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For Mancunian singer-songwriter Lucy Hopkins, better known as Lusaint, a career as an artist once seemed like a pipe dream. Fast forward to 2024, and she is selling out European tours, performing at bucket-list venues, and supporting artists like Raye, all while being dressed head-to-toe by Chanel. Her incredible voice is undeniably made for the stage.

Lusaint's latest and utterly addictive single, "Sober," was born from voice notes recorded in a hotel room during a time when she felt lost in all aspects of her life. It's a beautiful symmetry that this track unexpectedly became the opening piece of her stunning debut EP, marking a turning point in her life where the artist pushed out of her comfort zone and, in turn, found her sound. Titled "Self-Sabotage," the EP will be released on September 13th. This compelling body of work showcases her raw and authentic lyricism, reminding listeners of the power of relatability.

F Word had the pleasure of catching up with Lusaint. Her humble and grateful approach to life made this emerging superstar’s story one we were eager to learn more about.

Maisie Daniels: Hey Lucy, thanks so much for coming on to F Word today! Where are you from? I detect a northern twang?

Lucy: I’m from Manchester!

MD: How has your day been so far?

Lucy: Really good. I had to have a hearing test yesterday as I’m getting some in-ears sorted today for my next tour, and for every show now, because it’s got to the point where I really need them. So, getting that sorted and I’ve got a chilled day today: more recording as we’re writing now for the next EP - so lots of work to do but fun work!

MD: Your sound is so uniquely distinct! When did you first become aware of your voice?

Lucy: I think when I became aware of the fact that I could sing was probably in primary school. I was so shy as a child, and the only thing that could take me away from that shyness was always singing, initially just to my family. Then, out of nowhere, I decided I was going to audition for a school play. As soon as I did that, that was the beginning of recognising I could sing from people's reactions. It was so out of my character to do something like that. That also helped me gain confidence, and because I knew that I was gaining confidence through using my voice, that gave me more of a reason to use it.

So, it was probably from then, but I didn’t really do much with it apart from being a part of a choir and still finding my feet, I guess, as a singer - I suppose there’s only so much you can do at that age - and it grew into my teenage years of joining plays. I had my first solo part in a play where I played Sandy in Grease [laughs]. So, there were a few occasions, but I never really thought too much about it being a career - it was never something that was offered. Especially from where I was from, it’s not something you would ever imagine as a career. You do your 9-5pm, and you couldn’t have any creative outlet that could be your career. The fact that this is now happening feels very bizarre but so incredible.

MD: You must be having so many “pinch-me” moments.

Lucy: I really am. There isn’t a minute where I take it for granted but I think now, having my own music out there and it being something I feel proud about. Before I was writing this music, I was working with a lot of different writers and producers and trying to figure out “the sound” that I wanted to create. ‘Sober,’ the single which is out now is that.

MD: I LOVE 'Sober', honestly, I can’t get enough - it’s so catchy! I feel like I can relate to the lyrics also. Can you talk me through the track in more detail?

Lucy: Oh great! At the time of writing ‘Sober,’ I wrote that two years ago and that was out of nowhere. I wasn’t in a great place in my mind with he project I was doing at the time, my relationship at the time, and I was feeling like I didn’t know where my life was heading. When I felt like that, I knew I had to stop this completely, or something else had to happen. I remember I was in London at the time working on some other project that I wasn’t completely happy with. I went back to my Travelodge and it was the worst room I think they could have possibly given me [laughs]. I was sitting on the bed and I thought, I need to do something about this and take myself away from this place.

It was an instant change of heart and I thought that this was maybe what I’d been looking for. Every day, listening to music like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald: that is my go-to listen-to and I knew from that I wanted to create something that felt like I could bring in a few elements from that style of music. And everything I was creating felt like the opposite of that. So I sang a few voice notes into my phone, I came back to my producer and said that this is the kind of style that I want. So yeah, that is how the project was born and it felt like a weight was lifted! It made me want to continue on this journey.

MD: It sounds like you came out of your comfort zone?

Lucy: Yes, and I think it’s difficult to come out of that box that you’re very comfortable in, and as much as I wasn’t 100% with the songs I was creating before, it was my comfort blanket, and this wasn’t. Not many people are doing this, especially when it comes to a full band situation, having a horn section on stage and all these things. Raye is doing that and so incredibly well, and I think the fact that she’s able to create something right now that feels like herself for the first time, when that moment happened for her, I guess I could massively relate to it and understand what she had gone through.

To create music is something that has to be very much you. If you’re not yourself, I think everyone can tell. I like to think that this music that I’m creating feels very me.

MD: I’ve been very lucky to hear the full EP, and it feels wholly authentic. Releasing on September 13th, it's titled 'Self Sabotage': is there an underlying theme that runs throughout?

Lucy: It sounds quite dark, but a lot of things in my life, even if I am going through a really good time and having a good day, there will always be something that happens in the back of my mind that I will try and do to self-sabotage myself. I can’t even put an example on it, but there are always ways around life that everybody goes through where you contradict yourself or you make wrong decisions based on instant decision making.

