INTERVIEW: Lucy May Walker

Hi Lucy, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having me! It’s obviously a really strange time at the moment for everyone, but being in isolation has given me so much time to focus on my upcoming single release and it’s actually allowed me to be more creative than I probably would have been otherwise. If anything I’m busier now than I’ve ever been music wise.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bad Day”?

I am SO excited for Bad Day to be released. I’ve been playing the song at gigs for quite a few months now and the reaction has always been really positive. Bad Day has always been that song that people ask me about after shows and they tell me it reminds them of their ex or an old friend who’s done wrong by them. I’m not recommending you SEND the song to your ex, but I imagine there’ll be a few indirect tweets going around with this song attached.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I feel like every one has at least one person in their life that deserves some karma thrown their way, and let me tell you – I have a few. Not many of us like to cause any confrontation or ‘out’ people publicly for their wrong doings, because we try to tell ourselves we’re better than that. But just imagine that person you hate misses their train or stubs their toe… I wouldn’t be so mad about it, would you? (Or maybe I just have an evil mind)

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! As the lyrics are the main focus with the song, I decided I’d do a lyric video – being in lockdown this was one thing I had to be pretty creative with. I wrote down each individual lyric on a piece of paper, took pictures of them and then put them all together. It was pretty time consuming but I am well impressed with how it turned out! That will be coming out on Monday 20th April.

How was the recording and writing process?

I started writing the song with a good friend of mine, Melanie Baker, who played keys for me whilst on tour with Wet Wet Wet last year. We had day off before travelling to the next place and we decided to make use of the time in our Airbnb.  I always start my songwriting process with a concept of what I want to write about, I remember joking around with some pretty savage words which would never have made the song, but we both really liked the melody of it and that became the verse. It was a song that was really fun to write – honestly the hardest part of it was trying to find a word to rhyme with Christmas.

What was it like to work with The Dunwells and how did that relationship develop?

I have been working with The Dunwells for a couple of years now and it’s honestly been a dream. We first met when I supported them around 5 years ago in Stratford, just before I moved to London. I remember being terrified because it was the first gig I played without my brother playing guitar for me. We stayed in touch over the years (mostly by me emailing begging for more support slots) and the turning point really was when I opened for them at the Lexington in London. They saw that my songwriting & confidence had improved and suggested I went to Leeds to write with them and it went from there. They produce all my music now in their rented office in Leeds – it’s such a relaxed environment and we honestly spend 80% of the time laughing. It’s so important to find producers who understand your sound and they just totally get me.

How much did they get to influence song?

Although my sound is mostly pop, ‘Bad Day’ had a real country feel to it and it just felt right to go in that direction for this song. The Dunwells are great at really listening to what I want my songs to sound like and I always emphasise that we shouldn’t overcomplicate songs. It always amazes me how they manage to create exactly what I hope for. I think their experience in producing country artist Megan O’Neill’s last album really helped with producing this.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you’re collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

With songwriting, I always start with a concept. I’m definitely not someone who starts with a beat or a melody- I like to know exactly what I’m writing about before I start a session and this process stays the same with co-writing and writing alone. I think when I’m writing alone I lack motivation to finish a song, whereas when you plan a co-writing session, you know that you will leave that session with a finished song. My manager Ben has really pushed me to try and write with as many people as possible and because of this my confidence has definitely grown.

What role does London play in your music?

Moving to London allowed me to become really independent. Busking across the capital has brought me countless opportunities in music and allowed me to meet and connect with musicians I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Before the lockdown happened, I made it my mission to go to as many live gigs as possible. I think the more live shows you go to the more you take in and learn from.

With the great reception from your previous work – did you feel any pressure as you were putting this song together or rather the opposite?

Not at all. The feedback I’ve gotten from performing the song live if anything just made me more excited to release it.

How has Nina Nesbitt and Lucy Rose influenced your writing?

I first discovered Nina Nesbitt yeeeeears ago and it felt like she was the first artist I found that had the sound I wanted to create. I watched her play a live set at T in the Park and felt so inspired by her live set and how she reacted with the audience. What I love about Lucy Rose is that she has stuck to who she is as an artist and doesn’t seem to let the industry influence her writing. I have always been a big fan of sad songs and she gives me the confidence to pour my heart into songs without the pressure of it being a ‘hit’.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along? Any tentative release date or title in mind?

YES, Bad Day is part of my new EP, coming out on the 5th June. I am very lucky that this EP has been funded entirely by my Kickstarter Campaign, reached its target in just 2 days. I am so grateful to my generous fanbase who believed in this project enough to make it happen and I’m really excited that it’s finally all starting to come together.

What else is happening next in Lucy May Walker’s world?

I think because I used to spend so much time busking and performing live, it was easy for me to neglect my online presence. But being in isolation has meant I’ve been filming a lot more content which I’ll be releasing on the lead up to my EP launch and connecting with fans through lots of live streams. It’s hard to say at the minute what’s next because in the current climate, none of us know what the future holds, but as soon as I’m able to, I want to get straight back into playing live and touring as much as possible.

WATCH HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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