Three letters that are very important when it comes to LP as a person and musician. They stand for ukulele, whistle & yoga. So let’s start with uke.
From interview with Guitar Magazine (December 2014): What was it about the ukulele that attracted you to it and when did you start playing?
LP: “I started playing in 2009 when I pretty much thought I would just be a song writer. I loved the smallness of it as far as just taking it around. But the sound just made me really chill and brought out a quiet in me that helped me reach places when I wrote with it.” More from Ukulele Magazine: “I feel like the ukulele helped me rediscover the enjoyment of writing for myself. Now, it’s my instrument of choice. I still play guitar but I just take the uke everywhere. It’s sitting next to me right now, in fact.”
|photo: Amanda Demme via LP’s Instagram|
From interview with Ukulele Magazine (February 2015): I often hear people say it’s impossible to write sad songs on a ukulele, but you do that on the record’s title track.
LP: “It’s just how you play the instrument, the chords you choose. Ukulele kind of gets a bad rap. When people tell me, “Oh, I just think of Hawaii when hear the ukulele,” I say, well, it depends. You can play it like that, or not. The challenge is finding those places where you can do something else, and that’s kind of what I look for.”
LP bought her first ululele for about 60 or 70 USD in September 2009. When you will take a look at the video interview “Brunch with Bridget” (from 2009), LP says that she has been playing the instrument for only 2 weeks as she just got it. How did she learn to play? “I went to a Beatles website and learned about seven songs, and there were all sorts of different chords. Your brain hurts at first, but now my brain hurts when I go back to guitar. If you play guitar, or even if you don’t, the ukulele is easier to be self-taught.”
|print screen of “Brunch with Bridget” – it’s one of my favourite interviews with LP.|
More from interview with Guitar World (May 2014). LP: ” It was before I was an ambassador for Martin and I had a little tiny soprano ukulele, probably some Hawaiian brand, and I just kind of brought it in to sessions with me. It was fun to write lyrics ultimately at the end of the day with the ukulele and not be banging away with a track that we had created or using whatever was there. It was an organic instrument to take to a songwriting session.”
You were a guitarist then before that?
LP: “Yeah, but I always wanted a ukulele and then I got one. I realized, “Oh, shit, these are all different chord shapes and everything.” I remember trying to learn them and I was hurting my brain. I was like, “You know what? This thing sucks.” And then I learned “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles and never put it down. I was addicted.”
“I honestly thought in September of 2009, when I picked it up, that I had no desire of being an artist again. I really was a songwriter and that’s where I was going with my life. But it just honestly made me fall in love so hard with music. I think that’s why I’m an artist again, because it opened this door of joy for me.”
|photo via LP’s Twitter|
In 2012 LP became first female ambassador for Martin Guitar: “They came to me. It was right about the time that my song “Into the Wild” was used in a commercial, and Martin’s vice president of brand marketing [Amani Duncan] saw a picture of me and liked it, and followed up. I was surprised, and I’m honored.”
LP already had a vintage Martin at that time: “I had an antique Martin from the 1940s. I loved it. And then I helped design a new one, giving them the specs. I made the neck fatter, added friction tuners that came out the back, and they put a lightning bolt [LP’s signature symbol] on the fret board. I have three ukuleles that they’ve made for me so far, and they sound amazing. They’ve put Fishman pickups in them, and people are always amazed in the studio at how good they sound. Eventually, they’ll be made available to buy.”
|photo from LP’s Facebook:
“Opening my custom-maded Martin Guitar ukulele for the first time backstage at Joe’s Pub! Magical.”
LP received her first custom made ukulele by Martin Guitar in 2012, backstage at Joe’s Pub ahead of her show. And to my amazement I have found the video of her performance from that night and you can hear LP saying that it’s the first time she is playing her new uke. For video click here.
After interview „My Girlfriend is a lesbian“ (December, 2016): You got us amazed with your whistling. Tell us your secret, how do you do that?
LP: “I think that whistling is some kind of a lost art. When I was a little kid there was this happy guy who was cleaning our school each and every day. He was whistling like a bird, you should have seen him, he was the cutest. I really liked him a lot, so I got inspired by him.”
|print screen of “Whistle Off” video – click on pic to be redirected|
How whistle became LP’s signature mark? From interview 10 Questions by Music World (May 2012)
“It’s funny to have people commenting so much on my whistling as of late. I’m not one of those people singing in my house all day long—I whistle more. We were writing “Into the Wild” and the producer was messing around with the track. I was sitting on the couch behind there, whistling along to the track with my ukulele, going [whistles melody], and they turned around with this look on their face. I was like, “What? What is it?” And they were like, “Get in there! Put it down!” It was one of the first things I did.”
Also back in September 2015 LP was invited by the band JR JR to perform with them (to whistle to be more exact) their song ‘Gone’ at the Conan O’Brien late night show. To see LP’s incredible range of whistling I recommend two videos, one from 2014 “Whistle Off“. She is amazing. And another one, more fresh from 2016, recorded in Russia. Title: “LP насвистывает «Lost on You», «Other People» и Моцарта”. To view it click here.
From interview with V Magazine (February 2017): What are your must-haves while on the road? LP: “My yoga mat and a personal steamer, for sure. And an iPad.” More from Rock on Philly interview (July 2016). Besides music, who is LP? What other things do you fill your time with? What are some of your favorite ways to unwind? LP: “I do a lot of yoga. Sounds boring but has led to more fun than I’m inclined to share here.”
|via @everythingisorson‘s Instagram account – beloved dog/kid of LP|
Also during her various video interviews LP says that yoga is very important part of her life, it’s something that keeps her sane and freshes her mind. Yoga and meditation (hence her signature beaded necklace she has on all the time).
After ‘In Sync with the Universe – ORIGIN Magazine’ interview with LP (September 2014): “Yoga helps me control my mind enough to be present. I practice yoga four to five times a week or take walks. Usually getting in touch with nature helps. I try to get quiet time in the morning. I will avoid electronics for a little while. I will never bring my phone or have a TV in my bedroom. The only electronic in my room is an alarm clock.”
“After I went on my first yoga retreat, I experienced stillness and was able to be present, which was a revolution. My yoga practice is a huge influence in my life. I wanted something that kept me fit but kept me fulfilled mentally and spiritually. I started practicing the same year I signed with my first major record label. Throughout the years, the inner strength yoga has provided has given me the power to overcome the toughest obstacles, like losing loved ones, bad breakups, and everything in between. It has helped me keep balance in my life, control my mind, raise my confidence. Yoga has a meditative quality I have yet to find elsewhere. Yoga helps bring me back to my strongest mental self. Yoga enables me to sync with the universe.”