L.J.P's Musical Odyssey: From Bar Gigs to Solo Stardom, the Singer-Songwriter Shares His Inspiration
Explore the captivating story of L.J.P's musical evolution, his heartfelt songwriting approach, and the exciting projects on his horizon.
L.J.P. ©️ 2023
GH: Hey L.J.P. Can you share the story or inspiration behind one of your favorite songs that you've ever written? And how did you get started in the music world?
L.J.P.: Hey! Thanks for having me! That is a hard one to start off with. I do have quite the catalogue of songs and they all served an different emotion, or need at the time. Having said that “Beat Of My Heart”, “A Brand New Day”, “When I Had The Chance”, “Running To You”, “Some Say”, “My Backyard” and “The Boy” are ones that always get played live. But lets take “My Backyard” as an example. We just moved across Canada after spending 3 winter months in Costa Rica basking in the sun and ocean. I was sitting in an empty apartment with the acoustic and just doodling on the guitar as I often to. An eagle was circling around the building and the 1st verse and the chorus just came to me. Lyrics don’t come easy to me so when songs like this and “When I Had The Chance” or “The Boy” come out I make sure to film the idea and get to recording right away.
That whole first verse is me just talking about being here on the Island the fist week, literally “I haven’t see the sun in few days, but I’ve seen eagles fly on their way. I felt the rain drops on my face and I got my feet wet in the ocean waves. This is my backyard.”
Original recording video Luke (L.J.P Music) (@l.j.p_music) • Instagram photos and videos
Official Video, which is more of a tourism advert than a music video haha My Backyard (Official Video) - YouTube. I started a little band when I was 15 or so. Like all the other band stories we couldn’t play well at all, no idea what we were doing, but all we did was play and in a very short time I started to write music and words. That band actually stayed together for about 10years and we did become a staple name in the city. Unfortunately once we fell into the soul destroying circle of having to play bars regularly to make money to pay for studio time and became pretty much a cover band with few originals sprinkled in I was over it. I never wanted to play other peoples songs. I did start to write songs on my own at the end there, but not much came of it. I did end up living in Ireland after that for about 6yrs and fell into an all original band, which in a very short time started to take off. The singer/guitar player wrote all the songs but I still had my guitar creative freedom. We came very close to that “golden ticket” but as life goes and people grow up and start families things just end. After that I was pretty deflated and when I moved back to Canada I honestly don’t think I touched a guitar for months. Eventually I started to write music and realised I couldn’t find any one to sing, so I had to start singing my own songs. Until then I was always and foremost a lead guitar player/writer. And that’s how L.J.P as a solo artist came to be. Sure I’d jam with some people here and there but it never worked. I got hooked again on writing and recording and in a short time started to build a good community on Twitch which allowed me all the creative freedom and as of today we stand at; 24 releases since 2018 (14 Singles, 4 EP's, 4 LP's and recently 2 Live Albums (Live is exclusive to Bandcamp)
GH: How would you describe your musical style and the overall message or emotions you aim to convey through your music?
L.J.P.: I have always been a guitar player/songwriter and singer last. So my songs always have a sweet little riff or a little hidden hook, an ear treat as my supporters call it.
I always recommend headphones for the full lush experience. Style? I’ve always say, if you listen close enough there is always a Blues undertone in my songs but I am not a blues writer. I listen to anything from Chopin to Miles to Van Halen to Zappa to LoFi Beat playlist on Spotify, to Country so my style is whatever you style you want to label it as.
However I am very much into jam bands and crafty guitar parts so right now you’ll find lots of Goose and Dead on my rotation. Honestly, when I sit down to write a song I don’t think about what am I trying to say. Sometimes its just a story, current good example of that is “Get It On” off the 45 EP. It’s a little song about a garden, which is a metaphor for love or a relationship. I simply needed to just write some lyrics because I loved the music so much that I didn’t want it to go to waste. Most of the time I focus more on the music on the beat on the notes than maybe words, so if I can’t tap my foot to it or sway its no good. I want the listener to enjoy the music maybe more than sometimes things about the message. Having said that, songs like “When I Had The Chance” and “The Boy” as example were written as lyrics first and have a strong emotion and message attached to them. And I tried to match that story in the video as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqTiKNVxeio&list=PLHTUIbWVATgKz4OLK8VaxpRMYFebxTh_t&index=2
GH: Are there any particular artists or genres that have influenced your songwriting and musical journey, and if so, how?
