INTERVIEW: Lucy Spraggan
Bearing the rare trajectory of finding international acclaim via the TV talent show scene, English singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan has come a staggeringly long way since she first set foot onstage on the UK X Factor in 2012. And now armed with five albums, a heap of high profile live performances (including appearances at the iconic Glastonbury festival and SXSW), Spraggan's down-to-earth charm and quirky, touching tunes has continued to turn heads and ears with each passing year.
And fresh off recently releasing a stunning cover of The Proclaimer's I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), the lady herself is set to bring a touch of her magic down under with a run of shows this April. But before she heads our way, The Soundcheck grabbed some time with Lucy to chat first gigs, favourite bands and her desire for an Aussie tour guide when she's here in a few months. Interview below.
TIANA: Hi Lucy! Thanks so much for taking the time to have a quick chat today, it’s especially fun to be able to chat to you ahead of your first ever Australian tour! Obviously you’ll be playing some pretty special intimate shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, what are you most looking forward to about this upcoming tour?
LUCY: Being in bloody Australia! I am so insanely excited. I’ve never been and it’s so thrilling that my music has opened up the opportunity to come. I want to meet EVERYONE!
TIANA: And are you actually going to have any time to explore while you’re here? Is there anything on your Australian bucket list you might be able to tick off while you’re in town?
LUCY: There’s so much to see. I have recommendations from friends and family but I’m not sure I’ll be able to cram it all in. I’d love to hire a motorbike and ride out to see the sights. If anyone fancies being a tour guide holler at me!
TIANA: You’ve played a heap of incredible live shows now, both at festivals and hometown shows over the years now…do you prefer these more intimate sorts of shows like the ones you’ll be playing while you’re Down Under, or do you love the big festival shows equally?
LUCY: I love them all equally. Each show is so different. There could be 3000 or 30 and the magic is the same, I just love what I do, wherever I do it.
TIANA: Speaking of festivals, you’ve played at Glastonbury among many other things. Can you share with me a bit of what was going through your mind before you went onstage? Were you totally zen, or was it a bit of a “pinch me” moment?
LUCY: I felt like I was going to throw up both times. It’s such an honour to play Glasto and I really felt the nerves. It lived up to every expectation though.
TIANA: You seem to have this innate knack for writing charming tunes that have a fun tongue-in-cheek twist…what music did you actually grow up listening to that led to this amazing musical journey of yours?
LUCY: I love Kirsty Maccoll. She really led the way for British women in music - she had attitude and she wrote such amazing, heartfelt music. I listened to her a lot growing up.
TIANA: I love a good Wikipedia fact check (yes, I am a HUGE nerd), so I would love to ask – is it true you were working selling children’s portraits with a clipboard in the street? And if yes, what was the most memorable moment of that time in your life, anything particularly whacky happen?
LUCY: I did sell portraits, yeah! Mostly people weren’t interested in buying anything from a person with a clipboard in the street, so nothing whacky but a lot of rude words haha.
TIANA: Speaking of memorable moments…obviously you were involved in the music industry prior to your X Factor appearance…but can you talk me through your first ever live performance? How old were you, where was it, what happened and would you chalk it up as being a success?
LUCY: I was 12 years old for my first proper show. It was at Crich Tramway Festival and I played on a moving tram. I worked relentlessly throughout my teens just playing wherever I could, I think that ethic combined with a lot of luck got me to where I am now. I’d say Crich was a success!
TIANA: You recently unleashed a gorgeous cover of The Proclaimer’s I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – what inspired you to tackle this particular cover and are there any other songs you’d also love to give a Lucy Spraggan makeover to?
LUCY: I just love the tune. The lyrics are incredible. I'd love to cover Tale as old as Time from beauty and the beast. And Tatu - All The Things She Said.
I'M GONNA BE (500 MILES) - LUCY SPRAGGAN
TIANA: Ok, so to start to wrap things up here, let’s jump into a hypothetical universe for a moment…if time travel was real and you could go back in time (or stay put in the present if you’d prefer) and join any band…what band are you choosing and why?
LUCY: Fleetwood Mac. Because they are the best band in the world
TIANA: And finally in honour of your huge tune Last Night..what’s an ideal “night out” for Lucy Spraggan these days?
LUCY: I don’t drink anymore but I still love to go out and dance the night away. I love anything fun, but genuinely fun! Someone show me fun things in Oz!
BY TIANA SPETER