the writer behind hit tracks for other artists, including Rihanna’s Cheers (Drink To That), which was written specifically for her.

She revealed: ‘The Rihanna song was really interesting because we did a writing camp for her, that song was never for anybody else, so it’s always interesting to write from that perspective. An artist like that gets so many pitches, it’s kind of a lottery ticket.’

With so much under her belt already, LP says she’s her own biggest competition: ‘I have so much material, I am happy to say – I’m consistently writing so I feel like I am always banking songs. 

‘I always joke to people that there’s no rest – I feel like if you’ve had success and you’ve had a hit song, everybody wants another hit song so you’d better get to it!’

LP’s The One That You Love is out now.

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