Lucy Spraggan’s latest single “Stick the Kettle On” is a joyous mixing of folk and rock, and a collaboration with Scouting for Girls.
Spraggan is an industrious songwriter with 4 studio albums and a compilation album to her name. Her latest albums are I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing and Introducing Lucy Spraggan, a compilation. She is already working on her next studio album. FEMMUSIC was honored to speak to her about her process.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about “Stick the Kettle On.” How did that song evolve?
LS: I’d wanted to collaborate with Scouting For Girls for a long time, I’d met Roy at a few festivals and he’s a great guy. I sent him a text one day asking if he’d like to write together and that’s what we did!
When we got into the studio we decided we wanted to write something about the importance of friendship – there are many duets that revolve around love and relationships but we decided to keep it real and honest, and STKO is what came out of it!
FEMMUSIC: I see you signed to Cooking Vinyl this Spring. Why did you decide to sign after running CTRL Records for so long?
LS: I think it was a natural progression; running my own label had lots of pros but also cons, in the way that I had a lot more work to do. I learned a lot about the industry and it’s given me a great deal of knowledge for moving forward and being involved in the work that CV do.
I feel like they can offer that added extra that I couldn’t reach on my own, I’m excited to see what happens.
FEMMUSIC: I hear you’re now working on your 5th studio album. What have you learned over time on making albums? Pre-production? Song choice? Producer choice?
LS: I record the demos initially when I write the song, I tend to play them live for a while to get the tempos right and make sure any final changes are done before getting into the studio. Song choice is down to me, as I am 100% my biggest critic, so I end up ‘trimming the fat’ pretty early. I have a huge catalogue of songs that never made it.
Jon Maguire will be producing this record in Newport, Wales – he produced my last one and I felt it really captured exactly what I asked for. He’s a great friend of mine too, so working together is always a great deal of fun.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
LS: See it, write it! I often get a line or idea and throw it into my iPhone notes. From there it’ll either naturally develop into something else or stay floating in The Cloud for the rest of time.
It’s always lyrics first for me.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
LS: “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks. She wrote that song when she felt her band had taken another hit, another failure and she didn’t know whether to stick at it or settle for something else. It really speaks to me; I’m glad she didn’t give up.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
LS: Yeah, I think so. Rates of pay, not being taken seriously, or described as ‘twee’.
It’s frustrating, and I’ve read comment threads on the topic from other male musicians who just don’t get it, which pisses me off.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
LS: I’d love to tour with Watsky. I just love his music. Lyrically he is a genius.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
LS: The politics and elitism. It’s boring. The majority of the industry is run by cliques, and it doesn’t matter how many tickets you sell, or if the public like you, if the industry doesn’t like you they’ll make it very difficult for you.