Artist name: Lydia Luce
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Latest Album: Dark River
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I was in high school I was chosen to be in the Honor Orchestra of America… yes I was an orchestra nerd through and through. We got to perform with Christopher O’Reilly and had Benjamin Zander as a conductor. I was really into Radiohead and Christopher O’Reilly had just released his album of Radiohead covers for solo piano. He performed a few of the songs during our break and I was floored. I had a glimpse of these two worlds coming together, classical and popular music, and that really intrigued me. This was one of the moments I knew I wanted to continue to pursue music. Either that or when my mom took me to see Hilary Hahn play the Barber Violin Concerto in New York.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc. — inform your music?
Dance is a big influence. I grew up dancing and it is still a big part of my life. Since moving to Nashville I have taken contemporary ballet, West African dance, and salsa dancing classes. I think about the movement of the songs when I write and ask myself how I would move to this song. For the music video of “Maybe in Time” I got to try out choreographing for the first time.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I grew up by the ocean, but I am now landlocked in Nashville. I spend most of my time in nature on hikes or kayaking here in Nashville. We have so many beautiful waterfalls about an hour outside of the city. One of my favorite things to do is go on solo camping and hiking trips. I find this time is helpful for going in deep with myself. Dark River is the spawn of some beautiful solo adventures.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
Oh I like this question… “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake and pad thai. “I Was an Eagle” by Laura Marling and butternut squash soup with a big ole hunk of sourdough bread.
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
My rituals pre-show have become driven by vocal health. I started getting very serious about my vocal health in 2019 before going on a two month long European tour with shows almost every night. Before each show I do a warm up for about 8-10 minutes and use a portable steam inhaler. I started working with a vocal coach who taught me so much about keeping my mind and body healthy on tour. My little ritual has become so meditative for me because I seek out the most quiet place and have this moment of stillness all to myself.
Photo credit: Alysse Gafjken