Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Lucy May Walker! Together we discussed being discovered by Jeremy Vine, their songwriting process, girl code, their newest album “Nothing Ever Stays The Same”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing?
Hellooo! Thanks so much for having me, I am doing great thank you – thanks for having me!
2. Mustard wonders what your relationship with music was growing up?
From a very early age I’ve always been a performer – I did a lot of dance competitions where I’d more often than not win the ’Song & Dance’ category which I loved. I went on to study Performing Arts at Cumbria University and started learning guitar in my last year.
3. You were discovered busking by Jeremy Vine. How long before this moment had you been busking for? Can you recall this moment? What was it like to play on his programs?
I started busking in 2015 so I’d been busking for 3 years before he discovered me. I do! It was really one of those moments that I feel was meant to happen because I very almost didn’t go. My slot was at 4-6pm but I had something that ran over beforehand which meant I didn’t start busking until 5.30pm .. I normally wouldn’t bother doing such a short slot, but for some reason I did – and that’s when he saw me. Playing live on BBC Radio 2 was absolutely surreal, I remember being so nervous but everybody was so lovely and honestly it was one of the best days of my life. I came out of Wogan House, opened my laptop to see that I’d had about 500 CD orders from my website.
4. Maisie Peters, Lucy Rose, and Ward Thomas are some of your influences. What song of each do you recommend humans check out? Could you share more about how they have influenced you?
ooo great question! Lets go for:
Lucy Rose – Middle Of The Bed
Ward Thomas – Cartwheels
Maisie Peters – Birthday / Psycho
I think these three artists actually are a great representation of where my influences started and progressed to. I first discovered Lucy Rose when she featured on Bombay Bicycle Club tracks and I subsequently fell in love with her first album Like I Used To. I’d never heard of an artist have such a delicate voice but with this really cool acoustic/indie sound.
I have no idea how I discovered Ward Thomas, I think I was maybe targeted by one of their ads online and bought their album Cartwheels in 2016. For me when I listen to music I am most struck by lyrics and if they make me feel something. Cartwheels is about trying so desperately to make a relationship work when the other person won’t .. I guess at the time, I felt every single lyric.
Maisie Peters unlocked my inner pop girl. I have loved pop music for my entire life, from S Club 7 to Steps to Spice Girls but sometimes I shied away from making my own music too ‘pop’ sounding – maybe because it was considered ‘uncool’? Maisie Peters grabbed my attention with her 2017 single ‘Birthday’ again with the very hard hitting relatable lyrics about a boy treating her badly. From there she moved down a poppier route but always kept the best written lyrics I’ve ever heard. I would absolutely kill to write with Maisie Peters.
5. What is your songwriting process?
I like to know exactly what I’m writing about before I sit down and write. Usually I’m inspired by life events, most of the time it’s my own experiences but I also write song commissions for fans where they send in their stories which is really fun.
6. Mustard is curious: how do humans pronounce Worcestershire? How has your environment helped you as an artist?
Haha, it’s three syllables, I’d pronounce it as “Wus-ter-sheer”
As much as Worcestershire has a special place in my heart, after Uni I moved straight to London and that’s when my career really began. London can be an amazing place to be as an artist because there’s so many others doing exactly the same as you – most of my friends are other artists I’ve met through gigs and busking.
7. Mustard appreciates the message of “You’re Not Alone.” What was the inspiration for this single? What advice would you give to humans who feel alone?
Completely contradicting my last answer, it was ironically about feeling lonely living in London. When I first moved I worked in a coffee shop which was great and I met some amazing people, but that was basically my whole life for the first 6 months.
It took me a little while to find my feet in London and to make friends outside of work. I know it can be a really scary idea to some, but I honestly suggest going to events by yourself. When there’s a gig I really want to go to but don’t have anyone to go with, I just go by myself and more often than not end up making friends.
In the period of writing You’re Not Alone, I went to a Regina Spektor gig and ended up sitting next to a woman who also went alone. We got chatting and at the end of the gig she bought me a T-Shirt from the Merch stand! That interaction would never have happened if I’d have either stayed at home, or gone with someone I already knew.
8. What would Lucy May Walker consider a bad day? What are some things that humans do that would cause you to have a bad day?
Two words: Public Transport. As somebody who regularly gets buses, tubes and trains with a guitar and a granny trolley full of gear – let me tell you first hand, people are idiots. They are completely oblivious of anyone struggling with heavy bags or needing a specific seat.. basically everyone just looks out for themselves and that gets me in a bad mood. I try not to let those moments ruin my whole day though, I just have bad commutes.
9. Has society amended Girl Code after your release “Leftovers (Girl Code”?
Hahah, I still stand by the fact you shouldn’t get together with your friends exes – but if you really do think there is something there, I think it’s ok if you just have a honest conversation with your friend first to give them the heads up. I never got that – I just had to see them together and pretend it was normal.
10. Is girl code similar to bro code? Are there any overlaps between the two?
It’s the same!
11. You recently released “Nothing Ever Stays The Same.” Could you share what it was like putting this album together?
I did! I am so so proud of this album and we’ve honestly worked so hard on it. For about 4 years I’d been writing songs and saving them as ‘album potentials’ – I took 12 of those songs to record with The Dunwells up in Leeds and 10 of them made the album. From there it was mixed by Elliot Vaughan & mastered by Katie Tavini at Weird Jungle. My manager Ben and I whittled it down and spent weeks perfecting the order. It has been a long process but every single decision has been made with passion and I am so proud of it.
12. If nothing ever stays the same, how do humans like yourself adapt to new situations? Are new experiences scary?
The theme of the album is life changes, they can be really difficult ones, they can be exciting changes – I think humans generally do adapt and grow the more life throws at them. If everything in your life did always stay the same, you wouldn’t grow and it would be very boring. Change is good.
13. Do you have any upcoming gigs?
31st March – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
1st April – Fox & Newt, Leeds
2nd April – Cuban Embassy, Birmingham
3rd April – Exchange, Bristol
5th April – Folklore Rooms, Brighton
6th April – The Victoria, Dalston, London
Tickets are on sale at lucymaywalkerofficial.com (click live)
14. How would you describe your live performance?
Passionate, honest and fun – with a side of banter!
15. Where can readers listen to your music?
You can find me basically everywhere by searching Lucy May Walker on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Socials or if you’re old school, grab a cd or vinyl from my website.