By JAYDEE LOK
TELL me if you love someone,” sang British singer-songwriter Lucy Rose Parton (best known as Lucy Rose) when she kicked off her gig at The Bee, Publika in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday with her song Lines.
Love is a recurring theme when it comes to the 24-year-old’s music, which is ironic considering that just an hour before her set, Parton had voiced her discomfort when it comes to discussing her emotions.
“I think the one thing that people don’t understand is that I don’t like talking about my feelings. I am 100% a closed book and do believe that people shouldn’t talk about their personal lives as much as they do.
It sounds very hypocritical cause I sing all these songs about love, but for some reason, singing and talking feel very different,” said Parton.
It’s no surprise then that she refuses to post anything personal on Facebook.
Although she isn’t particularly fond of talking about her feelings, the pint-sized Parton was willing to share some insight into the things she likes.
“I’ve just got a puppy! It sounds horrible – it’s a ‘cockapoo’ (cocker spaniel + poodle). It’s very cute. I also like good food! All I’ve done since I’ve been here is eat. Non-stop!” she said gleefully.
As someone who also likes films, books and long walks, Parton doesn’t seem much different from the rest of us, apart from her beautiful voice and ability to write songs that tug at the heartstrings.
Speaking of heart-wrenching songs, Parton said she had challenged herself to write better songs after witnessing her friends Bombay Bicycle Club (whom she often tours with) produce such breathtaking tracks.
“I was very inspired by their songs,” said the solo performer. “I think their songwriting is brilliant and maybe, that pushed me to be bolder with some of my work and to try different things.”
However, as someone who prefers composing melodies as opposed to writing lyrics, Parton sometimes has a hard time getting the words to her songs right.
“This is the one thing with me – I’m not good with words at all. I love reading but I think I’m terrible with English. I don’t know why I write songs because I am terrible at describing how I feel,” she explained, although we believe that many of her fans would refute that assessment.
Parton’s performance last week was the first of many for her.
It was her first show of the year, it was her first time performing in Malaysia and it was her first time playing the piano live.
Quite an accomplishment, considering that she only began touring the British gig circuit in 2011.
Watching Parton sing live makes it hard to believe that it wasn’t a talent she was born with.
“When I was in school, I had quite a bad voice because it was so low, so I never did any singing. More so than singing, I enjoyed playing music, so I just went along with it. But now, my range has grown.”
Now that she has a more powerful voice, how does she evoke such emotions into the fans witnessing her performance? Parton says it simply comes from feeling the music herself.
“With each song, I think about how I felt at the time I wrote it, so that the feeling is there,” she said very matter-of-factly.
While many originally independent musicians complain about certain restrictions placed on them by their record labels, Parton believes that hers, Sony Music, has opened many doors for her, including performing in KL.
“I love my label! It’s very easy for people to moan about their labels but mine has given me massive opportunities that I wouldn’t have had – I got to go to America for six weeks and without them, that wouldn’t have happened,” she shared.
“You’re never going to agree on everything, but that’s just life. It’s nice to have someone say ‘we love your music and we’re going to back it as a company’. I feel very lucky.”
Her gratitude doesn’t stop there.
As someone who feels more comfortable being on the road than at home, Parton said that she is thankful for being able to do what she does and consciously tries not to get caught up with things that are out of her control.
“I think when you’re in this industry, you can worry a lot. Like, ‘Is it going to go well?’ or ‘Is anyone going to show up’? I think it’s best to just have fun and not worry at all,” said Parton.
“Every day, I feel like I’m the luckiest person to be able to travel with my friends and play music every night.”