Determination is something rarely discussed within the music industry; artists that possess it are often labelled as either ‘hard working’ or ‘prolific’ instead, but throughout my conversation with Lucy Rose it was her sheer determination that continually shone through. We spoke a few days before her debut record, Like I Used To, was released, and we discussed recording the album in her parent's living room, her upcoming headline tour and her not-so secret musical skeletons...
RB: There seems to be a common misconception that you’ve started a solo career on the back of working with Bombay Bicycle Club, but that isn’t really the case is it?
Oh yeah, big time. When we toured Flaws I was still their support act, but because I sung on a few songs and became associated with the album, people seemed to think “she’s become the girl that just tours with Bombay Bicycle Club", and ignored the fact I was making my own music the whole time I was supporting them. I wouldn’t say I’m too bothered though, because it was a massive opportunity that they gave me for some exposure, and their fans have been wicked.
Which artist that's either no longer alive, or touring, do you wish you could have seen live?
Michael Jackson, that would’ve been pretty epic.
What was the gig that made you fall in love with live music?
Good question! I had such a bad taste in music when I was younger so I didn’t go to any decent gigs. My first gig was Avril Lavigne and I’m not gonna lie, it was good! I’m going to have to go with that.
You're being compared liberally with other girls with guitars: the Laura Marlings, Ellie Gouldings and Kyla La Granges of the world, is that something you welcome?
In all honesty it doesn’t really make a difference to me. People can compare me to whoever they want because they’re all great artists you know, Laura Marling’s fantastic, sometimes I wish I could write songs like she does!
Who would be your dream collaboration - be it a producer, band or artist?
Given that point then; if you were to have to sell your album on Dragon's Den, and describe your unique selling point, what makes you different to other artists, what would you say?
Hopefully musicality, but it’s like trying to point out the best part of one of your children! I just hope it’s received well in all honesty, but like I say I’m completely biased.
Who was the first person that made you want to pick up the guitar?
Probably my sister, because I just copied everything she did and she was playing music.
Some of the songs on the album have been around for quite a while haven’t they? Acoustic sessions especially have been floating around on YouTube for some time.
Yeah some of them have been, but I only started writing ‘Lines’ and ‘Watch Over’ around last Christmas, so only a few weeks before we started recording the album really, so they’re very new. But yeah some have been around for a while, I think ‘Night Bus’ has been there for almost 2 years now.
What is your favourite song to cover?
Oh god I’m not very good at covers! If I had to do one I’d probably do ‘Cry Me A River’ by Justin Timberlake. Big tune.
Up until now you’ve been really independent and done everything yourself, your first few singles were self recorded and released weren't they?
Yeah, up until ‘Lines’ I was unsigned, and I only got signed a couple of months ago in all honesty. All the singles and even the album was entirely self-funded, so at the point of getting signed I already had that finished. Most of the album was recorded at my parent's house, because we didn’t really have any other options!
Not to steal an entire format or anything, but what one tune would be your desert island disk?
One song? Probably ‘I’ll Get By’ by Shirley Bassey - I’m not a massive Shirley Bassey fan, it’s just that song but I love it so much.
You're on tour now, but was there any favourite cities or standout memories from your previous jaunt?
I think Leicester was particularly good because it was a bit weird! It was a Sunday, and I felt like it was just going to be one of those days; we got there and the owner wasn’t around and the venue wasn’t open for us to get in, so we had to sit outside in the van until around 7pm. By the time we’d rushed all of the equipment in and sound-checked we needed to run out again and get some food, and we discovered that there was this massive queue outside the venue waiting. By the time we got on stage we had a full, steaming little room waiting for us and it was a little bit special!
It was a busy festival season as well for you wasn’t it, how was that? I saw somewhere that you’ve taken to stage diving?
Oh my goodness! What was I thinking? The festivals on the whole were so good, but the first one I stage dived at was Field View. I was headlining the whole Saturday Night, and I was a bit like “I am not headlining material.” Everyone was really drunk and raring to go, and I’ve got to go sit on stage on a stool with an acoustic guitar! So we all sort of ‘went for it’ a bit more during the festivals and upped our game so it was really fun, it’s been a really good summer.
Do you still get stage fright?
I get nervous now thinking about it! Hopefully when I’m on the tour itself I’ll feel OK, but definitely right now I’m getting nervous about it all.
What would you be doing with yourself if you hadn't ‘made it’?
Definitely an accountant. I was going to do geography at Uni, but both my Dad and Sister are accountants.
Lucy is currently on tour around Europe and is playing all over the UK throughout October and November, all dates are available through her website.You can stream her debut album Like I Used To here.
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