The singer-songwriter gets candid on her smooth-sailing debut EP “Notes To Self” with how she has dealt with past relationships.
Tapping into her own story of vulnerability and self-discovery is singer-songwriter Lu Wright with her debut EP “Notes To Self”. Leaning on elements of neo-soul and R&B, the singer intricately crafts smooth-sailing soundscapes using jazzy-flecked vocals and melodic productions. Riding the same wave as Snoh Aalegra, the singer beautifully details her tellings of young love and relationships, using breathy slow-burning tones and meticulous lyricism.
Opening up on the EP, Lu said, “This EP is called ‘Notes To Self’ because each of these 5 songs are exactly that. Noting pivotal moments of self-reflection, growth and worth, each track holds a separate teachable message. ‘Always You’ is very much a song about young love. Looking back on past relationships it’s all too easy just to see the bitter endings. We forget about the good bits and small pockets of happiness in between. No matter what we go through, we always grow, and as long as you stay positive you are invincible. Young love may sometimes be naive, short-sighted, or even painful, but it’s always love, and it’s always beautiful.”
Having had to cancel her tour last year due to the pandemic, the singer is itching to get back on the stage, revealing to us that she’s determined to get the gigging train rolling again later this year. Ready to bring the project to life, we caught up with the singer talking all things music and relationships.
Check out the interview below now…
Hi Lu, how has the last year been for you?
This last year has been very eye-opening. Honestly, covid has been an odd one for everyone, hasn’t it? I sometimes wake up and feel like I have dreamt it all, like some messed up Black Mirror stuff, but it is something that we are all learning to live with. This year I have learnt some serious lessons in every aspect of my life. There are a few things that need to change, and I know that these lessons would make me happier and grow as a person. It has also been amazing, to finally release this project. I just thought it wouldn’t be possible to release during a pandemic, but I guess during lockdown, new music provided a much-needed outlet for people to break the monotony and perhaps change the equilibrium a little.
How did growing up in the melting pot of south London influenced your sound?
London has helped me to meet a lot of like-minded creative people from all walks of life. It’s definitely the people who make it for me. I can’t wait to get back to gigs, dance and get moving around the capital more freely again, enjoying all the things that make London so great culturally. Pre-pandemic I would go to a couple of gigs a week, which was hugely inspirational. I love listening to everyone’s stories and all the opportunities that can present themselves just from getting out there and talking to someone new.
Who were your biggest influences?
My oldest influences come from the Jazz legends of the 50’s and 60’s like Sam Cooke and Nina Simone, those gorgeous tones and originality shine through to this day. My brothers were really into their hip hop, and I couldn’t help but immerse myself in that world too and l loved listening to the likes of Outkast and Eminem. I’d say both these genre’s have made a huge impact on my songwriting.
Congratulations on your debut EP “Notes on Self” – why did you choose that name?
Thank you so much, it’s so exciting and scary releasing a body of work but I am so chuffed that it is finally out. I chose ‘notes to self’ as the title because during the songwriting process I would have to stop halfway though and think, is this song going in the direction I want it to? And what am I trying to get across? Ultimately what is the message that I am writing to myself? I always wrote things down growing up, whether it was keeping a diary, notepad or even little messages on Post-it notes. Also, whenever I found myself in a toxic relationship, I would say to myself, ‘note to self’ have more damn respect for yourself next time! or note to self, don’t make big decisions in the early hours when I might have had too much to drink.
The EP obviously follows your journey and most pivotal moments so far, through the tracks – kind of like a personal diary – how does it feel to be putting out something so personal into the world?
I am quite an open person. I like it when someone is open with me to and I think as a songwriter that is kinda your job. I also like how I can express myself through music and have been fortunate to be able to use it as a way to process certain situations, I’d like to think that it could help others who might be going through something similar as well.
What do you hope your listeners will take from it, especially at a time like this?
I just want my music to provide some kind of escapism. A friend said the other day that he was listening to my EP track “Pretty Blue” on the train and it made him feel calm and relaxed. If my music helps one person either momentarily feel happy, or know they are not alone in their everyday battles – then I think I’ve done a good job.
The lead track “Always You” is so heartfelt and hypnotic – was it inspired by anything in particular?
“Always You” is very much a song about young love. Looking back on past relationships it’s all too easy to just see the all too often bitter ends. We forget about the good bits and small pockets of happiness in between. No matter what we go through, we always grow, and as long as you manage to stay positive you are invincible. Young love may sometimes be naive, shortsighted, or even painful, but it’s always love, and it’s always beautiful.
Do you have a favourite track from the EP or lyric?
“And the young girl fell down to the deep pit, shit, she was in another realm, blaming it on herself. She was looking up to the rest, thinking they were the best, yet she was, just as beautiful.” This lyric makes me think of Alice in Wonderland when she falls down the rabbit hole. This mirrored how I felt, as I used to compare myself to others. I wasted so much time thinking like this. I want young people to realise that you are never going to be the same as someone else, and that is cool. Instead, try to think about all the things you love and appreciate about yourself and embrace those!
You’ve been really vocal about how music has always been an outlet for you to manage your anxiety – why is it important for you to address this so publicly?
In the past couple of years, I have not heard one person that hasn’t spoken publicly about their struggle with anxiety, mental health, whatever it may be. I am seriously passionate about mental health. We all know that it needs to be addressed more in the workspace, schools etc and it only benefits people when there is something being done about it. I wish I could talk to my younger self, I wish I could tell her the tricks and tools that have taken over 10 years to learn. I would have been a much more relaxed teenager if I knew how to help myself. I want the people who have similar struggles, to channel one of their hobbies to help tackle their anxiety.
What’s next for you? What are you excited about next
I want get the gigging train rolling. To celebrate the launch of the EP I performed at Hoxton Underbelly, it was a lot of fun. You could tell I was nervous as when I was thanking my keys player, I said to the audience “Can we give a round of applause to Henry that had broken his leg on the weekend and he is here playing tonight!” Henry hadn’t broken his leg, he had fractured his ankle slightly…. Nothing is quite like standing on stage doing what I love and to be able to perform my new EP was surreal. I want to collaborate with like-minded artists and develop my sound further. I want to release more music and I believe the best is yet to come…