Lucy Lu expertly blends experimental and progressive jazz with blissful croons. A recent addition to the line-up for The Great Escape Festival 2020, Lucy Lu spoke about the London Jazz scene, his sound and his dream collaboration.
Grace: Why Lucy Lu?
Lucy Lu: Charlie’s Angels, naturally.
Grace: You’ve got a really beautifully constructed catalogue of music that’s so satisfying to listen to (Adonis is a personal favourite of mine), and it’s great to see artists joining this new wave of jazz. What made you want to go down the progressive jazz route?
Lucy Lu: The money.
Nah I’m kidding. I’ve definitely been influenced by the London Jazz scene. Growing up, playing the same shows as bands like Nérija or KOKOROKO was definitely inspiring but I think that’s only one aspect of my sound.
Grace: Which artists are influencing your sound at the moment?
Lucy Lu: I’m trying to think less about the sound of the music and allow the song to dictate it, try whatever you’ve got close to hand and if it sounds good – keep it. Everything I’ve been making recently has been on nylon string guitar because that’s what it’s been written on. That’s probably an annoying answer but I genuinely find it allows you to create more intuitively. The people I collaborate with are definitely big influences on the sound. I recently met up with Arlo Parks and her approach to lyrics and melody was so inspiring.
Grace: You’ve collaborated with some really interesting artists, like Puma Blue and Chelsea Carmichael. If you could collaborate with anyone else, dead or alive, who would it be?
Lucy Lu: Kate Bush would be pretty cool. The tricky thing with collaborating with legends is I think I’d just be a yes-man. How you gonna tell Kate Bush you don’t like her melody?
Grace: Which venue has been your favourite to play at so far?
Lucy Lu: Wall & Wall in Tokyo was mind blowing; wicked sound, lovely decor, lovely people. Also, you’re just so far away from Waterloo it’s like – how the hell has music brought me here?
Grace: What new music are you listening to at the moment?
Lucy Lu: I love Joesef, his music is getting me through at the moment – lovely voice, lovely songs. Chartreuse are releasing heartbreak bangers. Kij is gonna be massive. He’s making amazing videos and really good music. You should interview him.
Grace: What’s your favourite thing about making and playing music?
Lucy Lu: Going back for Christmas and my family asking if I’m famous yet.
Lucy Lu will play Courtyard Theatre, London, as part of the First Fifty on 14th November.