Following the release of his deeply evocative new single Things He Handed Down, we caught an interview with songwriter and artist Luchi, to find out more about the music, the journey so far, and what the future holds. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hi Luchi – thanks for the interview! Stunning new single, my congrats. For those new to your work, how would you describe your approach to making music?
Thank you so much. I would say for anyone that’s new to my music, you can always expect vulnerability from me when you listen to any of my songs. No matter if its a uptempo banger or a soft ballad, it always comes from a real place and an experience I have had.
I like to keep it honest so that emotion transfers to the listener when they hear the song. I take inspiration from a lot of genres of music, although always pop, I like to take influence from country, rock, RnB, soul, dance, that’s the great thing about pop music is you can pull in different genres and it still works. I grew up in peak 90s/00s pop so there is a lot of inspiration from there too.
Tell me about Things He Handed Down – what prompted you to start writing this, and what does it ultimately represent for you?
This song was one of those that wrote itself really. It was done in 15 minutes of my collaborator Jiro sending me the piano part and it just flowed out of me.
I think the reason I think its so special and relatable is it comes from a different place emotionally from my other songs about my childhood. The other ones have been full of anger and pain but this one while still highlighting the pain, comes from a more vulnerable place and exposing what it’s done to me and that I had to learn it was never me that was unlovable, it was that he never knew how to love me.
It represents the closing of a chapter for me and a part of my inner child has healed just by writing it.
How does it feel to listen back to this song, as opposed to when you were submerged within the writing process?
I don’t think I’m at the stage where I can listen back to it properly yet because you hear it so much while in production, mixing and mastering that it usually takes a few months of not hearing it to come back to it and you listen with different ears but I did cry when I heard the full version back because I was proud of myself for being vulnerable enough to put it out there and not live in fear of sharing my story. I’ll let you know in a few months, haha.
The song no doubt translates beautifully on the stage – are you planning any shows or a tour this year? And what does a live show look like; acoustic, or full band, electronic?
I would love to get back on stage at some point this year. There are things being explored at the moment because its been a while since I was on stage. I love both acoustic stripped back shows and full band shows, usually depends on the crowd and I always throw in a few covers to get the crowd going.
I like to change it up every show as I have a lot of songs out there now but you can always guarantee some strong vocals and some jokes between to take you on an emotional roller-coaster.
I don’t plan out what I’m going to say so that’s always fun. I suffer from stage fright so bad on the lead up and often think about doing a runner right before I get on stage but then as soon as I get on stage and the music starts, I love it and go to a different place in my head. In all honesty, I think it will be 2024 before I get back on the road but I’ll update my social as soon as there is something announced.
What qualities do you think you’ve been blessed to combine by growing up in Scotland but being raised by your Italian family? Does this unique pairing of traits impact your creative style or artistic personality?
I think growing up in Glasgow has given me quite a tough skin and a sarcastic humour that means that even though my music is often highly charged emotionally, when you meet me, I’m full of laughter and quick witted jokes.
I get a lot of it my emotions out in my music as often I can start writing a song and not actually know how I feel and it helps me work out the muddle in my head.
My Italian family taught me that you have to work hard to get to where you want and I think that’s where my fire and drive comes from.
You’re a long-time songwriter, having competed numerous times and written for other artists. How different is it to write something for someone else, do you detach yourself from the stories or sentiments, change the melodies in different ways, or is it fairly similar to writing for yourself?
I love working with up and coming artists because I get to help them explore their feelings and pass on the knowledge that I gained from my years of learning. It differs as with my own material, I usually like to write alone as I can get my feelings out and be brutally honest with myself whereas if I am writing for someone else, my job is to make the artist comfortable to open up and share their story then help them craft it.
“I have a no shame, no judgement policy in my writing sessions so I always say, just throw anything you think out and we can work with it.”
I much prefer to be in the room or on a zoom call with the artist because you get a better feel for where they are at and I love a good chin wag so a good chat at the start of the call always breaks the ice. They can be like first dates, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t but that’s alright, I always try make it enjoyable for the artist as I know what its like to be on the other side as well.
I’m a bit of a jack of all trades so I’m pretty flexible at being able to fill in wherever needed if its lyrical help, melodies or direction. My friend in Nashville calls me the secret sauce as she says that when I walk in, I’m good at adding the flavour and spice and I’m reliable to get the best out of someone.
On the competition front, is it difficult to balance methodical writing that broadly appeals, with the genuine creative desires of the heart?
I think there’s a balance and it depends on the song. I think for me, its about having a universal enough message that you don’t alienate people but also having your own story there for artistic satisfaction. A lot of the time, I like to have the verses telling my story and then the chorus more universal as that’s the part that most people sing along to.
I think for me, you can still have a meaningful lyric on a song and then sprinkle hooks ion that keep the listener engaged but not having to compromise on the integrity. There is a place for all types of music though in my opinion.
What’s been your main takeaway from working with Stargate and the LA Academy for Artists and Music Production?
I think my main take away was learning to trust my instincts and my confidence. I have a lot of insecurities and that can sometimes hold me back but they taught me that bringing me was enough and not having to compromise on what I believed in. Also it was such a honour to be selected by them as they wrote so many of the songs I loved growing up and I embarrassingly gushed to them and started singing their own songs back to them the first time I met them haha. I met loads of great people and new collaborators as well, some of which are part of this new single.
Who would be your dream collaborator, and why?
My dream collaborator is Diane Warren. I just love her. The songs she has written, how mega success hasn’t changed her and she writes these beautiful songs and then her personality is completely the opposite. I aspire to have a career like her one day and to work with her would be a dream.
You refer to songwriting as a kind of therapy – is that purely the writing process, getting thoughts out on paper, or is there a feeling of elation and escapism every time you delve into a perform an original song?
For me, its the creative process. From the writing, to the production, to the recording, that’s my favourite part. The writing process I get to be vulnerable and honest with myself and some songs I have will never be released as they are too personal but thats where I get the most healing from.
Once it’s out in the world, that’s another release because you almost hand it over to the public and let go again. You spend so long crafting and making sure you’re happy with it, that its a relief once its finally out there.
What’s next for you?
Well there is a special something still to come with the song that I haven’t announced just yet but will be coming soon. Then I have lots more music coming this year, my next single is an uptempo banger which I can’t wait to get out there for the summer.
I’m out in Los Angeles in August to write as well, which I am excited about. I love it out there. Then I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas project so I think that I will try do that this year. I like to keep busy.
Follow me on social media and you’ll be the first to hear what’s coming up and I also often leak demos on my Instagram stories to get feedback so that’s always a nice bonus for my fans.
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