Today we meet Luchi, the rising singer-songwriter star. We talk about his latest single “You’ll Hurt More”, what it takes to be a musician in the making and how sensitive emotions can be channeled into songs while keeping artistic integrity.
And while you are reading, listen to his You’ll Hurt More, it’s a good one!
Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! How do you feel tonight? Still vibing high after the release of You’ll Hurt More?
Luchi: Hey, thanks so much for having me. I feel all the emotions tonight. I’m so happy with how the song is being received so far and I’ve been dying to get this one out so it’s a relief that it is finally out there. I can’t find the words to articulate how it feels to release a song but other artists will understand that when you work on something really hard and intense for a while, releasing it is the final piece of the jigsaw and as it goes out into the world, it takes on its own life and while I don’t have kids, I can only compare it to when a child leaves home and you let them go on their own adventure in the world and that’s what I feel when I release a song. My songs are all my babies.
Music Authentic: Your latest single has just the right hook and a catchy chorus. Was it an easy flow to write or a longer time?
Luchi: It was really easy to write. It just kinda flowed out and I find that they end up being the best songs. The day I wrote this song, I got a message from my ex, years after we had split up, wanting to meet up for a coffee and a chat. I am a firm believer in not going backwards when it comes to relationships because there was a reason it didn’t work out in the first place so instead of replying to him, I wrote this song. It’s everything that I would have wanted to hear all those years ago. When you go through a break up, it can often be the case that one person struggles more than the other and if you’re anything like I used to be, you sit at home crying, stalking their social media then getting angry with seeing them out living their “best life” or how fast they move on so this was my way of addressing that. It can become a game, that no-one knows they are playing, of “who won the break up.”
When I wrote the song last year, it started out with just a vocal and guitar but I could hear it being a big pop anthem in my head. I felt that this song was a really empowering break up anthem and I wanted to reflect that in the production. So me and my producer Chris Stagg got to work and I love that it’s quite different to the other stuff I have released recently in terms of it’s sound and it has a bit of sass in it. There’s still vulnerability in it like all my songs have but it’s one to listen to with the windows of the car down, up full blast and singing at the top of your lungs.
Music Authentic: You’ve written more chill-out, slow pace songs and dance hymns as well. Which are closer to you?
Luchi: Oh that’s tough as I said before, they are all my babies and I love them all for different reasons and I think it depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m feeling more confident and sassy so this song is one I would vibe with more or when I’m feeling more vulnerable and introspective, I’d go for a ballad but with every song, they are all part of my story as I write from real life experience so I can’t choose.
Music Authentic: As someone who’s had success and recognition, awards, have you ever felt your accomplishments as heavy weights pulling you down and maybe influencing your creativity that you have to win again and again with your newer and newer songs? How do you overcome the pressure?
Luchi: To be completely honest, yes. The more success you have the more pressure there is and in 2020, I really felt it, that’s why I took a bit of time out. The whole world changed that year and I’m so glad I took the time out to rediscover myself as an artist. When I decided to come back earlier this year, it was a conscious decision to make sure that anything I release is authentic to me and I want to do. There are so many voices that come in and it can cloud your judgement and pull you in different directions but I had a bit of a change up in my team around me and a chat with my long term producer, Chris Stagg, who I think is a saint for putting up with me, and he supported my decision to just create music that I loved. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, when you release something that you are 100% happy with, then that’s the success for me. Putting it out into the world is the prize and the pressure fades away. I am so thankful for Chris especially in my team because as a producer, he just gets me and my music. He is one of those let’s try it people when I have a wild idea whereas a lot of producers can be very set in their own vision and he really has built my confidence up as a creative. He always lets me have the final say and never pressures me into anything. Anytime I try complimenting him and thanking him he is too modest to take it on but I hope he knows how much I love working with him.
Music Authentic: You write and sing a lot about the inner journey, one that needs to lead to healing and joy. How much is it Luchi, the artist and performer and how much is the private you?
Luchi: It’s all me. As a person, I am the same Luchi in public as I am in private although in private I do swear a lot more than I should. The Glasgow boy comes out and I have a habit of using swear words as punctuation haha. I don’t really know any other way to be and I am an open book. I’ve been open around talking about my mental illness journey, my coming out story and abuse that I’ve gone through as I don’t feel shame in my story. A lot of people questioned my decision to be open about things like being held in a psychiatric hospital but it’s real life and I want people to know there is life after rock bottom. It’s much more openly talked about now but when I started, people were taken aback by my brutal honesty and when I get a message from someone thanking me for giving a voice to them, it makes it all worthwhile. I hope one day to release a book with my story in it, not that I’m an expert, but I’m a survivor in life, not a victim and sharing it all is healing for me too as we suffer alone but heal in community.
Music Authentic: Being a singer-songwriter can be lonely and finding the right companions and supporting environment is sometimes harder than we would like to admit to ourselves. How about you, have you found the right world you can flourish freely in?
Luchi: It’s so important to have good people around you who believe in you, as Kelly Clarkson said, pick the weeds and keep the flowers. That is always my advice to other artists coming up is make sure the people around you believe in you as much as you do as they will fight for you if they have the passion too. I think also choosing the independent route was important because I got to have creative control. I’ve had meetings with people in the industry and they all have an idea of who they want you to be but as I said earlier, I can only be me or else you’d see it all over my face. Music is my passion as well as my job so it needs to be fun and when it’s not, you have to look around and see why you’re not feeling it anymore. There’s no harm in switching things up for fresh energy with your team and everyone that comes in and sometimes out is just part of the journey and sometimes you have gone as far as you can with them.
