RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW GLASGOW ARTIST LUCHI
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Firstly thanks so much for having me, a splash of oat milk and one sugar in my tea please haha. I’m Luchi, a singer-songwriter originally from Glasgow, Scotland. I didn’t come from a musical family and went to a very academic driven school, so I never studied music or had any connections.
Everything has been learned as I go, so after starting to write songs at 13, I then started going into studios to record demos and worked on developing my sound from about aged 17/18. I started releasing music independently in 2017 and have been very lucky that a lot of my music has charted on the iTunes Charts.
I have traveled the world attending various writing camps with the writers behind some of the biggest names in the industry (Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera, Little Mix, Gary Barlow, Paloma Faith, Westlife and Leona Lewis to name a few), been a semi finalist in a few songwriting contests. In 2020, while in lockdown, I leaned production skills to be able to record demos at home and in 2021, as part of the Los Angeles Academy for Artists and Music (LAAMP), I was chosen and mentored by the songwriting duo Stargate to be part of their first ever year-long mentoring program, learning from Tor and Mikkel, as well as guest mentors like Ne-Yo, Emily Warren and Charli XCX.
It was a pinch-me moment because Stargate had written so many songs that I grew up on.
Let’s go back a bit, what made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Apart from the fact that music is my first love, my first best friend, and has never let me down, I think it was something that chose me as music just flows out of me. To do it professionally was a choice I made after a mental breakdown in 2014, which lead to me ending up in a psychiatric hospital, after trying to take my own life.
As I started to recover from that breakdown and the Hope started to come back into my life, I decided that I wanted to do what makes me happy in life and that’s when I started doing music as a full time job, moving to London in 2016. Luckily it worked out but I remember having a conversation with someone that your working years are the biggest chunk of your life and I didn’t want to spend that time doing a job that made me miserable.
I’d had loads of different jobs before, from working in a club, a restaurant, a fish and chip shop, in banks, a door to door sales person, all of which I hated and was sacked from because my heart wasn’t in it. Something inside of me built up to believe that I would make it some way, if it wasn’t as a singer, maybe as a songwriter or working in the industry in some capacity as when you have a gift, it’s criminal to waste it.
Name your 3 favorite Albums.
These types of questions always get me as I have such a diverse and broad music taste that it’s hard to narrow down but if I had to choose, I’d say 21 by Adele, Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson and M!ssundaztood by P!nk. I love a big, belting, female voice.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
That would be “Because Of You” by Kelly Clarkson. When I first heard the song, I burst into tears as it was my story being told. When I listened to interviews with her and she said she had written it, sometime clicked in me that I could do that too.
I was only about 13 at the time but it set me on my path to be a “truth teller writer” and that I could mould some of the most painful experiences of my life into something beautiful, that in turn could help others.
I once heard that a songwriter job is to express the feelings for people that maybe can’t find the words themselves and I think that’s true, music is such a powerful tool and can evoke all sorts of emotions. It can make you dance, can make you cry, there’s a song for every mood I believe.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
My friend Mark Cawley, who lives out in Nashville, once told me that you have to keep your songwriting antennae up and turned on at all times. You always have to be listening for things that could make a great song. It may be a phrase someone says, while you’re eavesdropping dropping on their conversation in a coffee shop, or a line from a TV show or movie that you hear and love the way it’s been phrased.
My second single “Unlove U” came from eavesdropping on a conversation between two girls in Starbucks. I was on my way to the studio and jumped in for a quick caffeine hit when I heard one of the girls say to her friend “I wish I could just unlove him.” I downed my coffee, jumped in the back of a taxi and by the time I got to the studio 15 minutes later, I had a draft of the lyrics in my phone notes.
It’s the conversational things people say that I think makes the best lyrics so if you spot me eavesdropping, know that what you say may end up in a song one day. I’ve got hundreds of lines and phrases in my phone notes although I really need to sort through them one day when I have the time.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
A multi-million pound budget would be nice, but I do want to have my own studio at some point. I have a home studio set up in the spare room of my flat but I would love to have a properly set up studio space somewhere.
