Camden Rocks 2018 [INTERVIEW] with... Lucie Barat

"Performance is in my blood" says Lucie Barat  

She delivered a stunning performance at this year's Camden Rocks Festival, singer, poet and actress Lucie Barat clearly has a strong connection to Camden. With an entirely new backing band in place, she is more than ready to take her live performances and sound even further and let things move to the next level, right in the direction she wants things to move in.

Well done on your Camden Rocks set at Hawley Arms! How did you find the experience?

"I loved it, it was amazing. Everyone there was so lovely and Camden was at its finest."

Camden has an authentic community, vibe and a tradition for presenting live music;
Would you talk about your own connection to the area - as a music or arts destination?

"I have been hanging in Camden since I was 15, it was my absolute go-to destination all through my youth for everything from shopping for vintage jeans to getting tattoos and street food to gigs and drinking into the wee hours. When I first started singing in bands, we rehearsed all over Camden and I have played most of the venues by now. I will always love Camden, I am a North London girl at heart."

What has been your favourite gig or festival appearance so far?

"I loved playing Hyde Park and Isle of Wight but I have to say The Great Escape and Camden Rocks are up there with my favourite festivals so far."

You have a connection to This Feeling and Modern Age Music;
How much have you enjoyed your engagement with the promoters up until now?

"They are genuine people with a massive love of live music. I have put on regular nights before and it can be a thankless task but these guys have really managed to create a gang/family vibe among the artists and regular gig-goers. Live music needs all the supporters it can get at the moment, especially in London with its dwindling venues. People like Mikey Jonns, George Holmes, James Bohrsmann and Brandon Wright and everyone else at This Feeling are fighting the good fight."

What songs in your catalogue are you most proud of and why?

"Be Uprising is one of my favourite songs because I had been advised to absolutely not release anything political but then I thought, I don’t care and I just went ahead! What is the point of anything if you can’t use your voice?"

Are you working on any new material/videos just now? If so, when are you hoping to release it?

"Yes I have a new backing band and we are rehearsing some new material. I am also about to start filming this TV series, Johnny Boy Records which will document the festival season, me signing a new deal and releasing some new music into the ether."

Where do you tend to record your music and what producer(s) do you like to work with (if any)?

"I have recorded all over the place. I like to work with different people, see what different collaborations might produce."

Your music or art stands out partly because you draw on influences other than music, how important do you consider that to be, if you want to differ from other acts and make more of a difference?

"I guess I am predominantly a writer, I have always written; poems, stories, films and dram so I love to document what is around me, social commentary and character study. A bit of existential angst it is how I make sense of the world. I also trained as an actress and spent a lot of time in theatre, performance is in my blood. I don’t know if any of that means anything more than what any other songwriter brings to their songs but I guess it is a breakdown of how I tick, I am hugely influenced and inspired by theatre, film and literature."

You seem to put a lot of creativity and thought into writing meaningful and poetic lyrics, do you want to talk a bit about

1.       The creative process
"I have hundreds of grubby notebooks that I am constantly filling with words, I have so many lyrics and poems yet to put to music. Sometimes, I hear a melody and that sounds better with certain vowel sounds, for instance and so I’ll write that way round. Sing into my voice memo on my phone, it might sound god awful to anyone else but it is my way of remembering an idea."

2.       Things that motivate and inspire you?

"I can really be inspired by stories and feelings and that can be from music, books, poetry or film."

3.       How you go about shaping the inspiration and turning it into a lyric?

"They kind of shape themselves to be honest. I just sit down and play with words or I will get an idea on the train and write it into my phone. I generally don’t force myself to try and write, I wait until it is there."

Any current bands or artists you admire?

"Loyle Carner; I think he is awesome. And Jordan Stephens in his various guises. I also love Himalayas, The Surrenders and Sisteray. There are so many bands I admire on the underground scene for just going out and putting their all into living life and making music."

As a woman in music, how would you describe your journey so far?

"I am glad to say I have seen it start to morph slowly. Too slowly. But I think things are going to change. I have been frustrated and angry, for sure. But now I am generally feeling kind of sanguine."

Do you see your own songwriting perhaps taking a different direction in the future?

"I still haven’t found my definitive solo sound but we are getting closer and it is quite exciting.
Want to continue developing my sound."