The London-born rapper has slapped down an EP chock full of wizardry.
Words: Zakaria Mafa
My ears go BANG when I hear music with vibrancy and effort. The UK has an abundance of musical talent even in an oversaturated music industry. But this also makes it easier to find quality if you are willing to put the miles in to discover it yourself.
One such artist is Luchi Blue, armed with distinctive vocalisations and an adventurous production style. His ability to link a modern musical aesthetic with old school spine makes it a no-brainer to invest your time in his stock; not to mention his intrinsic link between music and identity. So, with that said, we caught up with the man himself to talk about his latest release ‘Trapped In My Mind‘, which is, insanely dope.
SL: How’s it going?
LB: I’m doing great thank you. Thanks for having me on the mag!
SL: What are some not so well known facts about Luchi Blue?
LB: Before ‘Luchi Blue’ became a thing, I used to go by the name ‘Luchi’ and I used to run a Drum & Bass night in London, where I would MC. This gave me my early performing experience, but it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. Hence the name change, and now I’m recording and releasing the music that I truly love.
SL: You’re also a professional model. Has your music influenced that part of your life or vice versa?
LB: Yeah, I would say it has. Both industries are so interlinked these days. I consistently meet people through my modelling work, who have helped me along with my musical career. But on the other hand, since I’ve been releasing music, I’ve started to get more modelling work purely as a musician. So yeah, I’ve seen improvements in both aspects of my life for sure.
SL: What would you describe your music signature as?
LB: I see my music as a window to the truest version of myself. It is an embodiment of my thoughts and feelings in audio format. And just like my emotions, it changes; so I don’t like to think I have one signature sound.
SL: The music industry feels like organised chaos. How do you grapple with a scene that seems to encompass an enormous catalogue of artists?
LB: I’m completely addicted to music. I’ve spent a lot of years sitting back and studying how other artists have reached success and how others haven’t. The way I am navigating the chaos of the industry is to pride myself on being as individual as possible and believing fully in my craft.
SL: How long have you been spitting for and how has your style changed since you began?
LB: I have been spitting since I was very young. I used to meet with my friends after school in the park and we would freestyle for hours over hip-hop beats. I soon realised that this was something I was good at and wanted to make into a career. I don’t think my style has changed that dramatically, however in these past couple of years I have been singing more on my tracks.
SL: How do you cope with the pace of the rap game and what do you do to avoid rushing your craft?
LB: The rap game is changing at a crazy pace. We are now in an age where our audience has a very short attention span, with the likes of TikTok being the main route for songs to blow up. What I am seeing is a lot of rappers and artists rushing their art to keep up with the newest trends. This is where I have to remind myself why I make music. I’m not doing this to jump from trend to trend in the hope that an algorithm will help 15 seconds of one of my songs to blow up. I do this because I want to share my experience and emotions with my listeners. I want to look back when I’m older and be proud of the music I have released. If sometimes that does mean I need to take months out to come back with some music I feel very passionate about, so be it.
SL: Where did you grow up and how did it influence your music?
LB: I grew up in the suburbs of South East London, a place where I feel a lot of people share a small mindset. Some people never leave the borough and I noticed that from a young age. This inspired me to really branch out and strive to meet people from other cultures. I also am lucky to have family in both Italy and Austria and visiting them when I was young really helped to broaden my perspective of the world. My dad is a huge music lover, he would always have new albums on repeat in the car. He introduced me to a lot of R&B and Rap when I was young, so I owe a lot of my early influence to him.
SL: You’ve been releasing music for a while now, what made you think that now is the time to drop an EP?
LB: I felt like I had a lot that I wanted to get off my chest. So packaging these tracks as an EP allowed me to have a consistent meaning throughout the project and tell more of a story.
SL: What’s behind the title?
LB: I got given this neon sign from a shoot I had done a couple years ago and I’ve had it up in my home studio ever since. When it came to naming this project, I felt like there was no better expression than ‘Trapped In My Mind’. That feeling is something I go through a lot.
SL: How long has it been in the works and what should we know about the production process?
LB: I had been working on this project for a little over a year, mostly throughout lockdown. I went through one hell of an emotional rollercoaster over the past 2 years and I feel like this project embodies that perfectly. Like with any project there were a lot of obstacles to overcome; initially, the project was going to be 8 songs but I whittled it down to 5 and an interlude. That process itself is always challenging. A few of the songs I had produced completely differently, but when I brought them to my guy Greg Pidcock, he helped me rethink the production; along with Andy Barr, another good friend who really helped lift these tracks to the next level.
SL: The interlude (Therapy) is atmospheric. What does it mean to you?
LB: I really love the interlude in this project, it allowed me to add context to the whole project. I wanted to capture the chaotic atmosphere that I was feeling within and translate that into audio. I also wanted to add some recordings from my real therapy sessions, to be as transparent as possible with my audience. To prove that everyone goes through struggles and it’s so important to talk about it.
SL: You produced the music for ‘Trapped in My Mind’, has that always been the case?
LB: I have always been a producer as well as a performer. Being able to produce my own tracks allows me to have full creative control of my sound. However, I do enjoy collaborating with other producers and will always continue to do so.
SL: On ‘Drowning’, you tackle a wide range of subjects, what inspired it?
LB: I think one thing I learned over the lockdowns was to re-evaluate a lot of my relationships with my friends. Especially as I went through some hard times in my personal life, I started to truly know who was there for me in those dark times. So yeah, drowning is a song where I speak on that matter a lot. True friends are supposed to be there for you no matter what, not only when everything is going great. This is what that song is all about.
SL: I heard you’ve got some shows coming up, when/where are they and how can people grab tickets?
LB: Yes! I’m super happy to be back performing. I have a few shows lined up for the end of August and then there should be a show every month leading up to the end of the year. For tickets make sure you are following me on Instagram (@luchi.blue) as I will announce everything there. Tickets will be linked in my bio and also on my Spotify page.
SL: What’s next on the cards, another EP, an album?
LB: As to what’s next, I’m unsure at this exact moment in time. I’m going to drop some more singles this year and hopefully one more EP early next year. But stay tuned, you are not going to want to miss any of it.