Interview: Lucy Kay

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Darren Patterson speaks to Glasgow based, Nottingham raised, LUCY KAY about finishing second in this years Britain’s Got Talent final, the future and her difficult time growing up in Nottingham

lucy_kay

picture by Tim P Whitby

Speaking to Britain’s Got Talent runner up Lucy Kay it’s clear that the excitement from performing on the ITV show still hasn’t died down, however it very nearly didn’t happen at all thanks to disappointment a year previous.

I’d actually auditioned the year before and didn’t get anywhere; I didn’t even get past the producers round. So at first I was like “I’m not doing that again” because I thought I must be really rubbish.

Fortunately one person was convinced Lucy should give it another try.

It was a really last minute thing because my mum was telling me to just give it one more go.

This time, of course, the outcome was far, far different as Lucy surged through each round wowing the judges, studio and television audiences as she did so. It just goes to show that the old adage to “never give up” does ring true.

I think I still have to pinch myself, it’s so surreal, I did the show and got through everything and now I’m doing what I always wanted to do.

That’s come from doing one audition and, you know what, from trying again. I think it’s important not to lose that hope, if you go for an audition and you don’t make it through, keep trying. It was probably not my time then but it was definitely my time now.

After breezing through the audition and making it into the final Lucy decided against singing one of her favourite pieces and instead decided to take a risk, choosing to sing the operatic classic Nessun Dorma as her final piece – a song which is mainly performed my male singers, most notably the legendary tenor Pavarotti.

We did have another song which was Un bel di from Madame Butterfly, which is less well known by the kind of crowds that actually watch BGT. I thought if I want to try and win this I need to think of something the audience do know. Also to give me that challenge of a female singing a male song and doing it in the original key this is extremely difficult to do. But I got there in the end.

The risk certainly did pay off as Lucy picked up second place in the competition, not bad going for somebody who didn’t even make it to the live auditions twelve months early. It must have been quite an exciting shock when the final results were announced.

lucy_kay3

picture by Tom Dymond

Absolutely. I never thought I’d get to that point especially after the previous year. I always kind of new that Collabro would win it but never thought I’d be up there with them.

Since then things have spiralled for Lucy with a record deal soon following on from her appearance on the talent show.

I have (signed a deal), with Sony Classical. That was for a multi-album deal so I’m completely taken away with that.

Lucy is currently hard at work on her debut album, keen to keep the momentum of her Britain’s Got Talent success going. So what can we expect from her debut album?

I’m not going down the classical crossover just yet I’m sticking to the very much operatic thing I did on BGT, so the stuff I did on there will probably be on it but more of the things I am really passionate about and the things I think I can connect with an audience with through a CD.

On top of that Lucy will be heading out on tour with Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, including a visit to the Royal Concert Hall in January, something she is certainly looking forward to.

I can’t wait, it’s going to be so much fun. To play there as a soloist as well. I was in a choir for 13 years and I’ve done concerts at the Royal Concert Hall. It’s been a place I’ve always wanted to perform at as a soloist. It’s like a dream come true really.

Though now residing in Glasgow, Lucy grew up in Notts, notably the towns of Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, however, as was well documented during her time on Britain’s Got Talent, her time growing  up wasn’t very enjoyable.

It was a very difficult time and was really about trying to find myself in a place where I was not allowed to be anything other than conforming with what genre of music people enjoyed or went out and did. I was very eccentric in my clothing, very different and loved the classical singing and that was frowned upon in a sense.

Lucy suffered problems with bullying throughout her childhood which had a massive impact on her education due to the fact she was often too scared to go into school. Despite this Lucy doesn’t seem to look back on the time with any kind of anger, instead saying that going through these difficult times helped make her who she is today.

One thing I will take away for the rest of my life is that it was meant to happen because without it I wouldn’t have found my singing. I don’t think I’d have had that drive if I hadn’t gone through what I did.

It’s what made me who I am and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. It’s definitely something I don’t look back on with anger and pity, I literally just think it’s what makes you and it’s sad that people have to go through this and they shouldn’t have to, and they shouldn’t have to stay silent about it, but at the end of the day it actually helped me and taught me to not be defeated.

One of the great things about Lucy’s arrival in the spotlight as been that it has given her the chance to be involved in anti-bullying campaigns in a bit to try and prevent other children having to go through the things that she had to endure. One such event had taken place the day before we spoke.

picture by Justin Goff

picture by Justin Goff

That was at Facebook headquarters and that was an amazing event to be a part of and sing at and such a good cause.

Lucy speaks extremely passionately about the campaign and what it is doing to tackle the problem of bullying in school. and why it is such an import issue.

Children from primary school onwards are now doing things where they patrol the schools and certain areas that children feel unsafe in and there are talks that go around the schools to help eradicate bullying. The thing I learnt from this is were at school for a very long, and big, part of our lives and it is one of the main things that helps us get where we are and no one should go into that place feeling unhappy or scared. The aim is to make it a better, happier place where they have people they can talk to, especially children and teenagers there own age.It really helps.

The campaign doesn’t just tackle the issue of those being bullied, instead looking to get to the core of the problem with the hope of stopping the bullying from happening.

It helps the people who are the bullies, there are a lot of hidden things that might be going off at home, or in their lives, that makes them act that way and a lot of people don’t realise that because they show anger towards the bullies and think they’re just being nasty for the sake of it but actually they have a lot more problems when they let on.

That wasn’t the only campaign that Lucy has been involved in, she also performed at the One for the Boys Charity Fashion event which aims to encourage men to check themselves for cancer, it’s safe to say that yours truly was left rather green with envy when she talked about meeting a certain movie hero of mine (who happens to head up the charity).

It was just an amazing night, a big event with all these stars and Samuel L Jackson came up to us and thanked us for doing it and I was just like ‘Oh my God’.

All in all it’s been a pretty exciting time for Lucy Kay, and we’ve not even mentioned that when we spoke to her she’d also just graduating with a music performance degree, not that she was able to celebrate.

I can’t drink or anything at the moment!

It’s safe to say that Lucy, unsurprisingly, has nothing but praise for TV talent shows when I ask her about whether many in the music industry have what can, perhaps, be described as a snobbish attitude towards them.

picture copyright Lucy Kay

picture copyright Lucy Kay

Oh definitely but I would recommend it to anyone. I had a lot of trouble with one of my singing teachers because she thought it wasn’t right to do a programme like that because of getting a degree and everything.

Not everybody in the music world will share that opinion however for Lucy it has certainly worked out.

At the end of the day BGT is a platform for people at the higher end of the business to see what you can actually do and offer you a contract and that’s what I did and what I got. I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone.

So with Britain’s Got Talent behind her, multiple albums and a major tour on the horizon what is next for Lucy Kay?

Hopefully a music video, so that will be good for Classic FM and things like that, that’s still in discussions. Doing a lot gigs on my own at the moment and hopefully, we’ll see how album sales go, but to do a tour of my own, that would be amazing and I think we’re hoping to crack America.

Finally, as we wrap up our chat, Lucy has some advice for those out there who have, perhaps, not yet had that break.

If there is one thing I’d say to anybody reading it’s don’t ever give up, try and try again, everyone has a past but it just has to be the right time. Sometimes it might not happen but at least you’ll have given it a try instead of being in that unknown of “What if?”. Go for it.

Go for it indeed. Lucy Kay certainly did and it has most certainly paid off.

Interview by Darren Patterson

Lucy Kay will perform with Collabro at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on Friday 30 January 2015, for more information and tickets click here

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