The only trouble is, I’d probably end up living there cause I am always creating. The home studio is great because you can wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, jump in, and lay something down but it can also be a bit of a nightmare when it’s 3am and you’re recording while trying to keep the noise down so you don’t wake the neighbors up, being able to belt away at any time would be lovely.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Oh I’m not the one to be asking for tips on social media as I’m usually trying to learn from other people but I think that what’s worked for me in the past though is trying to think of a unique way to promote something. It can be hard but in a world where there is so much content, I think the best way to stand out is to be original.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?
I skipped school to go to a P!nk concert with my friends and ended up on the front page of the newspaper the next day and everyone found out.
I can wiggle my ears without moving my face.
I can speak multiple languages.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I’ve had a few hairy moments on stage like one time I was doing an acoustic show at Caffe Nero in London’s Victoria Station, for the charity Nordoff Robbins, and a guy sat right in front of me and talked very loudly on his phone.
The show turned into a bit of a stand up gig as the Glasgow boy came out and I told him that he better dig deep in his pockets and donate after being so rude. He put a £20 note in the tin and left so win-win I’d say.
There was also a time I was a guest performer for one of my friends and we done a cover of 7 days by Craig David. We didn’t have time to sound check and the piano had been transposed up so I had to try find the right key as the guitarist and piano player were playing in different keys. I have never sung that song live again haha.
It’s all part of the fun of performing though, when it goes a little wrong and I am usually quick to crack a joke and ease the audiences anxiety.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I’d say it’s my honesty and vulnerability, both as a person and a songwriter. I wear my heart on my sleeve and don’t shy away from uncomfortable conversations in life. I think that it comes through in my lyrics that I’m willing to share my story and pain to help others feel not so alone.
What was the recording process like for the new single?
It was actually really easy. My long-time producer and friend, Chris Stagg, lives in Brighton so we do a lot of the work remotely. The live piano, drums, and strings were all done remotely in the UK and USA and I did the backing vocals with a friend of mine, Faith, who lives out in America, over email sending back and forth ideas. I like to say it’s a very international project and that’s the beauty of being able to work online.
We recorded it at Noatune Studios in Hackney and King Sound Studios in Carnforth. We had to do two different recordings as the first time, my hay-fever was a nightmare and I couldn’t hit some of the higher notes but sometimes you have to walk away when it’s not working and try again a different day.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new track?
When I wrote this song, it was at a point in my career when I was coming back to me. I had got a little lost in the noise of the industry and people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do, how to sound, what to wear, how to sing. I wasn’t connecting fully to myself and on some songs, I just didn’t feel authentic.
When I started being mentored by Stargate, they reminded me quite a few times to bring myself to a song and not bring what others felt I should. I have my own style, strengths, perspective, which are unique to me, and that’s my power. With this song, reminded me of the artist I wanted to be and the reason I started writing as I was at the point of weighing up if I should move to full-time songwriting and not be an artist anymore.
I wrote it before the EP I released in January but I wanted to wait to release it on Father’s Day so that came out first but from now on, anything that you hear from me is out there because I believe in it. The song is so special to me for many reasons but as well as giving a voice to my inner child, it also has brought me back to being a truthful, honest, vulnerable writer.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
There are always things that you could edit or tweak with songs but at some point you have to let it go or you’d drive yourself insane and never release it. You can re-record a vocal a million times, thinking you’ll do it “better” but sometimes it’s the raw emotion that comes though, that might not be the perfect take, but it’s the one that is truthful and honest that moves people.
You listen to it so many times when you are writing, recording, mixing, and mastering, that I think your judgment can start to get clouded and your listening to it analytically so I try, best as I can once I’m happy with it, to listen to it as if I’m a listener and not the artist.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I just want to say thank you to anyone that’s supported me. It means so much that I don’t think words can even describe it.
I grew up having the confidence in my music knocked out of me and I lost a lot of self belief so it really does mean the world to me that I have the support from my fans.
Also just to say that if you are in a situation that isn’t serving you or is making you unhappy, whether it’s a relationship, a job, anything that’s bringing negativity to your life, be brave, make a change and make the choice to nurture yourself.
Don’t waste your time and energy on something that isn’t working for you. It can be hard but we all have the strength inside us so go and make your life a thing of beauty. I believe in you and I hope you learn to believe in yourself.