Lucy Spraggan: An Emotional Beast
GUESS WHAT? Lucy Spraggan went on tour this month, and we were lucky enough to go to one of the shows. After selling out in just half an hour, the tour kicked off in the singer/songwriter’s hometown of Sheffield. Here, we talk to her about being an emotional beast, why she never wants to be famous again, and who she loves most in the world.
We met Lucy backstage after the show, where she immediately asked, “What did you think?” We respond completely honestly, “It was fantastic!” Having not heard any of her new material, we weren’t sure how her music would evolve from her debut album, but she proved that her song writing is as strong as ever, the themes in her music have matured, as have her vocals.
Before coming over to us for a chat, Lucy bounded into the room saying, “I fucking cried!” She was talking a teary moment she had during one of her new songs, Uninspired, and we wanted to ask why…
Do you think you won’t want to put that song onto your new album now?
I’ll definitely want to put that on my album. Uninspired is about my experience after X Factor, that’s why it’s so… [she trails off] I guess it’s just saying to people, yeah, there were some really shit parts, but there were amazing parts and you’re still [the fans] here. The bit that I couldn’t say [during the performance] was “You’re my reason, you’re my life and you’re my friends” and that’s where I cried. I was trying to tell everyone listening how I feel about them being there. That’s why I cried.
I was sort of mid-way to the mic and I was trying to sing and I just thought, “nope”. People were crying at the front of the crowd. I’m an emotional beast as it is.
You tweeted that you were nervous before the gig tonight, how do you deal with that?
You just go on stage, get out there and realise that they’re [the fans] there for you. But it took me a couple if songs to get over it, to vocally get over the nerves.
How do you decide which songs are going to be the ones that are on the album?
Well, it’s trial and error, like this [gig] tonight! I’ll know the set, but I’m not sure whether I’ll play I Don’t Know, for instance, because we’ve arranged it kind of self-indulgently, so the boys [Lucy’s band], get to do their jazzy stuff and might play differently some nights… So it’s just trial and error really, and obviously some songs get a better response.
Are you glad that you went on X Factor?
Yeah, I mean, there are so many different parts to it… so many incredible things, like today. Obviously there are some massive downsides too: the stigma you get for going on the show. Some people openly tell me, “Oh I hate X Factor“, or “X Factor is shit”, and it’s like… well, I did my own songs?! I just feel like if people are talking like that, then they’ve probably already got a predetermined opinion. So someone could go on there and potentially blow their mind, but they would still say, “You just want to be famous.”
When you go on that programme and you get to the live shows, you’re one of the most talked about people in the country for ‘X’ amount of time. I was famous for long enough to know I never want to be that famous again. Ever.
Your performance of Kanye West’s Gold Digger was ground-breaking, with the women dancing around you… [You can watch what we’re referring to here]
That piece of choreography was down to Brian Friedman, who I saw for the first time in like, two and a half years, at the stonewall awards the other day.
You wouldn’t normally see something like that on major TV…
To me, it didn’t even register, then Nicole [Sherzinger] was like, “Did you like that?”
…Semi naked women booty dropping… Yeah!
It must be amazing hearing your songs being sung back to you, I guess now you can tell which ones people like best?
Yeah, it’s quite easy to read the response now. But when I used to live near my mum, I’d pretty much only play them to her and she’d always tell me whether she thought they were shit or that’s good… You know, [she was] honest.
Does your Mum come down to see you lots?
Not really. She jokes that she saw me when I starting out and “‘shit’, so…” [laughs]
You must have written songs where someone has said, “That song’s about me, isn’t it?”
Well, actually when I write them, I’ll play them to someone and actually tell them that it’s about them. I’m quite a romantic – you can probably tell with my crying on stage, I’m quite emotional. When I write songs, it’s a diary, and when I sing them, I’m baring my everything to a room full of people. The energy that you get back from people is overwhelming.
There were a few [songs] actually that were about other people and one of my exes asked if it was about her, and it wasn’t. It’s so funny. My family is still creasing about it, because it’s very obviously about someone else. She still thinks it’s about her though. [Ed’s note: Ohhh, shade, Spraggers.]
You’ve been named as an inspirational figure on the Independent’s Rainbow List for the second time. How do you feel about that?
Amazing. It’s proper cool. I actually found out from Charlie Condou [Coronation Street] at the Stonewall Awards the other day, he said, “Oh, I was an ambassador on the Rainbow List. You’re on it.” I was like “What?!” So yeah, it’s amazing. I love it!
How do you feel about sites and publications like Reprobait, which are for gay and bisexual women?
I think they’re important. I think it’s important to normalise sexuality. When somebody says to me “Why are you proud to be gay?” I always want to reply that I’m not proud to be gay – I’m proud to be a human being. I don’t want to say I’m lesbian, I’m bisexual, I’m straight; I think the more we minoritise [sic] ourselves as a sexuality – the more we diminish who we are. Obviously we should always celebrate, because Pride is sick, we should always do that. I just think we should be proud to be kind and loving and supportive individuals rather than categorising them. I always say I would love anyone if I found them attractive, it doesn’t matter who it is.
Do you have a girlfriend now?
Maybe. [laughs] I have this awful habit of constantly being in a relationship since I was like, 14. Not the same one obviously, that would be some ridiculous shit! Besides, my main relationship is with my dog, he’s my favourite ‘person’ in the whole world. He’s my number one.