LOLO

Lolo, who is originally from Jackson, Tennessee and based in New York, says Davenport has become one of her favorite places in the world. 

Catherine Powell, CONTRIBUTED

“OK, time for another Twitter rant about positivity,” the singer Lolo tweeted earlier this week, following it up with several posts about being thankful for what she gets to do everyday.

The Tennessee-born musician, a self-described “what you see is what you get type person,” purposefully shares her good and bad days on social media.

“I feel like more people should be aware of what real life is like for all of us,” she said. “I don’t care who you are, every day is not a glamour shot for Vogue.”

For example, a few days before our scheduled phone interview ahead of her three sets at GAS Feed & Seed Festival, a stranger tweeted at Lolo about 600 times criticizing her tattoos, her use of profanity and photos of her drinking whiskey.

Lolo responded to a few of the tweets, wrapping up her end of the exchange with this: “Life is really short, too short to lose faith in yourself even if others have. Too short to lose sleep over the things you cannot change.”

Why even respond?

“You got to pick your battles,” Lolo, whose given name is Lauren Pritchard, said. “But I think it’s important not just for that woman but for other people who might be dealing with people saying that stuff to them to show you can handle this in a peaceful and beautiful way. You don’t have to insult someone. And there are people in the world who will accept you for who you are. Everybody else, you just have to walk away from. Otherwise, life is too hard.”

Lolo is known for her positive force offline, as well. On stage, “she puts every bit of her energy and persona in every second of her performance,” says Sean Moeller, who first brought the pop musician to town in Feb. 2016 for the inaugural Daytrotter Downs festival. 

“She really does try to give a lot in her sets,” Moeller said. “It’s a special part of a performer. There aren’t many of them. You can see lots of good bands. But to see someone really just spill out in a set … and she does it every time.”

That’s why “people freaked out” when Lolo first performed in the Quad-City area.

“That was the person everyone was talking about,” Moeller said. “Everyone was texting me and calling me.”

Since then, Lolo has played Codfish Hollow, Maquoketa twice as well as a show at the Village Theatre. Moeller has called her “Davenport’s adopted daughter.”

Lolo would claim that title. 

“I hope that it’s evident in how much I return how much that Davenport has really grown to be truly one of my favorite places in the whole world,” she said. “It feels important to show that love back to a place that invests me in any way. And I just want to be there any way. I just love it there.”

Part of her love for the Quad-Cities — including a regular stop at Cool Beanz Coffee House in Rock Island — is its small-town feel, Moeller said.

“She travels all the time,” he said. “She has smaller town roots and she’s been forced to live in New York City for a good amount of time and I think she just hates it. There’s a sense of this just being a good home and base. She’s always on the move that she gravitates toward that.”

At 29, Lolo has been performing for over 10 years. At 16, she moved to Los Angeles and ended up living with Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis Presley’s daughter) while going on auditions and ultimately got a role in the Broadway musical, “Spring Awakening.” This year, Lolo starred in and wrote much of the soundtrack for a independent movie, “(Romance) in the Digital Age.” She's also currently working on moving back to her hometown, Jackson, Tennessee. 

As Lolo often acknowledges on social media, the constant traveling, touring and other work is not always easy. A few years ago, she was “in the dark deep part of my struggle with depression.” In the middle of that season, she wrote “Shine,” a powerful pick-me-up that has become one of her standout hits.

“I wrote it to make sure people know that they are the only person that can shine their light in the world and they have to do it because every person has such a bright light,” she said. “We all need the reminder. I needed the reminder. It doesn’t matter if you’re Katy Perry or if you’re working in a factory. The world is a very strange, dark place. It needs all the light we can give.”

During her three sets this weekend, including a VIP show at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, Lolo plans to sing some new songs off of a soon-to-be released E.P. and return to her musical roots by playing the piano. After the next few weekends, she's going to take some time off the road. But whether it's on stage or on Twitter, you can count on hearing about "real life" from her. 

“The more positivity I can put out into the world,” she said. "That's what I want to do." 

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Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).