Although she’s just released her new album, Cut Those Strings, Lucy Kruger is not new to the South African music scene: at 23, she’s been playing gigs for the last 6 years. The album – and Lucy live performances – have been highly recommended as doing SA’s music industry proud. We had a few questions for her about what sets her apart.
Your debut album, Cut those Strings, was released in August 2012. How would you describe your sound on the album?
I don’t know if I’m any good at describing my own sound but if I had to choose a description that has come up in review so far, I would go with Malcom McArb who described it as, “music based on a wistful blues and a worried alt.pop”.
If you had to choose a favourite track from Cut those Strings, what track would it be and why?
That seems to shift quite a bit but the one that has stuck for the longest has been ‘Four White Walls’. I’m not sure of the exact reasoning behind that. Perhaps the subject matter is something that has stuck with me. A lot of the other songs were experiences that I passed through. I think that ‘Four White Walls’ will be something that I will constantly come up against.
You completed a degree in Music and Drama at Rhodes University. Did studying these subjects influence your style or performance?
I think the time at Rhodes certainly gave me the space to explore myself creatively in many ways. As a personality as well as a performer. The music course provided a technical foundation while the drama course taught me to fly away from that and reject everything too studied. The paradox does not escape me and definitely excites me. I would like to be able to choose the rules I want to break.
Where do you draw your musical inspiration from?
Everything and anything really. I think it’s as simple and as complicated as that. I very rarely make decisions to write about particular subject matter. I pick up a guitar and play and see what comes out. Because of this particular process the themes often stem from some form of autobiography.
How do you get into the song-writing process?
I play and experiment. Sometimes something rather nice comes out and then I pursue it. Sometimes something not so nice comes out and I pursue that anyway. There is very little consistency in the process for me. It is always shifting. I have written in very quiet, reflective spaces as well as amongst a noisy group of friends. Different moods inspire different sounds I suppose.
What do you believe sets you apart from other artists in the music industry?
My mission is not to create something different but rather to create something honest. I think that inevitably results in creating something unique.
What advice would you give to musicians wanting to break into the SA music industry?
Play a lot and keep your intentions true. If you are in it for the wrong reasons it will become very difficult to maintain. Support your fellow musicians. You are all in it together.
What can fans expect to see from Lucy Kruger in 2013?
I would love to try my hand at another album. I also want to get in the car with my guitar and go play. Lots of playing.