We get to know local singer Lucy Kruger over a glass of red wine
Cape Town – It’s a sunny winter afternoon in Cape Town as I meet up with Lucy Kruger at a local restaurant.
Lucy’s been making a name for herself in the local music industry over the last four years with her hauntingly beautiful vocals as part of two musical outfits namely Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys and Medicine Boy.
We chat about everything – how music started for her, her band’s new album titled Summer’s Not That Simple, her day job, her favourite artists, what inspires her, the SA music industry, the list goes on.
And while she’s super-chilled and it felt like chatting to an old friend, Lucy is also refreshingly realistic about her place in the industry and her future in music.
Get to know Lucy through these 8 quotes from our chat:
1. I was really obsessed with musicals, I really knew them all by heart, it was pretty annoying for my family I think.
On when music started for her Lucy says it’s always been what she wanted to do from when she was little. "I just wanted to sing, and I suppose when I was younger I just wanted to be in musicals, that was how I understood music. And then when I got older, I wanted to start to sing my own songs, so I started to play guitar at 16 and then the focus changed from me wanting to perform other people’s things to wanting to perform my own things."
2. I always wanted to do vocal training, but my mom wouldn’t let me.
Never getting professional training has been a blessing in disguise for Lucy. "It (vocal training) seems unnecessary especially with the kind of stuff I’ve wanted to do where the more you can find your own voice the better. But I did do guitar lessons, quite casually, it was a woman who like played folk songs and then I studied drama at University. I actually did voice as a subject, music, opera actually, but I was pretty bad, I almost failed."
3. It’s like how you expose yourself differently to different people that you know. There is like a certain way that you’d be with say your husband and then with a friend, and over time the bands have kind of developed these personalities and the differences just happened instinctively.
Explaining the difference between her two bands, Lucy says "it’s not something we demarcate, like this happens in this band and this happens in this band, it just happened quite organically."
4. I feel like when you’re younger, even if you don’t like it you’re just a bit more reckless in your emotions, and I don’t think you can keep that up forever. But I think we lose too much of it.
Talking about the inspiration for the album, Lucy says "a lot of things that came up is kind of, ironically I guess, an inability to express myself. Ja, I was feeling a little bit frustrated, like a surface calm that we all have, I missed kind of the animal side of things, if that makes sense? It’s a kind of frustration on the inability to really connect to somebody, so just a feeling of frustration of not being able to… like feeling a bit stuck in flesh you know, like not being able to get beyond that and kind of really connect with people."
5. I basically want to be in a position where I don’t have to be gigging to make money, because I only want to play the kind of shows that I want to play.
Chatting about her job as a waitress to earn extra money, Lucy says that it’s hard work in a different way. "I feel like it’s more beneficial for me to believe that the playing and that kind of thing is quite a precious thing. So I’ve watched like graphic designers who are really passionate, friends who are really passionate artists, then they spend a 9-5 drawing stuff that they don’t like, and the last thing they want to do when they get home is pick up a pen or a pencil. And I don’t want to do that with music.
"So something about waitressing for me, is that it’s not my problem, you know I go in there and I do the work and when I leave I walk out with money. It doesn’t stick with me and then I feel like the music is this precious thing. I’m also quite an introvert, so it’s also nice for me to step out of that for a bit and actually just do practical type of work. I tend to be a bit reclusive and it kind of forces me to engage with people."
6. I think you have to be quite secure in yourself to find a collaboration valuable.
On whether Lucy would like to collaborate with any international artists, she explains: "I think collaboration is very important and very special. It’s an interesting thing because I think also like you have to be quite secure in yourself to find a collaboration valuable. Because I find sometimes that if I work with people that are too beyond me or above me and not actually being able to be relaxed, unless you are relaxed and feel comfortable I don’t think it’s possible to really be creative. So I don’t know, it’s actually in a way better for me to not work with people that I feel are so beyond me."
7. I’m not very good at making jokes.
Revealing what no one knows about her, Lucy says that people actually know more about her than they should. "I was thinking about this the other day, because I share quite intimately on my album, people know a lot more about me than they should, probably. Uhm, so to be honest, I feel like I’m quite a reserved person, but I’m not a particularly secretive person. And I’m not very good at making jokes. So I can’t think of something quirky to say now, I just don’t have it in me. It’s not possible!"
8. I think I would like people to just feel seen and a little bit less alone.
On what Lucy would like people to take away from her album, she says that she just wants people to feel something, "and really that can be anything. Even if you try desperately to forget that you have feelings, music will reignite them and soften you and fire you up and it doesn’t matter to me what particular emotion that is in a human being, but if it’s something, if it stirs up like a stagnant space, that’s good, that’s cool. Like I try, or rather I hope that I write from somewhere honest and then that meets somebody else’s feelings, because we’re all kind of going through similar things you know."
(Photo: Calvin Siderfin)