In The Spotlight: LAPP
Formerly the lead man of ‘Wild Rossa And The ’88’, LAPP is now attempting to do a Zayn, form his very own one man wolf pack and see how many fellow weirdos he can find along the way who, hopefully, might dig the tunes. And from what we gather from his debut release ‘Most Doubt’ , the man behind LAPP that is Luke Papini will do just fine! Most Doubt is the kind of experimental track where you can be playing it in front of a bunch of unbeknown people and 9/10 of them will churp up with ‘who is this?’. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone in this track; ranging from electro, R&B, Soul, Rock & Hip Hop, all shining a light on Luke’s freedom to express his musical ability which is sure as hell rife throughout. It’s not just the catchy guitar chords latching you in from the start, looping and looping over and over. But Luke’s poetic flow and variation of vocal styles eluding that he’s surrounded by innovative Wolves on the search of a new pack to join, when in fact it’s just a talented man and his laptop. Being in such early days and with an almighty future in front of him, we had a quick chat with Luke to see what is in store.
For the people who don’t know you, tell us a little about LAPP.
‘White man, DIY, R&B music infused with Folk, Soul, Rock, Jazz and whatever sound that seems appropriate at the time to tell tales of the human condition. Once a purist of seventies’ singer-songwriter soul searching, and now a stranger in a dark room writing, producing and making weird noises on a laptop.’ That’s the tagline! But to be honest the sound really varies from song to song. One minute it’s an experimental R&B track and next minute it’s a Folk tune. I want LAPP to be a project that is free of musical boundaries, parameters, I want it to feel free and I want it to be true to me. I focus heavy on lyrics and I try to make music that underlines stories about relationships, introspection, existentialism and pretty much anything that life throws at you.
Tell our readers in three words what your sound is.
Seventies Experimental Soul (I honestly have no idea!)
Have you any exciting gigs or releases in the pipelines?
I’m releasing my next single ‘Sunny’ on the 13th of April and I’m going to be doing some acoustic gigs around London to promote it. The first one coming up is a headline at Apples And Pears on May 4th near Brick Lane. I’ve got new material coming out throughout the year which will hopefully lead to a debut EP. Really looking forward to it!
Last time we spoke you were in Wild Rossa, lots has changed since then now going solo completely spicing up your genre, how’s it all going?
I’ve basically gone from being in a Jazzy-Rocky outfit to now being a solo artist recording on a laptop. It’s very different but the great thing is that you have an abundance of sounds at your fingertips. If there were any rules before there’s a lot less now. I used to favour that natural, organic band set up with that natural feel, live takes etc. The Laptop kind of forces you to make you adapt your sound and I have definitely explored a more soulful sound. If a song needs that natural instrument (or something that isn’t midi!) like a sax or bass part it’s really easy to do, you can practically do anything from your bedroom now. Also the practicality element of it is hard to beat, you can have your ‘own band practice’ whenever you want instead of trying to get people together in the same room. Saves money too!
What’s your favourite London venue and watering hole? Any funny stories we should know about?
I’ve had great memories playing in London, especially in the Camden Scene. Dublin Castle sticks out for me because I’ve played there a few times and did a sold out show with the band once which was amazing. The Water Rats is also a really cool place to gig. I would say The Half Moon is one of my favourite places I’ve been to watch a gig and I really want to perform there this year.
There’s been a few, maybe some kept better secret! I remember this one time though gigging in Liverpool at a great place called The Zanzibar and the night was going really well. All of a sudden in between songs, this guy shouts NELSON MANDELA HAS JUST DIED. It went silent pretty quickly and everyone in the room turned to me, the guy on the mic. So before our next song, I had to kind of lead a toast and ‘raise a glass’ moment for Mandela where everyone applauded for a good while. Turned out to be quite a nice moment!
We’ve seen you do an awesome cover of The Weeknd ‘Wicked Games’, are these on of your top three tracks/artists who influence your music?
To be honest I’m influenced by anything, not just music. Music, films, articles, podcasts, anything. If you end up listening to material you’re certain you’re going to like I don’t think you can learn anything. You just have to be prepared to be disappointed with some music you listen to but you’ll find that there’s little bits in songs you take from and adapt it into your own, even in songs you don’t necessarily like. I learn a lot from delving into areas that I wasn’t previously sure of. I really loved The Weeknd’s first release House Of Balloons. I thought the mixtape created such a dark, intense atmosphere and I really do have a soft spot for R&B. I wouldn’t say I’ve got a top three of anything but I’m definitely listening to a lot more Funk and Rap at the moment.
Your first solo release was earlier this year with Most Doubt, how did this track come about?
It really was through experimentation. When I decided to be a solo artist, I got on a laptop and basically made a lot of strange noises, and one of them was the mad intro for Most Doubt, starting with the drums, the vocal hook and then the guitar chords. I like to work in the moment and not really think about what comes next, really stream-of-consciousness kind of stuff. The lyrics are basically a poem and it’s almost free verse the way I’m singing over the track. I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea but it was really fun to experiment with different vocal lines.
What would the title of a book about your artist’s journey be called?
I don’t really know what I’m doing here but I’m glad to be here.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals e.g. drinks, ‘moments of self realisation’,?
I used to! I always had to go for a walk around the nearest street before I got on stage. But now I like to prepare as little as possible on the day. I almost like being unprepared, it shakes things up a bit.
When can we expect your first live video release? We love the animation Erin produced, is he your PIC?
In May/June time the music video to Sunny will be released and not long after that the next single which I’m currently working on will have a music video with it to. Erin is a really talented guy, I like that he has the ability to vary his images whilst keeping to his own unique persona. I love the first artwork he made for Most Doubt so I’m going to keep working with him to help brand my image. Check out his Instagram @erintc93. He’s really good.
If you were stuck on a desert island and only had three items to take with you, what would it be?
A guitar, a football and a bottle of tequila