LA-based dark-synth pop artist, L’FREAQ, recently shared her sophomore EP, Showgirl, via Position Music. The 5-track release is full of powerhouse vocals, deeply personal lyrics and a fire-in-belly passion for a lifestyle of performance that isn’t performative. Steadied by unapologetic realness, L’FREAQ shows the shadows that the lime light tends to eclipse. On the new EP, L’FREAQ says:
“This EP is one of strength, courage, and tenacity. I wrote it about some of my darkest times (Showgirl, Gimmick) and also some of my most empowering times (LOUD, Nothing On Me). I wanted an EP that really showcased my vocals and I was able to stretch myself on. This was that EP for me. I love the idea of an artist growing, morphing, shifting with each musical offering and I wanted to do that with this. The concept of the showgirl is a fascinating one to me — showgirls are traditionally women draped in gorgeous fabric and jewels, but what happens when you take a deeper look? What lies beneath that surface? I wanted to answer some of those questions and play with the duality of the colorful drama while nodding to my deeper authenticity.”
Just last week, L’FREAQ shared a live and unplugged version of her newest single, “LOUD.” The intimate performance on plush red couches and a heart-shaped bed shows L’FREAQ’s literal comfort with vulnerability and also with her own power. Without a mic, and accompanied only by an acoustic guitar player, the glittering bones of this powerhouse song are brought to light.
L’FREAQ recently shared the official video for “LOUD.” In a music world (and the whole world) where women have consistently been silenced, taken as a joke, out-shadowed and pushed around, this song reminds anyone who’s ever been shut up not to shut down. In fact, L’FREAQ recommends getting loud. As the ferocious beat slaps, the fiercely free lyrics gain momentum: “You ask me why can’t you sit down and shut up and wait your turn / I want it now so I guess you could say I never learn” and “I’m gonna be loud / I’m gonna break out / So watch my mouth / I’m gonna be loud / I’m gonna break the mold.”
The official video, shot in an alley and harkening back to that moment, reclaims autonomy and energy with hair flips, rhinestone gloves and bold fashion. l of On the video, she adds, “I filmed this video in 110-degree heat in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. Bless my videographer, Josue Orozco, for always being game to do crazy things like this with me. The unique clothing is from my friend Robert who owns one of the coolest vintage clothing stores in the country, Fashion by Robert Black. I wanted the video to be messy and fun and LOUD, and I edited it myself to create the perfect atmosphere.”
L’FREAQ’s previous single and battle cry title track, “Showgirl,” is also out now. She also recently shared a lyric video of the single. The word “power” stands boldly in front of the red curtain in the lyric video, and in the new live and unplugged version — L’FREAQ’s voice alone is full of potent, passionate energy. Her raw performance, only accompanied by an acoustic guitar, proves every lyric’s realness in every note.
Furthering the story from the debut single and music video for “Gimmick,” it’s clear that the EP is absolutely stacked with metaphor, all-star fashion, witchy babe vibes and an important message about the role media plays with children — especially young women. L’FREAQ is turning trauma into triumph, tapping into her heart and getting out of her head.
From puppet to powerhouse (just like in The “Gimmick” video), L’FREAQ breaks free of the monotony and shreds through the brainwashed stereotypes, as she literally shreds on a guitar. “Gimmick” showed L’FREAQ embodying themes of resiliency in a time of self-doubt, combining heart-pounding beats with passionate lyrics about believing in the power that everyone inherently owns and nobody else can take away. It also emphasizes L’FREAQ’s expansive “robust range (Refinery29),” which is also on full display in her recent live and unplugged version of “Gimmick.” This new track follows in those footsteps and takes it further into a deeper love of music, family and personal freedom.
Having recently performed for Backline’s “Set Break” live stream alongside Alanis Morissette, Tom Morello, Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and more to raise funds and awareness for mental health services to be distributed to music industry for free, L’FREAQ has been a champion for her community. This song is another chapter of that consistent commitment to rise up and bring people with her.
L’FREAQ, continues to remain an open book of emotions for fans as she lays out her own experience with rejection and struggles with mental health. L’FREAQ belts, “Got the courage to be vulnerable, got the guts to wear the crown, cause I dare to bare it all, I refuse to water down,” as a testament of truthfulness and self-confidence even when it’s hard. Intimacy on this level allows L’FREAQ to push the storyline forward when it comes to believing in dreams as a reality, especially in the face of adversity. NYLON says, “Look at L’FREAQ, draped in jewels and Cleopatra-esque eye makeup; then look a little harder. Behind the artifice, integrity abounds.”
L’FREAQ is all about being inclusive, and she is outspoken when it comes to defending the underdog. As an ally of everyone on the spectrum of gender and sexuality, bullies, racists and sexists are not allowed in L’FREAQ’s kingdom. She also shows her love for those closest to her, by highlighting their work: namely her fashion photographer mom, Kelly Cappelli (as seen in Vogue), who does all the photography and artwork for L’FREAQ.
The new release follows L’FREAQ’s debut EP, Weird Awakenings, which played with themes of self-discovery, as well as her 2021 single “Make Me Move.” Armed with a full book of poetry, L’FREAQ took pieces of her work and composed songs with Mike Irish, who also produced and mixed the EP at Shifted Recording Studios. The EP was mastered by Stuart Hawkes at Metropolis London Music. They took their time in discovering a sound that felt genuine, one that explored all the raw places she had been longing to find. Together, they created a modern amalgamation of L’FREAQ’s dark, thoughtful poetry and her raw musical instincts, which inevitably alchemized into songs that are all at once aggressive, sensual and moving.
Having shared a stage with ABBA, India.Arie and Jakob Dylan, it’s important to note her live performance prowess, even without tour dates on the books (speaking of longing). L’FREAQ played a packed NYC performance debut at SoHo House, and channeled Britney Spears (especially during her ferocious “Toxic” cover”), Nick Cave and Beats Antique vibes. The Deli Magazine later dubbed her “NYC’s Favorite Emerging Artist.” She’s also currently playing Amy Winehouse in Las Vegas show “27”, and has been featured on the news several times for her iconic portrayal of Winehouse, who inspired her to sing in the first place, leaving audiences moved to tears from the experience.
With over 500k streams, 240K plays on YouTube, and songs featured in “Riverdale,” Playboy, Netflix’s “Dating Around, “Good Trouble,” “FBI,” “The Voice,” “City on a Hill” and more — all born from her 5-song debut EP, it’s safe to say this follow-up EP is highly anticipated. Stay tuned for more visual components to follow, along with brand new singles. Showgirl is on the way.
L’FREAQ is the alias of Brooklyn and LA-based singer/songwriter Lea Cappelli, who crafts songs inspired by pop and R&B but with a biting edge. Some highlights of her career include performing privately for Muhammad Ali, sharing the stage with Jakob Dylan, and performing with Grammy-winning artist India.Arie.
L’FREAQ released her EP, Weird Awakenings, to critical acclaim in October 2018 and was voted one of NYLON’s 20 Best Releases. The EP has also garnered radio play and enthusiastic reviews in the US, UK, Europe, and Australia. Her second music video was premiered by Billboard while her most recent music video, “New Skin,” was released exclusively through NYLON which noted “integrity abounds” throughout.
Playboy recently used the title track “Weird Awakenings” in its groundbreaking video of actor Ezra Miller, while another song from the EP, “I’ve Become a Thief” has been featured in the trailer for the CW’s hit show Riverdale. L’FREAQ was recently voted “NYC’s Favorite Emerging Artist” in an open poll sponsored by The Deli Magazine.
Photo (above) credit: Anna Azarov