With 'No Strings' attached, Parisian hailing artist fills dancefloors

Paris-born Lola is heating up dance floors with the suggestive single, "No Strings," which debuted at No. 46 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the Sept. 3 issue of the magazine. It's the lead single from her upcoming debut album, "Take It Like I Give It," which will be released in January by Sobe/Warner Bros.

The 24-year-old pop singer currently lives in Brooklyn and recently got her first taste of the song's success when she played Beatstock, a dance festival presented by New York radio station WKTU. "It was amazing; the whole crowd knew all the lyrics," she says, adding that she wasn't prepared for the audience reaction because she doesn't usually listen to the radio or go out to clubs.

Although "No Strings" is quickly moving up the dance charts, Lola isn't necessarily a dance artist.

"Mainstream pop is more my sensibility," she says. "My main influences are R&B [artists] -- Prince is probably my biggest influence and Aretha Franklin is my favorite vocalist.

"I was fortunate enough to have parents with varied but good tastes in music, so I grew up listening to everything from the Beatles and [Rolling] Stones to Sam Cooke and Otis Redding," she continues. "Then I got into hip-hop when I was 10, like N.W.A. and Public Enemy. I've had phases, so my influences span a lot of musical genres."

Lola co-wrote each song on the album -- which features such producers as Toby Gad (Enrique Iglesias), House of Tre (Alicia Keys) and Fanatik (Beyoncé, Notorious B.I.G.) -- so all those styles will surely collide.

"The album spans across rock, soul and pop," she notes. "I like to think it has all those flavors, but you know how it is, everybody hears something different. People have told me it sounds like everything from Bonnie Raitt to Janis Joplin to Chaka Khan, so it's sort of soulful rock with a touch of urban beats."

As is the case with many new pop artists, the label decided to remix Lola's "No Strings" in order to build a fanbase before her album is released. It was an added bonus that the song's sexually charged lyrics are ripe for the dance floor: "I don't even know you/And I don't care/'Cause you've got what I want and I want all you've got/Come on baby let's do it right here."

One press release is quick to point out that the song is "not an endorsement" for casual sex, and Lola tells Billboard.com that writing the song was all in good fun.

"I thought, let's write something really outrageous," she says. "Something that people wouldn't say but might feel, and it just came out. I didn't think anyone would go for it, I thought it would be too outrageous, but people have really been receptive. I just hope that [the song] can provide catharsis for my audience."

Links:
Artist site: www.lola-music.com
Label sites: www.sobeentertainment.com,
www.warnerbrosrecords.com

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print