L.J.P.: My musical journey has been influenced by a wide range of artists and genres. I listen to everything from Chopin to Miles Davis, Van Halen to Frank Zappa, and even lo-fi beats and country music. Each of these influences has contributed to shaping my musical style and approach.
I'm particularly drawn to jam bands and the intricate guitar work they often incorporate. Currently, you'll find lots of Goose and Grateful Dead in my rotation. The crafty guitar parts and improvisational nature of these bands resonate with me and have certainly left their mark on my songwriting.
GH: What inspired your tradition to release four songs on March 4th? Your EP "45" on March 4th, made out of four singles, was well-received. How did you craft such a great record?
L.J.P.: March 4th is my birthday, lets start with that. While I was living in Costa Rica in the winter of 2022 during one of my online streams I came up with the main riff which turned into “Dirt Road Blues” (most of my songs get written or finished while I’m live streaming). It’s a basic bluesy tune, I wanted to keep it kind of laid back in a J.J Cale fashion, but that song sparked the idea for an EP. I figured it might be fun to do celebrate my birthday away from friends and family with an 4 song release and announce it live on stream and release it live on stream to create a bit of a buzz. That whole EP was recorded in a hotel room on a cheap Fender Squire using a mini MIDI keyboard and my travel mic, on an Ipad using Garagband. I reached out to 2 fellow musicians/streamers for a bass and backing vocal track as well. So there was no huge plan behind the 4 songs on the 4th of March release but I decided this year to keep that going, with “45”, and will keep it going each year.
“Dirt Road Blues” also spawn the release on my fist official video. Little trippy home made treat.
Now as far as “45” goes, those 4 songs were not pre planned. I mean I just released a full length album that November. I wrote “The Boy”, well most of it on Christmas eve while still in bed, it just came to me, I think I did document it with a post on my Instagram. “Love Tonight” was started off as a mellow night time jam, again while live on stream and as a joke I wrote that ending part and pretended to “rap”. Turns out people thought it was great and should be the ending of the song. “Get It On”...man I just love that guitar riff. That song was written around that riff, I just love how it pings in your ears in headphones. I had the music and verses sorted in a short 2hr session and worked out the ending the next day. Lyrics came like a month later, I think I actually recorded the vocals for that 2 days before the release. The track called “45” was a bass part idea I had (actually there are 3 bass parts in there) and I wanted something quick, mellow and sweet to close off the EP. There is a bonus track on the Bandcamp release, as I always try to make the Bandcamp stuff little more special, called “Better Days” (Demo) which will one day be re-released, with few guest musicians. It’s a very honest and personal song. I remember driving home from work and it WAS a beautiful day, but man I was NOT ok. So I wrote a song about where I was in that exact moment. I also sing in Polish on that song, my native tongue, the fist time I’ve done that.
GH: Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're excited about and can give us a glimpse into?
L.J.P.: Oh for sure! I’m hoping to finally release the single “Going To Georgia” in July. I’ve reached out to some musicians for a helping hand so its slowly coming together, not rushing the guest appearances. It’s going to be a fun little release, with few guest remixes/alternative versions as well. For the time being you can see and hear the original demo live Going To Georgia (Live Demo) - YouTube
I also have 2 “cute little love songs” as I’m calling them, which I’m planning on releasing as a separate EP. You can listen to the original jam version of “A Tiny Little Love Song” on my Live Album Vol. 1 (Bandcamp exclusive) Live Album (Vol.1) | L.J.P (bandcamp.com) I try to group songs together that work well together so I’m also sitting on about 3 songs (rough ideas) that I’ll probably release by the end of the year as well. Here is one of them https://ljpmusic.bandcamp.com/track/new-song-idea-784. Once I find the time to go over about 25 files or jams, and half song ideas I will put them together for my Instrumental Vol.2 album, these are exclusive to Bandcamp only. That is my plan, but as I’ve learned I can sit down later today and something hits and bam, we have a song and since I record mix and master it all on my own I can release it whenever. I love to write songs and I’m not afraid to release them.
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