Interview with LÜCY. The Musical Journey of a Bedroom Folk Girl

LÜCY, in front of the computer at her home in Taoyuan, wears a facemask while her long straight hair hangs over her shoulders, her two cats can also be heard meowing in the background. She did look a little tired, considering she had just returned from her first European tour.

Her tour of Europe began on the Primavera Pro Stage at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, with an additional six or seven performances across continental Europe. Like an excited little girl, LÜCY was eager to share details of the tour, which incidentally was also the first time she had ever traveled abroad. She shared some memories from the tour, such as the graffiti of Lithuania, the rolling plains of grass in Rotterdam, finding bubble tea in Belgium, and how she was awed by Primavera Sound’s stage. LÜCY said : "I had never heard of this music festival prior to participating, nor did I know how large a scale it was on, with a lineup that included some of the worlds’ most popular artists like Dua Lipa. I was also really impressed yet shocked at how she could constantly jump and dance on stage without even losing her breath. I thought that she was super professional in her performance."

An Album
Condensing
the Life of LÜCY

As LÜCY was on tour in Europe, her widely anticipated first album, eponymously titled LÜCY, was also released. For some people, recording daily life is done through writing, photography, or painting. But for LÜCY, she records life through her music, just as she wrote in a recent Facebook post: "Many people choose to record their lives by writing diaries, but I like to record what has happened in my life with melodies and lyrics. My first album is eponymously titled LÜCY, which to me is an audible diary."

The album’s cover art set the tone of what

the album is about, with LÜCY sitting in the car with the members of the group, as if they are ready to embark on a road trip into an unknown journey. What sounds will be heard on this exploration of LÜCY's universe of music? Hints can be found in the fantastical artwork that carefully depict an element of each song. 12 tracks long, the album is a fascinating dive into LÜCY's intriguing creative universe. To her, the album is a journey, with each song acting as a resting stop of sorts, a marking of the bits and pieces encountered on her life's path. "This album documents the musical path I have embarked upon this past year, while also as a record of conversations I have been having with myself and my views on life, along with various realizations I have come to have on family, friendship, and love, to name a few."

Simply because it is an honest album with elements of introspection, "2021" is perhaps the heartfelt song to LÜCY personally. The track not only symbolizes 2020 and 2021 but is also a representation of her at the ages of 20 and 21. Undoubtedly, it is a track that is akin to a self-portrait, with audio elements part of her daily life sprinkled throughout: conversations with her family, cat purrs, random birdsongs. These sounds slowly build up the emotions of the track, while it continues to condense the various slices of LÜCY ‘s life. Regarding this song, she confessed: "Maybe it just hits too close to home, maybe it was because I was homesick, but this song made me come to tears during the recording process."

A Plethora of
Creative
Possibilities

The album is a showcase of the creative talent and abilities of LÜCY, with other stand out tracks such as "isahini" written in her family’s indigenous language, "Birdie" which was a song dedicated to the birds that frequented her balcony, and the international collaboration track with Japanese band hitsujibungaku titled "OH HEY".

The framework for "OH HEY" was written by LÜCY back in April of 2020, but it wasn’t until she became friends with hitsujibungaku’s vocalist on Instagram that she furthered the notion of working on this track collaboratively. "I really did not have that much experience with Japanese music at the time, but hitsujibungaku’s singer had a really warm voice that she used to sing some really positive lyrics. The idea of collaborating on a song came to us while we were chatting online one day, eventually becoming the song "OH HEY".

"OH HEY" was a more rock sounding track that both artists had not previously, which they gradually wrote and composed through online sessions, while also refining the track through practice sessions and jamming together. For the lyrics of the track, lead singer Shiotsuka Moeka of hitsujibungaku continued the original direction of what LÜCY had already written, adding bits of Japanese lyrics to the latter half of the song which she was responsible for.

Through the collaborative creative efforts of the two artists, the track went from a simple guitar track to a much more lively one with the composition of a rock song. LÜCY commented: "This was actually the first time I worked with other parties on a song like this, while I think the fact that it was created internationally and online even makes it more interesting. Of course, there were definitely some hiccups along the process due to the language barrier, but I think the end product is something that we all enjoyed. I think maybe in the future I would look into the possibility of working with local musicians while on tour, which will probably be something intriguing."

The Girl that
Loved Improv
Became a Musician

Since being in the second grade of elementary school, LÜCY had undergone training as a classical pianist, though it was not until she came into the possession of her first guitar that she had thought about writing her own music. "My mother had always wished that I would go on to become a piano teacher. Even though I was rather reluctant about this prospect, I would still practice often at home. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that it was not the piano that I did not like, but rather the part of having to repeatedly play music written by others. And it was this that really led me to finding my passion in the freedom that improvisation allowed."

LÜCY majored in popular music in high school, where she learned about music theory and composition, which went on to become the cornerstones of her creative output. She began to sing and play the guitar freely, reaming about the day that she would become a guitarist playing music that she wrote herself, just like artists such as Beabadoobee and Girl in Red that she looked up to. Music could be something simple and pure with just a voice and a guitar. As her passion and creativity rose, LÜCY wrote her first song when was 19. Under the suggestion of one of her teachers, she sent her demo to the producer Déjà Fu, beginning her journey down the music rabbit hole.

Seemingly out of nowhere, LÜCY made a big splash with her track "CACTUS" in 2020, generating substantial buzz online. Since then, every one of her music videos have accumulated praise in the comments sec-tion. With a dream-like voice that is easy to catch on to and the free-spirited nature of her tracks, LÜCY has transcended the traditional limitations of Mandopop, some-thing that even she admits she did not expect. She said: "It really doesn’t matter when you choose to do that thing that you’ve wanted to for a long time, there no need to rush anything, since everyone is on their own schedule and confidence is the most important."

In retrospect, compared to the confused state at the beginning of her career, LÜCY not only has a much clearer picture of what she wants to achieve creatively, but has also become a lot more confident in these endeavors."I feel that I have started a path that I want to follow with my work, which will probably be a continuation of what I did in 2021. Maybe my next album will have more electronic elements.

I want to have someone with a back-ground in sound design to help me incorporate sounds of nature, with hints of ambient music maybe. I had always created music in my bedroom by myself, but with bandmates and a producer now, I think there are more possibilities in terms of composition, while also creat-ing music that is even more perfect than before; I am also putting effort into how to better commutate my thoughts through music and with people working together."

It was once a tall task for LÜCY to work with others, as she lacked the con-fidence to sing or present what was in her head in front of others. This became such an issue that she even broke into tears while rehashing for a performance at the Taipei Music Center due to nervousness. These days are now behind her in the two years since breaking into the scene, as she has grown out of these instances of self-doubt and lack of confidence.

She has found joy in being on the stage and has learned how to let others understand her through the music she creates. Just as her name LÜCY, with the Ü being from the German alphabet, the two dots above the U are a pair of eyes that she has given herself. A simple yet hard to forget name, LÜCY, of a young female artist that enjoys sniffing her cats, yoga, painting, and above all else, music, who has begun to move up in the ever-expanding world of music scene of Taiwan.

LÜCY’s
BEATs