On her upcoming album Holy Wars, LO creates a dark and dreamy pop landscape, evoking a whirlwind of emotions, not unlike what the year 2020 has felt like. The work will be a two-part album expressing the 25-year-old singer-songwriter’s duality.
Holy Wars was preceded by the lead single “Lost in Translation,” set for release Wednesday. The Cuban American singer calls the track “a celebration of lost love.”
“I’ve had my fair share of heartbreak,” LO says. “At the time [of writing this song] I had some of those relationships that I didn’t want to end, like we all have. So post break up, we all think, ‘This could’ve gone so differently, why didn’t it work?’ But ultimately, these experiences are lessons, and I’m glad I loved and lost, because that means at one point, I had it.”
LO grew up in a household where music was highly celebrated. Her father was an audio engineer, and her mother was a songwriter. Her childhood bedroom was located right above her family’s music room, where she would watch her mother play piano and write songs. LO was inspired by her mother’s craft and quickly began to mimic it by writing about her own life experiences.
LO would also accompany her father to various recording studios, sometimes recording songs that were featured on children’s shows, though she is “too embarrassed to say” which ones. To this day, she records and produces tracks in her home space, as it helps her cope with today’s political climate.
“I’m lucky enough to have a music studio here in my apartment.,” LO says. “I have a second bedroom that I’ve converted into a space. That's allowed me to be able to process through all of these really tough emotions.”
Holy Wars, which is set for release in early 2021, will be divided into two chapters. Side A will be called Aphrodite and Side B will be called Medusa. “Lost in Translation” serves as the single from Aphrodite, and she will release a new single called “Second Coming” from Medusa sometime next month.
“Aphrodite is going to be more about the celebration of love and those experiences that I've had,” LO says. “It’s kind of more cinematic and wanderlust. Then when we get over to Medusa, it's going to be a little more aggressive. It’s about exploring the power of my femininity and things that I've been frustrated about in the world. And also celebrating that too, because it's OK to be angry.”
On “Second Coming,” LO describes the powerful, yet vague, feeling of longing. The artist explains she could either be referring to a person, or to herself, as she has been waiting to express this side of herself for a long time.
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Over the years, LO has become more honest through her lyrics. She made it a point to produce and write the entirety of Holy Wars on her own; that way, she says, people can truly hear her through her words and sound.
“Since music is an extension of who I am and my expression, it was really important for me to have my hands in everything possible,” LO says. “You can only articulate so much with words and what you want to say to someone outside of you. So for me to be able to sit down and do this all myself feels more organic and natural.”
LO hopes to one day be a mentor for other young women in the music industry. Her next goal is to learn how to mix and master her own tracks.
“This is a male-dominated industry, on the backside especially,” LO says. “I think it's so important for women artists to have a little bit of their own duality and be able to speak the language and articulate what they want.”