Chartbreaker: LP Scores First Solo Hit After Writing For Rihanna and Christina Aguilera

LP photographed June 12, 2017 at Neuehouse in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Weinberg

LP photographed June 12, 2017 at Neuehouse in Los Angeles.

Chartbreaker is Billboard's new monthly series spotlighting an artist making their introduction to the charts.

The 36-year-old singer-songwriter -- and our Chartbreaker for the month of June -- finds her voice 10 years after calling it quits.

The ukulele kick-started her songwriting career

After a pair of mid-’00s label deals flamed out, the artist born Laura Pergolizzi gave up on music in 2008. Then she picked up an old ukulele in her apartment and started strumming. “I just wanted to sit in bed and play,” she says, “but the ukulele inspired new songs.” Within two years, she had co-penned tracks for Rihanna and Christina Aguilera.

Paul Simon influenced breakout single “Lost on You”

The heart-wrenching alt-pop single, which has logged 10.5 million streams (according to Nielsen Music) and earned LP her first airplay, was written on the road in 2014, after the Long Island native had restarted her solo career. “That was a weird year -- I was in a relationship, and something just wasn't right,” she says. “I studied Paul Simon’s ‘Slip Slidin’ Away’ and ‘Still Crazy After All These Years.’ I wanted to explore adult themes, portraying the hurt that’s in even a good relationship.”

LP photographed on June 12th at Neuehouse in Los Angeles.

She believes Donald Trump has exposed some harsh realities

LP thinks that “music really matters in politics,” and that, with Trump’s presidency, America’s cultural underbelly is now on display. “If Hillary Clinton had been president, we’d have had a false sense of security,” she says. “Trump has brought everything to the light -- racism, homophobia. It’s one of our darkest points, because we should know better.”

Her sexuality doesn't define her

Although LP (who’s on tour through November) has long been out, “I’m not looking to be a gay poster child,” she says. “If you’re gay and I inspire you, I don’t want to put that down. But I’m not looking to be your gay savior. My message is to put as much love in the bank [as I can] before I kick it.” 

LP photographed on June 12th at Neuehouse in Los Angeles.

This article originally appeared in the July 1 issue of Billboard.