CULTED SOUNDS: LUCI TALKS NYC, ADVICE FOR HER 16 Y/O SELF & COMPLEX CREATIVITY
LUCI’s dedication to her craft seeps out from all of her output – whether that’s answering questions in interviews, to her meticulously constructed songs, to her ongoing exploration in the worlds of fine art and creativity at large. Championing the complexity of creativity and highlighting the importance of establishing and sticking to a vision, we were excited to catch up with her to gain a further insight into her work, life and thought processes.
Hey LUCI! Take us through your journey – how did you end up where you are today?
Since I could write my name I’ve been a visual artist and a writer. I’ve always simultaneously been both. My English teachers were the only ones that knew my passion for writing, though.
My visual artistry was the first to truly surface. I burrowed away in my room, off the clock cracking the codes of what makes a good melody and trying to perfect my own eloquence in writing music since I was 9. I feel like this side of me was gestating until I was 18. After graduating highschool, moving to Asheville, failing at college, starting a band and realising the impact I’m capable of having I officially dove into music. Since then I’ve been relentlessly dedicated to perfecting my sound and growing as an artist… heavy on the relentlessly dedicated.
How has living in NY influenced your craft?
I came to New York to introduce something new. If I’ve been inspired at all it’s in fashion and how to move in this career path. The way I think— that has changed a lot because of NY. I love the energy and atmosphere of New York but I’m not here to syphon. I wanna be the fuel.
Your creativity encompasses everything from dance to painting – do you have a preferred medium of expression, and why?
I prefer to have the freedom to do it all, of course. That’s why theatre is so prestigious, because it encompasses every art form. Ultimately, painting and music come first. If you told me to pick one for the rest of my life, that’d be incredibly hard, but I’d pick music because with words and sound I can paint a million pictures.
That’s special as fuck to me: to be able to influence a greater world of art and thought. Fine art doesn’t have the same reach. It has a different density complex. But I hope to mend that throughout my career.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were 16?
Save your fucking money!!!!!!!!!!! Omg. save your money. Please.
What’s your favourite lyric from Juvenilia and why?
YIKES! A hard one. If it’s not “I be out of pocket not a dolla,” it’s “got a lot to say without a microphone—shut up!” But then when I say “I’m starting to think Ima be just like my momma.Want problems? I got em.” I can’t pick.
“I been creepin and crawlin, weapin and whalin. Knees keep shakin, ol’ beat keep breakin— I hear you callin.” Ugh!
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How would you describe your sound in your own words?
Lit. Beautiful. Gritty, heart wrenching, soul calling, capital HARD… this can’t go in the almost categories. This the O stream!! HAHA! I think I get to name my own genre at this point, no?Since folks don’t think it’s hiphop, we gone call it Oz music, and I’m the wiz.
You’ve worked with some incredible creatives in your career so far – what’s been the project you’ve most enjoyed working on thus far and why?
I really do love all of the producers I’ve worked with. I’ve built good relationships with all of them. Now if you’re asking about songs and sessions based off the album, I’ll say a lot of my favourites you haven’t even heard yet. But one artist I really enjoyed creating with is Elias Abid. Our flow and energy are just incredible. His process is so natural and witty.
Also ‘Trippin, Trippin, Trippin’ was prolly the most magical session for me, meeting someone for the first time and really allowing myself to be as vulnerable as I was was so gratifying. To exhibit myself as broken and to be uplifted through his energy and talent. I feel the same way about Louallday. We’d been onto it before we finally got together and made ‘Ash & Dust.’ We’re destined to act up every time. All my favourite LUCI songs are produced by Elias or Lou.
As far as creative projects, my most prized creations are my paintings. Those are precious, sacred and damn near priceless to me. The painting process is one of the most beautiful intimate creative processes.The weight of the paint on the brushes and then the release onto a surface and in that— the freedom of going up against the unknown is so romantic. Even when I think I’m keeping my mouth shut, my body will still speak so clearly across a canvas.. I say a lot in my songs. My paintings are what I don’t say and what I’m trying to figure out.
What can we expect in the next few months?
Plenty. 😌 More music. More shows.
Lastly, name 4 tracks you’re loving right now and why.
Lil Durk- Headtaps
I love the melodies and flows on top of the vulnerability of the lyrics. I’ve been getting into Durk more and more. I almost slept. Durk has a great way with words and his voice is very enjoyable. I consider this modern day blues. I just love the poetry in this kind of music.
Sad Night Dynamite- Icy Violence
This song is like butter and jam on toast. A friend of mine showed me this song back in May and I can’t stop listening to it. The vocals are the first thing that got me but then the progression in the production melts me.
J Cole- Hunger. On. Hillside
I just love J. Cole— his spirit, voice, tone, words and texture. I feel like here he really took a chance in all of it. The textures and quality in his vocals are insanely polished while being so vulnerable and broken. that flow is just insane. I’ve resurfaced this one recently and fallen in love again. It was always my favourite on the project. It’s not his best bars it’s just my favourite vocal performance of his at this moment.This one has a great progression. Kinda reminds me of how my songs build sometimes. Like in ‘Finally.’ It’s mostly expression, and building the impact.
Building the visual pinching the soul and then suddenly snapping into a pocket. I love it.
I “secretly” am finna drop a cover of this track. Hehe!
FKA twigs- Closer
The production on this song is INCREDIBLE! The vocal work is phenomenal, as usual. In the middle of the second verse, “Oh so wretched”– the way she repeats it to the “I was weary I was lost…” Sheeesh! The way she sung this and the way they vocoded her vocals, is so beautifully executed. I’m mad ‘UK Lollipop’ didn’t have a moment like that, not gonna lie. I hadn’t heard this song until some months ago… I’m obsessed. I’ve been tryna practice singing it and everything. Been a minute since someone made me practise their vocals in that way.