So long as the human brain can think and feel and put words together, songs will always be written and there will always be at least one person out there who will feel as if these songs were written just for them. Buried amid the strands of DNA that make us human are some indefinable bits and pieces that inspire us to create or to crave some psychological satisfaction from what others create. At its most basic, the need to make art is not about money. The monetary gain is what we're taught to make out of it, but the roots of art are primal. For Laura Pergolizzi, better known by the moniker LP, who has been in the business of playing music just long enough to have seen the tides turn not once but twice, it's no different.
"One of the things I think you need in this business is to be able to flow with the change and not dwell on 'remember when we used to make so much money selling records?'" she tells Orlando Weekly. "I was working with writers that were of that age, back in the day, who made millions of dollars off album cuts with big artists. I came in on the tail end of that and was having my first record deal when the record business was declining for a bit and I just thought to myself, well, just have a working-class mentality. Do you like writing songs?' Yes. Do you love making music? Yes. So I stayed in it. Now, things are leveling out a bit in terms of streaming so it's better ... but you have to ask yourself always why the hell are you doing this in the first place? I write songs and I like to play them and that's why I do that. Case closed."
- Photo by Darren Craig
And Pergolizzi has written a lot of songs, many of which were made famous by other singers. Her songwriting career kicked off with a song co-written for Backstreet Boys and from there she bounced all over the industry, helping pen tunes for Rihanna, Spoon, Cher and, most recently, Morrissey. The whole process of writing for others she finds most rewarding when it's collaborative: "I usually like writing with other artists, not for them."
When it comes to writing for herself, as on her fifth album, Heart to Mouth, the process gets a bit more personal. "Writing for others is a little more universal, writing for myself, I use more specifics," she says. "I try to leave in everything and keep it as honest as possible."
When asked what she would take away from this whole experience of fame and notoriety if it were all to end tomorrow, Pergolizzi gives a nod to Frank Sinatra and says, "I got through the business with my dignity and my personality intact, and, basically, I did it my fucking way and I'm really proud of that."
This rising star's show was initially scheduled for the Social, got upgraded to the Beacham and has since sold out. If that's not a sweet testimonial for the benefits of doing it your way, you tell us what is.