What’s your story, Lola?
My story! My story begins on a farm full of cows in rural Michigan. I was writing songs there since I can remember. Our household was super creative – my mom was a motivational speaker, and when I was 9 we began traveling around and performing as ventriloquists together. We had trouble making ends meet and struggled for a long time after that, moving around a lot and trying to stay afloat, and then in Utah she ended up getting conned by this self-proclaimed prophet/predator, who I also believed in. That was hard. But we got through it. I made it to LA and pursued music for years, and eventually I started working with really great people. Britney Spears released one of my songs. And now I’m making my own music and making this shit happen!
Can you tell me about your stint with a religious cult leader? How did that experience impact you?
This guy’s a full-on cult leader now, but at the time he was targeting individuals. He got other people to help convince my mom that he was a prophet of God, which is a big thing in Mormonism. And at a certain point I discovered his letters to her, and then I believed in him too. I thought we were the chosen ones! I was making a website for his bogus charity and everything. He tried to make her give up her kids, which of course she didn’t, but I was separated from her for a bit. He forced her to sell her things and sleep with men… she was staying in this awful place where she was raped and beaten, and eventually one of the men who went there to sleep with her had a change of heart, broke down crying and got her out. And she was so traumatized afterward, and we were always super close so that was one of the hardest things to deal with. I had to grow up quickly. But we survived with a vengeance! It kind of fueled my attitude of “it’s fine, I’m gonna sing and be famous and buy Mom a big house and none of this will matter anymore.” I wrote an article about it.
You recently wrote a feminist manifesto online and “came out” as a feminist. Have you ever experienced any instances of sexism in the music industry?
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who hasn’t. There’s this fear of letting men know that you’re not sexually available because it might be bad for your career, and the attitude about this is largely that it’s just “how it is.” I’ve been aggressively propositioned in an executive’s office, and objectified, and my opinions have been dismissed and patronized and not taken seriously… I’m certainly not the only one who’s had these kinds of experiences, but I think women need to speak up about it more. I do have a lot of great men around me, and there are plenty of women who are getting shit done now more than ever, which is amazing. But more of the successful executives, musicians, and especially producers I know are still largely men, so sometimes there’s an imbalanced power dynamic that can be conducive to unhealthy attitudes or abuse of that power. Sometimes we don’t even realize they’re there.
Aesthetically, what is really inspiring you right now?
I’m feeling very Parisian at the moment. I’ve become obsessed with chic 60s French actresses and pop stars… Brigitte Bardot and Anna Karina and the like. 90s pop and R&B will forever inspire me as well. And sci-fi movies! My brain is a weird surrealist French technicolor 90s world right now.
Tell us about your track “Like Beyonce.”
“Like Beyoncé” is about being totally broke and not caring because you’re clearly fabulous and you know you’re going to rule the world anyway. Story of my life, basically. Not knowing how I’m going to pay my rent, or buy groceries for that matter, is pretty normal for me, and it’s been that way since I was a kid. But other than the occasional longing for nice things, it’s never mattered that much, because I’m doing what I want to do and I know I’m going to be successful. So fuck it, it’s part of the process.
What’s something that people might not know about you?
I’ve never had a drink before. People don’t really notice though. I always hear, “You were so drunk the other night!” Aaand I wasn’t.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my EP, my first actual official music release! It’s been a journey, it’s kind of an enormous task without a label or a budget but it’s really coming together and I’m so happy. I’m dying to get it out there and start making new videos and performing the songs. I’m also co-writing and co-starring in an upcoming web series with two of my girl friends… it’s going to be so good. I just love making things and I want to be doing it always.
How do you wish to truly use your voice?
As I achieve the things I used to dream about, the things that kept me going, I want other people – particularly young women and girls – to feel empowered to do it themselves, even if they grew up in the middle of nowhere with no money and no power and no help. I feel like everyone should always be pursuing what their heart actually wants, even when it’s scary, and I really do believe nearly anything is possible, if you can handle a nice dose of failure and rejection along the way! God help me, let’s hope it’s true. It’s got to be. Music is my art and it’s my way of expressing myself, of course, but in the process hopefully using my female voice can help give other girls and people a voice too. Like let’s be super loud together and shit.
Why should people give your music a listen?
Because they’re obviously going to love me. Or possibly hate me. But probably love me.
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