For every single one of my songs that I wrote, I think it came from a place of being in a self-sabotage position: most of the songs are relationship-based. When I wrote “Sober,” as much as that was about a relationship, it was also about going through a bit of a rough time and not helping myself to get through that rough time. Rather than helping myself in that moment, I would go against it. It’s still something I’m trying to learn because I still self-sabotage a lot [laughs].

MD: Let’s talk about 'Sweet Tooth.’ I love the use of symbolism between craving sugar and craving bad love in ‘Sweet Tooth.’ I can resonate with that. Did you know that’s actually a thing? That our brain releases a hormone and we can become addicted to bad relationships?

Lucy: Yeah. I very much remember that feeling, and it wasn’t good at all when looking back. I still feel very proud of that song because I think it’s one of those situations where I was still going through the motions of what was going on through that horrible time. As much as it is one of those situations where you become really addicted to those awful feelings and wanting more from that person. Every time you do see that person, you knew it was a mistake. I felt like that was something I needed to put pen to paper on. I’m really proud of that track.

MD: If you could take a pill and these negative experiences you’ve been through would be wiped away, would you take it?

Lucy: No, because one, I wouldn’t be able to write songs [laughs] and two, when it comes to life in general it’s all a learning game. As an example, going on this first tour (not that it was a negative experience, it was the best experience of my life) but there were so many things that I would do differently on the next one. It’s having those experiences, relationships, work, etc. that you go through the motions with and you learn constantly; every day you are learning.

MD: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing this EP?

Lucy: That it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Since I wrote the first EP, it’s been quite fleeting when I’ve come back into the studio and felt creative enough to write again. I think that’s also because of how busy everything has been and as amazing as that is, you don’t necessarily get enough downtime to come into the studio and feel the creative space.

MD: If this EP was a colour, a taste, and a temperature, what would it be and why?

Lucy: Colour I’d say purple!

Taste I’d say a Refresher sweet - it’s a bit sour but also a bit sweet!

Temperature, we’re going scalding hot - crazy degrees!

MD: It’s through the roof! I love it. We know what you’ve learned through writing the EP, but what do you hope people will take away from listening to 'Self Sabotage'?

Lucy: I think what I was mentioning before about learning from your mistakes and experiences. There are so many times where you question your life, and that can be for any kind of reason, and I think to live and learn is so crucial. A lot of my songs relate to being in relationships, but I think it stands for anything you go through. The songs can come at anything.

MD: You’ve just come off tour.

Lucy: Yes, I was in France!

MD: How was it?

Lucy: It was incredible! We had sold-out shows. We started in Lille and finished in Paris. It was my first tour, so it was an incredible, incredible experience. I knew halfway through that I was going to get ill, and I hadn’t quite anticipated the long hours traveling on trains. That was a lot, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

We went out as a trio: my guitarist, a percussion player, but when we go out to France again in November, we have a full band, and we finish at La Cigale in Paris, which is a venue I’ve wanted to play my whole life, so I’m so excited.

MD: Speaking of traveling, you mentioned Raye earlier on. You’ll be playing in Prague with her soon also?

Lucy: Yes, the 22nd of June!

MD: Is there anything else coming up that you’d like to share with us?

Lucy: Lots of dates! I’m playing in my hometown of Manchester on the 5th of October. A few festivals in France. Boardmasters this month, supporting Raye and Tom Grennan next week. There’s loads! I feel quite overwhelmed with it all, truth be told, but it’s great! A complete turnaround, and since releasing the music, you never know from single to single what will happen, but the fact that I’m on these shows and things are happening is mad!

MD: Do you get nervous before live performances?

Lucy: It depends really. From just doing more shows on this tour, I think that going on stage tomorrow I would be completely fine. With more experience, you become less nervous. When I was doing the France tour, I was doing a 75-minute performance every night. So it was quite long, and you have to talk in between, and I think having that relationship with the crowd is so important. All of these people that have come to see you, I wanted to give them the best show that I possibly could.

There will always be nerves and that’s a good thing. The whole time I was in France, I was living off adrenaline the whole time because I couldn’t believe all these people had come out to see me. I can’t wait to do more.

MD: Let’s talk about Chanel. The design house has been styling you for your recent music videos and appearances. That’s amazing. How did that come about and how did that make you feel?

Lucy: It was when Chanel had a runway in Manchester, and the incredible Nancy, who is an amazing lady from Chanel, reached out and mentioned that she’d heard my music online and that she wanted to invite me to come and meet with the team and incredible ladies at Chanel. I went for the meeting, and they invited me to the show as a guest, which was an incredible evening. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. They dressed me for that show as well, and every time I’m in France: I did Taratata, which is a TV show out there which they dressed me for. It feels absolutely incredible. It’s always been my dream to have something like that, so the fact it’s actually happening is crazy. It’s been an ongoing relationship. To be in those situations, one of the most important factors of performing is feeling your best. When you’re dressed in Chanel (of course) you feel like you rule the world you know? [Laughs]

MD: This is F Word magazine, what’s your favourite F-word?

Lucy: I have got one and it’s a rude word so I won’t [laughs]. I’m going to say oh Frogs!

MD: I love frogs! Thank you so much!


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