Music Authentic: When I first listened to You’ll Hurt More, one of the first thoughts was -don’t laugh- Simon Cowell and what would he say to you after hearing this. I think, he’d most probably give you a thumbs up and a nod to keep going on. These days, how important is it to meet the gatekeepers and let yourself be seen and heard or it’s more simple now in a DIY way? Personally, I feel the latter one has limitations…
Luchi: Simon is a very smart man and has had great success so I don’t blame you for having him pop into your head. I think for every artist it is different. I’m not against major labels and the gatekeepers but for me, at the time I made the decision to go independent, it was the best choice for me but who knows what the future holds. There are limitations because you don’t have the big major label budget and connections but there’s been great successes come out of it. The advice I always get from A&R people in the industry is build your career and then the labels will come to you. The industry doesn’t have the same resources it used to and artist development isn’t really a big thing anymore so if you can start it off yourself, you can control your direction and brand and then they can come in later and help boost something that’s already picking up traction. When I was younger, I auditioned for things like X Factor and The Voice but looking back I don’t think I was ready as I hadn’t discovered who I was yet. Shows like that are great for exposure but I have friends who have done it and it’s just a platform but you have to know where you want to go and what you want out of it before going on I think. The whole notion of a overnight sensation is a bit of a myth as most people have been grinding away for years behind the scenes before anyone knows who they are.
Music Authentic: Once I heard a great singer-songwriter answering the question why he hadn’t released new songs for years that “a happy man do not create”. It made me think that time and I still wonder myself whether it is true or not. What about you? Are you able to channel all of your emotions into music?
Luchi: I think that can be true of some people as again everyone’s creative process is different. Some people only write when they are inspired and a lot of the time, the best songs come from a place of pain so when you are happy, you sometimes don’t feel inspired as writers a lot of the time, write to release in a therapeutic way so when you’re riding high, you kinda don’t want to let go of those feelings and sometimes, happy songs can come across a bit cheesy. Saying that, I’m more of a write all the time writer so I can always bring myself into a place where I need to be to write and I feel my emotions really deeply, more than the average person so I never run out of inspiration. Nothing in life is ever permanent, the good or the bad. Even when you’re happy, emotions change, life happens so there’s always inspiration around and you just need to be able to channel it. It also depends if you are writing solely for yourself or with/for other artists because that is different and you need to be empathic and be able to put yourself in their shoes. I always like to write emotion led as we all as humans feel the same emotions, joy, sadness, grief, happiness, even though our stories are all different and circumstances are unique, the feelings underneath are universal.
Music Authentic: Healing in today’s world is a mission impossible: it’s too noisy, too blunt and to self-indulgent. Yet, you aim to help the people with your music. What drives you?
Luchi: I think that is the thing that drives me. The world has opened up a lot with social media and you often just see a highlight reel of people’s lives but we all have ups and downs and that’s normal. Sharing the good and the bad is important as only seeing the filtered version of someone can be really toxic for people’s perception of themselves and their lives. Healing is a journey that you go on yourself and it takes a lot of hard work and self-examination and you can become a light in the world. My real name, Luciano, translates to the word light and I think there is a reason that my mum chose that name because it wasn’t what she had planned to call me but when I was born she said that it felt that was my name. Therapy has been a big help for me and even though some people think we have lost human connection and as you say “mission impossible,” I think especially with music, it’s magical. You can make a listener feel something they didn’t even know they needed to feel and someone once told me a songwriters job is to articulate how someone is feeling for people who don’t know how to express it themselves.
Music Authentic: Is there a recipe to not give up?
Luchi: It might sound controversial but a lot of people talk about having a backup plan if it doesn’t work out but I think that can lead to not being as hungry for it. When you have no other choice but to succeed, then even on the hard days, you dig deeper and fight harder. I think also if you’re burnt out, take a break, you don’t need to give up forever, take some time, live a bit and then you’ll come back re-energized and ready to go again. Remember there is a life outside of music and that is where you can get your inspiration from to write so you have to experience life alongside creating.
Music Authentic: Although you are compared to Lewis Capaldi and Callum Scott, you are one of a kind. What makes you stand out?
Luchi: I think comparisons are easy for people to make when it comes to music but thank you for saying I’m one of a kind. I think my songs show my perspective on the world and my experience which are different to other artists so that’s what makes me stand out. I’m also fearless when it comes to being vulnerable so I think my audience appreciate that and to build that loyal, long standing audience involves people being able to relate to you and like you as a person and an artist. I’m not polished or media trained so I can be authentically me out in the world. I want a long career in music as I’m not interested in the fame game or to be a one hit wonder so consistently releasing good music, being authentic and being real is what I believe makes me stand out.
Music Authentic: Everyone has their own heroes… with whom would you like to sing and perform together?
Luchi: I always say the same two people, Kelly Clarkson and P!nk. They both were and are my biggest heroes and I think I’d probably pass out if I got to sing with them or go into a trance and forget to sing because I was too busy listening to them. I love a big female voice and the songs they write/release always come from an authentic place that I respect. They’re also not afraid to speak out and challenge the norm which is similar to me as an artist so if they are reading this, let’s collaborate and I apologize in advance for losing my cool and composure haha.
Music Authentic: Where can we see and hear you this year?
Luchi: This year I have a bunch of new music coming out so follow me on social media and I’ll keep you updated on all the latest going ons. The next few singles are already ready to go so I’m excited to release them into the world. I’m hoping to get back on the road and gigging next year so keep an eye out for that.
Music Authentic: Before we go, what is your message to your fans, sympathizers and readers?
Luchi: I’d simply say thank you for allowing me to be the artist I want to be and supporting me through this journey. I never take it for granted and for someone who often felt alone and unheard, it means the world to me to have people who get me and enjoy my music. You keep me going and I can’t wait to meet you all one day.
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