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Powerhouse Artist And LGBTQ+ Activist LP Joins WTOP Before Rocking The Anthem In DC

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They are now considered a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community thanks to their innovative pop-rock sounds.

For the “Love Lines” tour, which is named after their recently released album, LP will be rocking The Anthem in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

“We’re playing that whole album, which feels really good,” LP told WTOP.

“There’s just a freshness, like a freedom to it somehow. There’s always kind of a looking within vibe, but this one in particular it feels more so than usual, but there’s also something really easy about it. I mean, it’s the first record I’ve ever written single. … You’ll definitely hear some ‘Lost on You’ for sure, but we’re rotating in all kinds of songs. … I sprinkle in the hits.”

LP, who was born in Brooklyn in 1981, had to fend for themselves growing up in a non-musical household.

“My mom listened to opera and my dad didn’t really care, he liked oldies channels like Elvis, Johnny Cash and stuff like that, but his musical opinion did not matter TBH,” LP said.

“As a result, I’m not one of those people who wakes up and listens to music. Maybe because I have music in my head already, but I don’t put on music until later in the day, so I would not say I come from a family that was jacked about music. [My dad] didn’t believe in doing music.”

Rather, LP’s musical career began thanks to David Lowery of the rock group Cracker, who included LP in the song “Cinderella,” a hidden track on the band’s 1998 fourth album “Gentleman’s Blues.”

“He had a tour manager that wanted to be my manager at the time and he loved my voice, I started singing some backup, then he asked me to co-write a song he had started called ‘Cinderella,’” LP said. “I went out like a little mascot on their tour and it got me going, then I got a record deal and I asked him to produced it — and he did.”

Following the production of Lowery’s first album, “Heart-Shaped Scar,” in 2001, LP went out on their own to record “Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol,” their second album, in 2004.

“I realized very early on that I didn’t really want to embark on the ‘white girl blues singer’ thing,” LP said. “I was fascinated with songwriting the most. I had a really hard time picturing myself getting somewhere as an artist, I’ll be honest, because I don’t look the way I’m supposed to or act the way I’m supposed to — and I don’t want to.”

LP’s initial focus was on penning pop songs for other well-known performers such as Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, Mylène Farmer, Cher, Rihanna, and the Backstreet Boys.

“I was like, yo, this is cool!” LP said. “I could be on the low-key tip like, ‘Hey, what do you do for a living?’ ‘I write songs for people.’ ‘Oh, sick. Like for who?’ ‘For these people.’ I really liked the subtly of that. … Then I got signed to these new managers. … [One] was Rihanna’s manager from the beginning before Jay-Z and Roc Nation took her over in 2010. … He was like, ‘We think you’re not done being an artist, so it would be great if you kept writing for you.’”

LP composed the song “Into the Wild” from their third album, “Forever for Now,” which was released in 2014.

“That’s when I really found myself as an artist,” LP said.

“‘Into the Wild’ kind of embarked me on being an artist again. I went into a three-year stint with Warner Brothers. At the end of that stint, when everybody that believed in me got fired or left, I had ‘Lost on You’ and a couple of other songs on that record that had been [scrapped]. I played the new people at Warner Bros. ‘Lost on You,’ ‘Strange’ and ‘Muddy Waters’ and they dropped me.”

When LP signed with the label Vagrant for their fourth album, “Lost on You,” (2016), they found a new home for these songs. Listen to the album’s title track below. It continues to be a powerful aural experience, propelling the LP to three more successful albums: “Heart to Mouth” (2018), “Churches” (2021), and the previously mentioned “Love Lines” (2023).

Along the way, LP has experienced improbable success in Latin American and Eastern European nations that are not always welcoming to the LGBTQ community. In order to support marriage equality, the music video for “Dayglow” was recorded in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, oligarchs from Russia attended LP’s performances to support LGBTQ+ youth who were not yet out in the open.

“I just believe in people,” LP said. “Religion and governments, I don’t believe in either of them. I believe in people. I think when you come up to me, my energy says just that. I’m about love and connection with people through that and I don’t really have time for a bunch of dudes that think they own the land or people or anything. … You don’t own s—.”

LP doesn’t back down from anyone attempting to dictate what other people should do, no matter what.

“It might sound like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, you bet your a — I’ve got a chip on my shoulder!” LP said.

“It’s for a reason. It’s inspiring to me and I just keep going. I have respect for myself for keeping going and I would implore anybody to do the same because it feels good at the end of the day. No one’s going to come to your house and pull a guitar out of your hand. Just keep going and writing and believing that you can do it, because you can.”

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