Listen up, new music hunters! Lourdes Leon is officially doing something she never thought she’d do: joining the family business. Leon recently dropped her full-length EP, “Go,” under the moniker “Lolahol.” For what it’s worth, she’s welcoming critics and listeners alike to think whatever they want about how she got to this point. And while her mother might be the best-selling female artist of all time, Leon says there are “no handouts” in her famous family dynamic.
Considering she’s Madonna’s daughter, this moment in music history feels somewhat like the inexorable surprise we’d all been waiting for, even if only out of celebrity-centric curiosity. But for the 26-year-old, their unbreakable mother-daughter bond (and Madge’s legacy) is one big reason Leon never thought she’d be doing this.
On November 9, 2022, Leon released her debut EP under the stage name “Lolahol.” After it dropped, she followed up the genre-spanning, experimental EP with a music video. No matter what the critics think of the video, the song, or Lola as an artist, she’s making it abundantly clear that she’s not interested in doing what everyone else is doing, nor is she doing this for mass approval. Instead, the singer/model/choreographer is consistently expressing herself in her own unique, strategic way.
“Lolahol” Doesn’t Deny Her Pop Royalty Privilege
Lourdes Leon is not denying how famous she could be. But the artist/singer/model who lives in Bushwick says she still values her somewhat off-the-radar existence way more than celebrity status. Fame was not something she ever dreamed about and becoming known for making music was never the plan. I guess a lifelong, close-up view of mega fame can have that effect.
Famous connections aside, Leon is now embarking on her own music career and figuring things out as she goes. Right now, she may not have a defined goal in mind. Strategic without being too calculated, she’s not rushing in blindly either.
As Madonna’s daughter ventures into a familiar spotlight, Leon has stated that the music industry remains uncharted territory, so she’s still feeling out without expectations. Instead, she’s entering a potential career in music at her own pace, no matter how everpresent music might’ve been in her upbringing.
Here’s what we know about her album, her views on fame, and one of the best pieces of career advice her famous mom ever gave her.
Music was “Too Close to Home” For a Long Time
With the release of her debut album, Madonna’s baby girl (who likes to go by “Lola”) is officially front and center for what seems like the first time. Now in her late 20s, Leon’s mostly managed to stay out of the glaring spotlight. The singer says her globally recognizable mother made privacy (and however much normalcy she could give her and her siblings) a priority. And she continues to maintain that privacy, for the most part.
Maintaining a private life is certainly an impressive feat when your mother is a global pop icon who has been in the music biz for decades. And she’s well aware of that. While Leon might be immune to the star power forever surrounding her, Leon has admitted to being aware of her inescapable pop royalty privilege in interviews.
As for music, I can sing. I just don’t care about it. Maybe it’s too close to home.Interview Magazine
Ultimately, Leon’s uniquely privileged situation initially made her extra avoidant of a tailor-made music career or possibly being labeled a “nepo baby” for all the wrong reasons. Leon says she has always loved music, but her relationship with it has always been more personal, and it was never a path she’d planned to pursue professionally.
Last year, Leon told Interview Magazine that modeling was a means to pay rent and not a passion, actors deeply annoyed her, and she consistently shied away from the music business for a number of reasons, namely, her lifelong connection to it.
Ultra-famous mother aside, Leon’s steadfast commitment to doing what she thinks is cool no matter what anyone else is doing is helping “Lolahol” set herself apart as an artist.
Being an Icon’s Daugther Led to “Self-Doubt”
Without a concrete plan in place, Leon spent the past few years dabbling in music, occasionally lending her creative vision and/or vocals to collaborations. Gradually, her distinctive sound and solo music career began taking shape in a truly organic way, thanks largely to various indie projects she did “for fun”
At first, Leon seemed more interested in making music to feed her creative curiosities and nothing more. Or at least, she wasn’t actively seeking industry opportunities or clout. In various interviews, Leon noted that she was still quite “hesitant” to pursue music in any real way. Until now.
Leon has been open about how having a mother with such a strong presence in the music world once filled her with “self-doubt.” It also equipped her with “very high standards” regarding “everything,” making her that much more hesitant to pursue music.
“I always felt like, Never, never, never.”The Cut
The First Track of Her EP Began “As a Joke”
Prior to dropping her album, Leon was lending herself to collaborative projects whenever she felt like it. We first saw her dabbling in music when she appeared in NYC-based artist Eartheater’s music video, who still remains a close friend and creative partner.
In 2022, she lent her vocals to another east coast-based artist, J!mmy. Then in a plot twist not even she saw coming, Leon released the single “Lock & Key” and took control of her career.
Lola told The Cut that had it not been for Eartheater, she would have never thought to record the track, much less the album. But when she played it for her fellow artist and friend, Eartheater (Alexandra Drewchin) insisted they go to the studio and lay down the track.
Now taking her music career a little more seriously, the expectations are undoubtedly higher. Still, “Lolahol” is determined to do everything her way, without getting caught up. She aims to make a name for herself authentically, no matter the name she was born into. And frankly, that may be the most Madonna-Esque move of all.
The Motherly Advice Lola Still Keeps in Mind
Unsurprisingly, Madonna is fully on board with her daughter’s music career. After Leon dropped her first album under her stage name “Lolahol,” the material girl took to Instagram to gush for a moment, writing that she was “so proud” of her eldest child.
The global icon has been giving her daughter golden nuggets of guidance for a very long time. And it seems to be paying off. Growing up, Lola says Madge was an incredibly strict mom, even calling her a “control freak” in one interview (and then more recently laughing it off.)
She also admits to being “very protective” of her mother from an early age. Like mother, like daughter? It seems likely.
By human nature and Madonna’s unique brand of nurturing, Leon says she values the freedom to do whatever she wants in adulthood, including her career choices and her public image. With that said, she’s still benefiting from her famous mom’s million-dollar pearls of wisdom.
While her creative vision is all her own, the evolving singer takes Madge’s expert advice wholeheartedly. She’s also sharing some of her mom’s best insights with the rest of us in interviews.
She’s very much like, ‘Proceed with caution and think about what you want to be known for,’ …My mom is very insistent on making me think about what I want to be known for beyond my looks. That’s not what I want people to remember me by. It’s not real.Interview Magazine
Madonna Gushes Online About Her “Little Star”
When Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon was born, Madonna told Oprah she felt “reborn” the moment she became a mother. That same year, she released a track in her little one’s honor, expressing her profound love, “healed broken heart,” and highest of hopes for her daughter’s future.
Whether or not mother’s intuition told Madge Lourdes would someday join the family business, it’s clear she couldn’t be prouder. On Instagram, the 64-year-old pop icon wrote “I’m so Proud of the Woman, Artist, Human—-You have Become!,” reminding the singer to “never forget who you are.”
Today, Madonna’s “little star” is all grown up and potentially standing on the precipice of mega fame. No matter what happens next, people will be closely watching what Lourdes does next, whether she is ready for all the attention or not. But Leon says she’s doing her best not to let industry pressure get to her.
As for her long-term music goals, the solo songbird plans to stay true to herself, whatever that comes to mean. For now, she’s focused on carefully cultivating her artistic image, which she admits could look very different as time goes on. And she can always turn to her mother for the kind of guidance only Madonna could provide.