For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe yourself as an artist?

Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose

I think that's the hardest question of all time - that's like 'how do you describe yourself as a person?'! I hope that I can describe myself as genuine and honest.

In terms of my musical style, each song is so different! I have one song that is like completely acoustic, and people would say that it's like folk, and I have stuff which is much more indie and alternative.

When did you first discover your love for music?

I don't think there was a clear cut moment I discovered I loved music, I think I have learned that for some people, music is just generally more important than for other people. Not just if you're an artist, but as a listener as well.

When I was younger, I used to spend a lot of time listening to music on my own and it was a big comfort to me. Then I started playing more at school, in orchestras, I played the drum kit, and for me, music was just like a comfort in my life that I really enjoyed.

Where do you draw your influence and inspiration from?

I guess whatever is happening at that time in my life and whatever is going on in the world.

It is very difficult to pin point which artists have in particular influenced my music - I think generally, for me as an artist, a singer, I try and remind myself when I am writing that it has to be truthful to who I am and represent me in each song. Artists that I feel have done that are Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, who I think stayed true to who they are as artists, so they've been an influence to me.

Then I guess the rest is just whatever I am absorbing at that time of my life, like a sponge, it will come out as a song probably.

You've just been touring in South America, what was that experience like?

For the whole nine weeks I was staying in fans' houses with their families. They had booked me free entry gigs with their local bars, or at the local winery, or an embassy, or a launderette. At some of the places, the owner had that connection with music and they just wanted to go above and beyond, and try and make this free gig happen. It was a crazy experience but was awesome.

Overall, it was probably the greatest experience of my life, and the thing that I am most proud of! I have been wanting to play gigs in South America for so long. Generally I have just been told it's impossible, to go and play gigs, especially as I wanted them to be free entry, and I managed to do it all with the help of my fans.

With fans booking the tour, how did that all work out?

I think it was quite difficult for the fans. I think the concept when I posted it on social media was really simple - 'all you've got to do is book me somewhere to play a gig. I can play anywhere, in a park or anything, just find me somewhere I can play, and if you look after me, then I'll come!'

But actually, a lot of people who were doing it were finding it really stressful. For them, they were having to go out and talk to complete strangers at venues and tell them, 'I'm trying to book Lucy Rose a gig', and a lot of venue managers didn't believe them! They just thought it was nonsense! So for them it was a mixed experience.

A lot of people afterwards were like 'I'm so happy I've done this', but it was a big ask, and it meant that you end up meeting people that really care about your music and have gone to these lengths to get you there and finding somewhere for you to play.

What did you make of the music scene in South America?

From talking to lots of fans, it seems that to get into the music industry in the UK is impossible. It feels like this endless journey, and like it's never going to happen - it's so hard.

Then I've gone to other countries where I thought, 'wow, this is a million times harder'. Lots of the places we've been to, the countries are so huge and there aren't huge amounts of venues generally; except for in the main cities. There's especially not a huge amount for starting bands. There's nothing like an open mic scene or anything like that. I also learnt that a lot of musicians would have to pay the venue to let them play there and hire it, which is something I have never heard of before - even at small ones. It just feels very difficult if you're a musician in some other countries; it feels harder.

Where else would you like to tour in the future?

Wow, yes my new touring schedule should just be going to be places I want to go to in the world - 'I really want to go here, so I'm going to book some gigs here...'

We've got some gigs in Asia at the end of November which I'm really excited about, Singapore and Hong Kong. Even though I have been to both those places before, I just love both of those cities.

Also, I think I'm going to Nepal afterwards to play a gig which I'm really looking forward to. But on my checklist of places that I really want to play music is Japan, I've never been there or played a gig there, and I would love to go to there. Also Taiwan, I'd love to go there.

Can you tell us a little about your performance at the 'innocent un-plugged' weekend? (Took place in May.)

I haven't done a full band gig now for months, so it's going to be really fun for me to go and play these songs. I'm really excited to go to the festival, and I'm going to try and leave my phone at home.

I actually got an email from my friend Sam [Duckworth], who's also playing the day before, and he thinks it's going to be a real culture shock for me, considering I've been touring around South America for two months. It's going to be totally different but I'm really looking forward to it. It's difficult to big up my performance, but if people want to come and have some fun and sing along with me, or dance, then that would be awesome.

The premise of the festival is to embrace real life experiences - what do you think of modern day culture when it comes to things such as this?

It's difficult, it's really easy to be sceptical of technology and social media and very cynical of all of it. Although, thinking about these amazing people I've just met on this trip, they go to their favourite bands gig and want to record some of it for just the memory.

For me, if someone's recording some of the show because they're excited, that's fine. But the worst thing is when people are just texting on their phone, just in front of you. The problem is, when someone is texting on their phone it immediately lights their face up. If you're looking at a crowd and you see people's faces lit up, not looking at you and texting, that's the last thing you want to see really when you're performing. But at the same time social media and phones is helpful for people to stay in touch and keep connected with friends and contacts on the other side of the world. As much as there's bad things about it, there's good things about it.

What else is coming up for you in the next few weeks and months?

I literally don't even know what I'm doing tomorrow! You know what, I'm trying not to think too much about the future. I know it sounds terrible but I've really never thought too much about it, now more so than ever. It's a daunting question for anybody to be asked, 'where do you want to be in a years' time?', or 'what do you want to happen in your life?'. Sometimes you need to just enjoy the moment.

So I don't want to worry too much but I'll be doing gigs and festivals all summer and then going to Asia in November. But in the meantime, the next thing I really want to do is pick up my little doggy who's staying at my husband's parents' house in the Lake District. I'm looking forward to spending a couple of weeks just walking the lakes, then coming back to London. And also just finish off the third record, I've started writing it and hopefully I would like to finish it this year.

Lucy Rose performed at the innocent un-plugged festival, a 'weekend off the grid' (28th - 30th May) www.innocentunplugged.com


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