Lourdes Leon is somewhat of a legend on NYC’s club scene (even if she’d never admit it). For as long as the 26-year-old could remember, she has been immersed in music and the culture surrounding it–by proxy of her mother, Madonna. And as someone who grew up in New York City, she’s been to some of the best parties and venues you can imagine. But now, as she carves her own space in music as Lolahol, she steps into a new era. Here she is–Lolahol, the hostess, the vibe curator, and the performer.
Last weekend, the trip-hop musician turned out the beats and got hearts racing at Club Shy, an after-party of sorts to Shygirl’s set at Webster Hall. Hot off the release of her debut EP, “GO,” Lolahol serenaded her most devoted NYC fans, seen tonight in Dr. Martens platform boots, Dion Lee muscle tees, and Diesel shoulder bags. Curated by Shygirl, the event also included performances from Angelita, Bearcat, Byrell The Great, and Sammy. After Sammy’s high-powered DJ set, Lolahol emerged onstage. In a crisp white button-up, pleated miniskirt, and skinny tie, she got straight to business, kicking off her performance with “Purple Apple,” a punchy track off her EP that retells an encounter with an ex-lover.
After singing a few more fan favorites from Go (including the summer anthem, “Cuntradiction”), Lola performed an unreleased track. And as the bass-heavy bop boomed throughout the concert hall, Lola reveled in the crowd’s energy. Following a Massive Attack interlude, she transitioned into “Lock&Key,” which was co-produced by Eartheater, Sammy, and Kiri. And just when you thought she was done, she brought out her friend and fellow club music enthusiast, Eartheater. Just before heading off stage, Lolahol riled the crowd up again with her rendition of Lana Del Rey’s “A&W,” which sealed it all with a kiss and sent the crowd into a dizzy.
Ahead of her performance, V sat down with the musician, probing her with questions about her new chapter. While she gushed about her love of Shygirl and shared her getting-ready process, she also teased her future plans, which include releasing new music this summer. For more on the illustrious musician, read our interview with her below.
V MAGAZINE: We’re super excited to see you perform at Club Shy tonight. What was it like to get an invitation to perform at her show? How did you and Shygirl first connect?
LOLAHOL: Shy and I were DMing each other on Instagram a couple of years ago when we had girl crushes on each other. And then, when I went to London for some Burberry-related event, I had messaged her, and we linked. We were entangled immediately, and it felt like I had known her for so long. She’s just so amazing and fun to be around. I love her so much. But when she asked me to do this, I was obviously gagged and was excited to do it.
V: Yeah, it’s so major. When did you first get exposed to her music?
L: I first saw Shy in her music video, “Bebe.” In the video, she’s driving around with a man in a ski mask, and I was doing the same thing with a boy at the time. So it felt very synchronized and very funny. And I was like, “I fuck with this bitch. She’s on the same shit as I am.” And when I finally met her, she was so likable. Like, how can you not like her? I don’t think I’ve ever met one person that doesn’t like Shygirl’s music.
V: Yeah, I feel that. Shy is truly so poetic in every sense of the word. I know you’re in glam right now but I am wondering if you have any pre-show rituals before you head onstage?
L: I say a prayer and I do a tequila shot.
V: I love that. Just the one?
L: Just one–well, two is ok [laughs]. More than that is dangerous territory.
V: Tequila is a good one. It’s definitely an energizer. And can you tell us about your setlist and what we can expect tonight?
L: There are a couple of songs from the EP, and a lot of them are remixed. They’re more dance club versions of the original songs that were recorded. I’m also doing an unreleased track, which is exciting.
V: Is this the first time you’re performing this unreleased track?
L: I actually performed it one time at a Chemical X party, but it was in its beginning stages. Now it’s fully fleshed out.
V: That’s so exciting. I can’t wait to hear it. And as you mentioned, the EP, which you released last year, now has over one million Spotify streams. How do you think you’ve grown since the EP’s release?
L: I think something really interesting that Eartheater told me–that has stuck with me now is how “your first EP lays the groundwork, and as you grow as an artist, you continue building on your sound.” I’m also trying to learn a lot more about music production and the technicalities, so my sound is definitely expanding and growing.
V: Yeah, totally. And coming from a musical background, who were some of your earliest musical influences growing up? How have they informed your sound today?
L: I’ve always been a really big Radiohead girl. I love Thom Yorke–he’s a Libra, and I’m a Libra [laughs]. I’m obsessed with Massive Attack. I love Tricky, I think he’s literally one of the coolest people ever. I would love to meet him one day. Those are the people that I’ve been really listening to my whole life. And I think that makes a lot of sense because it is the inspiration behind a lot of my music.
V: Yeah, you can definitely tell. And diving a bit more into your artistry, tell us how you bring the musical persona Lolahol to life in performance and in what ways does she defer from you, Lola?
L: I think that Lola as a person, like the way I present myself in social situations, is a very comical. I think I’m a funny person. And then Lolahol is a little bit more serious. She’s an extension of me, but one that shows a more serious side. I like to think that Lolahol is an entrance into my brain, maybe, my darkest, most inner thoughts.
V: I see.
L: Lola’s Lair.
V: Lola’s Lair. That has a nice ring to it. I hear you’re also working on more new music and scheduling more live dates. Anything you can share right now?
L: I have some new music coming out this summer, and after that, I’m going to be gearing up to release another EP. I’ll also be playing a festival in Spain, the Brava Festival, in September. So see you there.
Listen to the latest from Lolahol below.