Interview: Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose may have signed a contract with Columbia Records and toured with Bombay Bicycle Club, but her down-to-earth public image is the real deal. Her debut album, ‘Like I Used To', was recorded at her parents' home and their local village hall, and released on 24th September. Just under a month later she played at Cambridge's The Junction, where I caught up with her before her set.

You went on tour with Bombay Bicycle Club, and you've featured on two of their albums. How have you found the transition to focusing on your solo career?

Well, in that respect it hasn't really been a transition, as I've always been 100% focused on my own music. It was great touring with Bombay Bicycle Club, but it's now brilliant to be playing places with my name at the top of the bill.

Your debut album is called ‘Like I Used To' – is it an album about how much your life has changed, or a particular phase of your life?

It is definitely a nostalgic album, about things that were really important to me when I was living in London in my early 20s, trying everything and finding things out. I wouldn't write those songs now, but they're still important to me as part of my life.

You've had Charlie Hugall as your producer, who has worked with acts like Florence and the Machine, but you recorded the album at your parent's house and the local village hall. How did that work and why did you make that decision?

Well, at the time I was unsigned and, industry-wise, there didn't seem to be a great deal of interest. There was a lot of interest from the fans, but not from the industry. I wanted to record the album at home, and Charlie came over around Christmas – the 27th December I think it was – he had a look around, we talked it over, and he said let's go for it. It was a great place to record, really creative. We could go for walks in the country, and I was with my friends and family, with no time pressure, away from a sterile studio.

In that case, will you record your second album at home too?

I'd love to, but my parents did put their house on the market! No-one showed any interest, however, so we'll have to see.

You signed for Columbia records this year. How do you see this developing your musical career - where next for Lucy Rose?

I have no idea how my musical career will develop, but signing for Columbia Records will make things different. There is a certain pressure with a contract, it's a business right… I am really driven and passionate so I'm sure it'll be fine.

Do you think that fame and growing recognition will affect your second album?

Definitely not. I've known the people I work with for ages, and we're all on the same wavelength. I think a certain type of person might be changed by it, but I know who I am and I'm not afraid that it will change me.

How have you found the reviews of your album, or do you try and completely avoid them?

I never read them. I'm the sort of person who would always focus on some small criticism, which will be there because that's how reviews work. It's like someone criticising something you love – like someone saying that your mum's ugly. You don't want to hear it and you don't care, because you love them as they are.

Where did your interest in music start and who were your major musical influences as you were growing up?

Well, some kids at school were sporty, some were academic, and some were musical. I was sporty, but my older sister was musical, and I wanted to be like my sister. So I started out on the drum kit, and a bit later bought a guitar and taught myself. It went from there really. And as for my musical influences… well I had a terrible taste in music when I was younger! It was only when I moved to London that I discovered Joni Mitchell, Neil Young… I'm like everyone else really, I just like the best musicians at the time!

If you hadn't have gone into music what do you think you would have done?

Well, I had a place to study Geography at UCL, and I was really into rocks and stuff so maybe I would have been a Geologist. Or an accountant, like my Dad and sister.

Two days before coming to Cambridge you were at The Other Place… were they an awful bunch?

Oh, so Cambridge and Oxford have a real rivalry right? Well there was a party over the road from where the gig was, some sort of freshers' thing or maybe a hen do…anyway it made me glad that I hadn't been a student, it looked terrible! The people I met at the gig were lovely though, I just felt bad that they'd had to queue in the rain.

Jack Tunmore

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