Lucy Mair brings us calming Jazz influenced track, ‘Oh Love’ after the success of Backstage Tales’ Spotify Track of The Week, ‘Midnight Car Ride’.
Echoing vocal harmonies emphasise Mair’s charming lyrics and relaxing piano sequence in ‘Oh Love’, which has already been featured on BBC Introducing.
The London based singer songwriter has been an active part of the Home Counties music scene, with the release of track ‘Midnight Car Ride’ earlier this year and 5 track EP ‘Naive’ in 2015.
The EP’s single, ‘The Fool’ and ‘It’ll Take More Than You’, are particularly reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s faster paced tracks from 2011 debut album, ‘+’, whilst Lucy’s newer songs ooze Jazz and Pop influences and could be compared to the likes of Gabrielle Aplin and Lauren Aquilina.
Here, Backstage Tales interviews the 19 year old about ‘Oh Love’, her sound and influences and upcoming gigs:
Hi Lucy! Tell us about yourself.
Hiya, I’m Lucy Mair, I’m 19 and from just outside London. I have just released my second track of 2017, called ‘Oh Love’ and a song called ‘Midnight Car Ride’ before that.
How would you describe your sound?
I guess the current music I’m working on is all piano based, jazzy chords with lots of backing vocals and harmonies. I really love writing lyrics and for me they’re the most important component of a song so I make mine as meaningful as I can. Usually they’re very personal and introspective. But I guess my sound is evolving, I think about each song individually and what arrangement would suit that particular song rather than strive for an overarching sound.
Tell us about your new track, ‘Oh Love’.
It’s a really stripped down song that I wrote last September. I’d had that chord sequence for a while and really wanted to use it but never had a melody or lyrics that were good enough until I sat down one evening at the piano and wrote it in about 20 minutes! I wanted to write a very over the top tragic love song and kind of exaggerate the situation that I was in at the time. I was listening to a lot of old jazz and soul at the time so I really wanted to make a record that was a modern take on the sound of artists like Billie Holiday and Penny and the Quarters.
In ‘Oh Love’ you sing, ‘Anxiety’s got me on my bedroom floor’ – have you experienced anything that you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?
Of course! But then I think we all have anxieties that we cope with. And in all honesty I was feeling rather dramatic at the time!
What artists have influenced your music so far?
So many! I’ve loved jazz since I was introduced to ‘God Bless The Child’ by Billie Holiday when I was 13. I still perform it at gigs today. Ed Sheeran made me take songwriting seriously as I became totally obsessed with his first album and decided that I wanted to write lyrics like he does. More recently I have been listening to a lot of The 1975, Rex Orange County and Lana Del Rey.
Your musical highlight of 2016?
Probably going to play Truck Festival on the BBC Introducing stage and then beginning to record the new music that I am releasing now.
What can we expect from you this year?
I’m releasing 5 tracks individually and then tying them all into an EP which will come out in the autumn. I’m also songwriting with other people for the first time so it will be interesting to see where that goes and what we can create. Expect more music, more gigs and more Lucy Mair in general!
Where can we next catch you performing live?
I’m playing a couple of shows every month mainly in London. I’m very excited to be playing The Bedford on the 24th May. I have a few festival gigs lined up for the summer which should be fun.
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get into songwriting and performing?
I think for songwriting, be as honest as you can. The more authentic and sincere you are the better the song. When it comes to performing, I would start at open mics. There are hundreds of them and they can really help build your confidence and your audience. The more you do it, the better you will be. I think it’s also important to remember that anything that is worth something does not happen overnight, so just keep going!
Interview: Becky Warrington
Images: Lucy Mair