MANEKI MEETS: L U C Y
Written by Richard Corrin
The UK’s underground music scene has been going from strength to strength of late. You need only look as far as Boiler Room - a safe if obvious marker of which artists are being appreciated - to see names such as Sherelle and L U C Y popping up with greater frequency. It seems that a new generation are coming through into the mainstream and pushing their craft to the limit. Genres from 130-160 are being heavily represented, and it’s great to see young these young artists being given the freedom to experiment, with an eager crowd to listen. L U C Y is someone who particularly stands out for me, effortlessly cruising through styles in heavy mixes. Her recent EP S1N was heavy whilst demonstrating her well developed sound design. She is also a central part of the Six Figure Gang (other members include Dobby and Sherelle), who seem to be becoming a collective to be reckoned with. L U C Y’s image is equally enticing - masked for all public appearances, there seems to be something mysterious and gritty to her. Born and raised in Bristol, she studied music in London, and has since been found shelling heavily in both locations. Six years deep in the game, her and the collective are bringing a refreshingly female dominated force to the scene. I was interested in her perspective on ‘the come up’, specifically on the direction of underground music, exposure for new artists, and any pressure she felt as a new school pioneer. Below is an interview I did with her. It was an honour to do for me as a fan, and all my thanks go to L U C Y for her evident love and appreciation of the scene.
Maneki: To what extent do you feel like big festivals such as Boomtown are now giving a platform for young underground musicians to perform, and do you feel like it's now at a tipping point where after years of graft you're now being reached out to?
L U C Y - I think they're giving a platform to some extent but at the same time not distributing the finances correctly. Because of this a lot of performers have to take a loss on their fee or not get paid at all to be there.. often some genres will get paid more than others and I think that's not right and needs to be addressed.
Maneki: Recently UK bass has seen a huge revival of interest in more Grimey 140 (as well as more niche bpms like 160). Coming up during a Bassline heavy period, what sparked your passion for the older sound?
L U C Y - I don't always like the old stuff! I love glossy sounding new electronic music as well but I maybe have an affinity with older sounds because of memories of people, places and listening to old radios and tapes.
Maneki: Do you feel like you've reached a point where you're like 'yeh, this is me' or do you feel like you're only just beginning to forge what is possibly a new sound?
L U C Y - I think I'm very much at the beginning. I always want to improve my mixes and sound selection I'm often never fully happy with projects, so I would like to say there's a lot better to come!
Maneki: How much does the bass scene support the up and comers, or do you feel like it’s still a push from the bottom?
L U C Y - You’re going to get older heads in the scene that care and heads in the scene that don't - I think ego and lifestyle that can get in the way but when respect is shown from both sides there can be some really positive collaborations - it's rare but it
Maneki: I cant help but see the comparisons between the six figure gang and the new SZNS7N project and Hatcha's Big Apple Records from back in the day. They felt no pressure, because they were starting something completely new and experimenting with relatively low expectations. With the bass scene having grown so much, do you feel any pressure as leaders of the young school to keep innovating, or is it just as free and fun as ever? (when i was writing this i was thinking of how you, Sherelle, Sicaria etc seem so down to earth and wholesome in the way you appear, and am curious as to how you manage to keep that up with growing exposure!)
L U C Y - It is fun and I'm super grateful to have the platform and exposure to help bring other people a bit further through and a bit more light but also I'm wary of expectations .. luckily a lot of us in the wider London circle are starting labels at the
same time so there's more support than competition and it makes it a lot easier and still maintains the fun.
(Thanks for the comparison btw big honour)
Maneki: What was the inspiration for SZNS7N, and where do you see it going in the
L U C Y - The inspiration was being independent - myself and others are sick of waiting around for publications labels and figureheads to highlight what were doing to make it seemingly worthy. SZNS7N is about hustling to do it yourself by means of collaboration to create the most innovative and beautiful audio and visual result you can because that should always be the most important thing and not the co-sign.