The A&R Factory Team recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the ultra-talented 19-year-old singer-songwriter and actress, Lucy Chan. Showing us deeply into her young music career so far, her debut album, and her love of film, we find a truly focused creative who is ready for world domination.
Hello there Lucy Chan. We truly appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. How are you doing today and please let us know where you are in the world as we speak?
Lucy: Hi!! Thank you so much for having me! I’m currently based in Sydney, Australia. I’m doing alright, hope you are too!
Mr Apologetic is your latest single and this is an absolute anthem. What does this song mean to you and what should listeners take from this experience?
Lucy: Thank you so much! This song is super close to my heart. I wrote this song about a person that meant a lot to me. It’s definitely my most vulnerable and honest song that I’ve released so far. I truly believe that everyone has a person in their love life that floats in and out, but it never really is the end of your story with them. It’s often that same person that you constantly forgive, even after everything that’s happened. So, I wrote this for that person in my life. This song is the second single from a project that I’ve been working on for a while – my debut album. I’m super excited to put it out there sometime this year, I feel like it’s definitely a lot more mature than my EP. The rest of the album also comes from a very honest place, which isn’t something that I really explored on my EP. It’s a scary thing to face your true emotions, but it’s also super important.
Songwriting is the one place where I can truly be myself, and completely face what I’m feeling and dealing with. Every song off my album comes from either a place of heartbreak or true happiness. As for what listeners should take from this experience, I really hope that everyone can relate to it on some level. I know everyone has that person in their life, so hopefully, this song can remind them of that person. If it provides some sort of escapism for listeners, then I’d be very content.
What is it like being the niece of the legendary band manager Leslie Chan? Does it add extra pressure on you or has it helped with your career instead?
Lucy: Honestly, coming from such a musical family, and being the niece of Leslie Chan has definitely helped with my career and goals a lot. My uncle is a very helpful and honest person when it comes to me and my career. Because of this, I am able to constantly improve my songwriting, and performing. I’m super grateful to have been guided by his advice so far in my career. It allows me to have greater expectations of myself as an artist so I’m definitely very grateful.
My mum has been a super helpful person in my life as well. She’s a Chinese classical musician, so her guidance has always been very appreciated. I am also classically trained – I began piano lessons at the age of 4, so having that kind of background has been a really great influence on my pop music. I definitely do acknowledge my privilege, and I’m super grateful for it. But I also feel that without hard work, nothing will work out. So even though there is that connection, there is a lot of hard work that comes after it.
Besides music, what else are you most passionate about at the moment?
Lucy: I’ve always been very passionate about film and acting, along with my music! During the pandemic, my dad managed to write a few short films, that are currently in the making. I got to be a part of it, so I’m super grateful for that. I’m currently on my uni break, so I’ve been working on a lot of my own scriptwriting and acting on the side as well. Fingers crossed that one day they’ll take off and become real films!
Please tell us more about your experiences at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and how the studies advanced your songwriting process and skillset in general.
Lucy: The con (which is the nickname for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) is an incredible place. I just finished up my second year there, so I’m going into my third year this year! I study musicology at the con, which is so different from what I’m doing with my career, but it’s definitely helped a lot. Studying classical music, alongside theory subjects and music history has definitely shaped the way I compose my pop songs. When you study classical music, you’re essentially studying the basis for all music. It’s fundamental to any musician.
For example, when I sit down at my piano in my room to write songs, I always consider adding classical elements to my pop songs, even if it is a small factor. Most of the time, it’ll be a chord progression. Studying at the con is an amazing experience. You’re surrounded by the most talented musicians in the country, which gives you a lot of motivation to constantly improve your art. On the other hand, it gives you chances to work with other incredibly talented musicians.
What advice would you give to young artists trying to make it in this fickle business?
Lucy: I think that if you truly want to succeed in this industry, you have got to have a strong mindset, and the ability to deal with pressure and constant failure. You’ve got to focus on yourself and career, and not get distracted by anything that comes your way. In this industry, you’ll constantly be put down again and again, but if you’re able to grow and learn from those failures, and still keep trying, then you’re on the right road. It’s also important to remember that not everyone will like you, so if you’re ready to put up with all of that, and spend most of your time on your craft, then you’ll get somewhere.
Last question. What are your long-term goals in music and where do you see everything headed creative-wise?
Lucy: I’ve had the same goals in music for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to sing and write songs and perform them. I just want to keep making music and keep doing what I love and see where that takes me. I have so many dreams and goals – I’d love to move to Los Angeles after graduation. I have got a lot of improvement to do in my art, and a lot to learn, so I’m keen for that. As an artist, it’s crucial to constantly set new goals and try to improve yourself. There’s a lot of space for improvement in my music. Hopefully, in the next 10 years, I’ll be able to achieve my goals and aspirations for my career!
Listen up to this fine song on Spotify. View more news on her IG.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen