Introducing: LP Giobbi
Introducing: LP GiobbiJuly 25, 2022
“I just landed in Portugal. Where am I in Portugal? I just got to the W Algarve, I’m playing with Tennis here tomorrow. And I just came off of a really hard weekend. So I’m like, wow, I feel like I’m on acid right now. It’s gonna be a great interview!”
Whether she’s playing piano, making music or making moves or spreading the word via her activist work or via her own glistening productions on the CD-Js, LP Giobbi gives good evening energy. Since she first emerged onto the electronic scene back in 2018, this irrepressible, self-confessed piano house producer (“I love piano house!”) and DJ from Austin (“technically my stuff is in Austin, Texas. Yeah, I have a home with gear and clothes there”) has steadily built a strong global following based on good vibes, good music and, if you’ll excuse the pun, the occasional game of tennis. In fact, her moves with DJ Tennis have gone beyond the court and into the studio, which is why she is currently in summer promo mode around the single “All In A Dream,” which also features fellow gear fiend Joseph Ashworth. The UK label she’s landed on is Ninja Tune offshoot Counter Records. And she has a very succinct reason why: “I literally signed to Ninja because of TSHA. I love her so much!”
At root, these good vibes go right back to the ultimate touring rock behemoths of the seventies: The Grateful Dead. “My parents are Deadheads,” she nods. “So I don’t know if I would exist if it weren’t for The Grateful Dead! They fell in love following the band around as twenty-something hippies. And on Sundays, instead of going to church, we would listen to The Grateful Dead as a family: that was sort of like our community and spiritual experience. But The Grateful Dead was always like my parents’ weird music, and it was embarrassing my brother and me growing up: because I didn’t really think the music made any sense. And I love them because I’m so close with my parents, but I didn’t really get it.”
“And then during the pandemic, a musician friend of mine was working at a studio and ended up getting the stems for a bunch of Grateful Dead songs and illegally sent them to me. I started thinking of myself as a one-woman Jam Band. And then they invited me to play with them at one of their festivals, which unfortunately got cancelled because of COVID. But the fact that they invited is amazing. It’s the first time they ever invited a DJ to play with them.”
Believe it or not, LP Giobbi released 21 tracks in 2021 and she started that year with a billboard in the very heart of Times Square in New York. After that, she was named one of Tomorrowland’s ‘20 of 2022’ and swiftly appointed as a Spotify EQUAL Ambassador for February. Her current single with DJ Tennis & Joseph Ashworth on Counter Records is as upbeat and ebullient as anything she’s done, including an undeniably enormous crossover moment remixing Chris Lorenzo‘s cover of ‘California Dreaming’ by The Mamas And The Papas.
LP isn’t afraid of creating big moments, and a July support slot for Fatboy Slim on The UK’s Brighton Beach confirms that: as a lifelong fan of The Grateful Dead, she’s attuned to the power of rock psychedelics and has also come to rock your socks off should you catch her either at a festival or at a smaller club spot. So far, she’s played Coachella, EDC, Lollapalooza and ACL and supported everyone from MK to Madeon and Diplo. “I think in the US, dance music has gotten so popular and so big,” she muses. “And I’ve also romanticized how awesome you guys [in the UK] are at dance music. But I think in the US, there’s a new generation of kids who sees DJs as rock stars and maybe do not know what a DJ is. They see us as artists, not as DJs.”
But that’s just the beginning of LP Giobbi’s artistic journey. Outside of the four walls of the studio, she’s both the face and the co-founder of FEMME HOUSE (with Lauren A. Spalding), a non-profit educational platform seeking to create opportunities for women in music creation. Every single Friday night, you can catch LP hosting FEMME HOUSE Radio on SiriusXM’s Diplo’s Revolution, where Giobbi interviews female and gender-expansive DJs and producers from across the musical spectrum: her own house has no boxes or edges and quite rightly sees no colour when it comes to music. “My purpose is to lift as I climb,” she smiles. “I want to leave this industry in a more equal place.”
But when we Zoom early in July, there’s one other part of her musical journey that’s still fresh to these ears: before becoming a bona fide DJ sensation, LP Giobbi was in an all-female band put together by Daft Punk’s LA-based management team. And she also got to meet Zee Robots in real life.
“I was playing a jazz gig at a bar. Right after graduating from college and that where I met Peter Franco. He’s an engineer and producer for Daft Punk [who first worked on their 2007 Alive album] and he came into the bar and asked if I wanted to join an all-female electronic band in Los Angeles. The Daft Arts scene was putting together this band and I was like, I don’t even know what a synth is and I barely know who Daft Punk is, but I’m like hey, I’m gonna make this leap anyways, so I moved down to LA and learned sound design. I was using like the Minimoog Voyagers from the Daft Punk pyramid tour: those were the first synthesizers I learned sound designed on. And so that French house era was like my kind of an entry point for me.”
But what happened to the band? “So I was in this [four piece] band which was so weird and amazing. It was sci-fi experimental and super avant-garde, it was too ahead of its time. In my humble opinion! We did all of our shows live. It was four jazz musicians who were learning how to use electronic gear and it was just really expensive to tour a band like that. And at that I started DJing around the same time, and then my DJ career just sort of started going and so I followed it, but I will always love this band. They were incredible.” And is there music out there? “Just like a few songs. It’s called LJ Laboratory.” And they didn’t continue without you? “No. Also, the singer got pregnant. And, you know, we kind of all sort of like went our separate ways. But that was the band that allowed me to like learn how to produce music. And I’m so grateful to them for that.”
If you’re wondering where the Daft Punk story is coming in, the answer is right here. You have met them, right? “I actually have! One night, we all went to a club in LA, and they couldn’t get into the club because the bouncers would only let the girls in the band through. And the bouncers didn’t know who they were. Because, you know, they wear helmets! And it was one of the funniest experiences of my life. My God, these are like some of the biggest names in music, let alone dance music, and they can’t get into this club. Maybe the helmets didn’t work out for them. Nobody in the gang said, ‘this is Daft Punk’. And they obviously didn’t believe us.”
As for the future, it’s more of the same. More shows, more radio, more random meetings with robots. And maybe an album. Or definitely an album. “I’m working on an album right now, although I don’t know if I’m gonna talk about this yet. Tennis and Ashworth are mixing the full record so all most of the songs will be layered with live drums.” Needless to say, the first time she stepped onto a court with Tennis, he was wearing a Grateful Dead tee. “And I was like: you’re a Deadhead! I didn’t know that about him. And so we connected on that like psychedelic rock level. And yeah, we stayed in touch ever since.”
Ralph Moore is a freelance journalist, presenter at Worldwide FM, and music director at Mixmag. Find him on Twitter.