Why heartbreak is so key to writing songs...

Lucy May Walker plays The Brunswick, Brighton & Hove on Friday, October 29 as her diary suddenly starts filling up again.

Lucy May Walker
Lucy May Walker

“I have gone from no gigs to lots of gigs, which is great! I am really grateful for that,” says Lucy May.

“And fingers crossed that we are now back for good.

“I think there are still quite a lot of people that are nervous about coming out to gigs, and I guess people will just make that decision once they are comfortable.

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    “I go to lots of gigs so I will just carry on taking lateral-flow tests and all the precautions just to make sure I feel comfortable myself going out, and if you are feeling confident, I just hope you will come along to one of my gigs!”

    Folk-pop singer/songwriter Lucy May is based in London. Her debut EP Heartbreak Songs reached number three on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart, receiving numerous plays on BBC Introducing across the Midlands. After being discovered busking by Jeremy Vine, Lucy May was invited to perform live on his BBC Radio 2 show as well as his Channel 5 TV show.

    “I have been in the business years and years,” she says. “I am originally from Worcestershire and I went to uni and from there I moved to London seven years ago. I have been doing music for about eight years.

    “I started doing singing and dancing and acting at uni and then I started doing my own songs.

    “I did cover songs for years before that. I used to listen to BBC Live Lounge where people take any song and make it their own.”

    It wasn’t until she suffered her first heartbreak that Lucy May made the big breakthrough in writing her own material: “My first EP was called Heartbreak Songs. I had the heartbreak and I just wrote my own song in two hours.

    “For every song that I write, it is all basically a diary of everything that is going on in my life.

    “I think maybe I feel things more than other people feel them.

    “I have a lot of emotion, but I do think the best songs are all about being vulnerable. I personally connect more with songs where I know the back story to a song.

    “If I know the story, then I connect with the lyrics more, and for me the most important thing in my song-writing is my lyrics.

    “My debut EP was in 2018 but since then I have released a second EP which came out in 2020 in March or April, quite early on (in the pandemic).

    “It was quite interesting to release music at that time. Usually you release music and then you tour and do a live show.”

    None of that, obviously, could happen: “Initially it was quite scary. I am a full-time musician.

    “I live in London and in order to live in London, you have to be bringing in quite a lot of money. 90 per cent of my income was from live work. I was also busking in the underground and in stations across London, and that all disappeared very quickly.”

    But at least Lucy May got the EP out which she released after a successful crowd-funding campaign; and then once she started doing online work, live-streaming through Facebook, she was able to bring in some money through adding a PayPal link.

    And now she can perform properly live again: “I am feeling confident about getting out there. I hope other people will too.”