Låpsley is an up-and-coming artist from Merseyside, UK, and the number one thing that she wants you to know is that she wrote and produced her debut album, Long Way Home. Since signing with XL Recordings and gaining buzz for a couple of introductory EPs that drew comparisons to both Adele and James Blake, the artist born Holly Lapsley Fletcher, has found herself defending the role she plays in her music — when she'd rather not.
"The issue is that I don't want to have to convince anybody," she tells Exclaim! from a promotional stop in Amsterdam. "That's what I don't like. I don't enjoy that. I don't want there to be an issue. There is a lot sexism in the industry and it's deeper than I ever thought when I entered it. I think it's so much harder to see that from the outside."
Like M.I.A. and Grimes before her, Låpsley is done with people assuming a man is behind the music. And she's hearing it most from the press writing about her.
"I think I should be judged on my music," she says. "I always ask, 'If I was a boy, would I go through the same thing?' And I don't think I would, so that's why I think it's an issue. I just want to be treated equally and I don't think I am. Especially in the press. I've done a lot of interviews and get to hear all of the questions journalists throw at you and it's quite interesting to see what people want to find out. It's quite sad at times."
Once Long Way Home drops on March 4, Låpsley will be able to show off her stuff as both a songwriter and a producer. Though when she began making the album, she learned rather quickly just how different it was moving from her home studio to the intimidatingly professional one in the XL headquarters. Thankfully, she had the studio's in-house producer and engineer Rodaidh McDonald (King Krule, The xx) to show her the ropes.
"It was scary because the only thing I've ever known is the limited equipment that I have at my studio," she says. "So I worked very closely with Rodaidh McDonald to try and understand the equipment. He was a creative facilitator in transitioning me to a professional studio producer. His role was technical, not so much creative, but my album wouldn't be what it is without his help."
The experience of learning from McDonald inspired Låpsley to go one step further: "I want to go into writing and producing for other people after a few years, so I'm training to be an engineer in the summer so I can engineer my second album."
As for that Scandinavian letter in her name, Låpsley chose it for a reason. "I wanted it to be personal, but I also wanted to change it so it wasn't directly my name," she explains. "I'm Scottish, and Scotland has a lot of history with Scandinavia, plus I have white hair, so I feel like there is some kind of a link there, so I added it. I also like how it looks on a piece of paper."
Check out Låpsley's upcoming North American tour dates here and listen to the newly shared "Cliff" below.