Friday, 14 September 2012

Music Had a Hold on Me // One on One with Lu Willott

This is a shout out to Louise Willott.  Lu writes and performs near-perfect pop/ soul tunes, and is currently holed away in a dark studio in the depths of Bristol recording her first demo EP. 

This is her at her recent gig at the renowned Fleece and Firkin at Bristol's Harbourside Festival.

We got the chance to sit down and talk to Lu about life, style and her music...

Lu’s songwriting career began by accident as she started to hear melodies to accompany the writings in her journal, initially singing her ideas into her phone, she went on to share it with her friends and together they formed her musical musings into her first song.

“I was scared to share it because it was a very vulnerable, honest song (as it was not written with the intention of being shared!)”

The positive feedback from Lu’s first song was all she needed to carry on writing. Aside from a bit of reading around the subject Lu found songwriting came naturally to her.

“After the first song I just found I had lots to say - years worth of stories and heart cries and melodies to get out through song! I’ve only been writing for a year now and I’ve got over 50 songs."

Lu’s musical influences range from Lauryn Hill, Otis Reading and Stevie Wonder to a childhood of Mariah Carey, Whitney and Celine Dion. She also cites Luke Concannon (of Nizlopi) as one of her biggest inspirations.

“I’ve actually written a song about him called ‘Dancing with bare feet’ which describes watching his live shows and how he gives it everything he’s got. I want to learn from him, in that respect especially.”

Lu has just laid down her first EP ‘Blue Diamonds’.  The four track demo debuts her soulful voice and clearly illustrates her potential as an artist.

“Recording 'Blue Diamonds’ was one of the best weeks of my life, being part of the process of shaping each track from scratch and being so proud of the results.”

Listening to Lu’s tracks you can hear the variety of influences throughout her songs, from one song to another you will find yourself reminiscing through your own moving memories.

“I don’t write strategically but I do always want my music to move people and connect with them I some way. The deeper and more meaningful that connection is, the better.”

Lu has been doing open mic nights, local gigs and festivals such as Bristol Harbourside and is mastering the art of a smooth, heartfelt performance, her pre gig rituals involve drinkling plenty of water and praying which helps her to just sing because she loves it, and not get nervous.

“I always have the intention of doing some vocal warm-ups but this seems to go out of the window most of the time because once you’re in the venue it’s hard to find space to make the loud, ugly noises required!”

Comfort is Lu’s priority when dressing for a gig, choosing wedges or a sturdy heel and dressing in light clothes to keep cool. While Lu sticks to a low maintenance beauty regime, letting offers decide which face and haircare she goes for, she’s a sucker for some decent make up.

“I’m a fan of Mac and have been using it avidly for two years now since my wedding makeover. I especially love the eye brow pencil and feel naked without it!”

The music industry is filled with female artists with strong looks and some potential style icons and while admiring their strong, show-biz looks Lu prefers a more soft and subtle look.

“Females tend to be whacked in killer heels, with loud, clashing, patterned, crazy outfits and thick make... uh-oh I sound like an old granny don’t I!”

Lu is at the very beginning of a promising career and every decision could lead to a new exciting progression and Lu just hopes she can keep her integrity and love of music at the forefront of the journey.

“All this is such a new journey for me, now I just want to write more, sing more, gig more, and definitely get more time in the studio. I’m sure it will involve a lot of hard graft and persistence along the way.”

If you want to catch Lu and listen to her vulnerable vocals, her next gig is Saturday 22nd September at The Croft in Bristol.

Check out her Soundcloud for some feel-good, upbeat and downright soulful tunes.

R & A x

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