Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Big Music Project And Musical Confidence

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen that I got a very exciting email earlier this week informing me that I have been selected for the semi finals of The Big Music Project competition and I felt like I just needed to write about it. This may become a bit rambly so feel free to grab a cuppa and get comfy.

When I first got the email I was excited. My immediate thoughts were 'the judges actually like me, this is crazy'. It then developed into excitement to perform for the judges later this month. That evening I went to a party and told a few of my closest friends and everyone was all very excited for me and I was reminded of how I'm surrounded by the loveliest, most supportive people I could ever wish for these days.

A few days after getting the email I decided to check the line up for the Cardiff semi final, the one I will be attending, and this was probably a bad idea. After watching a minute or so of all the other competitors I immediately felt intimidated. After seeing how incredible all the other people who I will be performing alongside are I couldn't help but feel inadequate. It is going to be little old me performing alongside people with much better voices and much more experience. Their melodies are more catchy and their lyrics are more coherent. I know that I should be thinking 'if the others are all incredible and you are put in the same category as them, that is a good thing' but I just can't make myself think like that for some reason. Immediately after watching the other videos I thought that there must've been a mistake. The email I got was probably intended for someone else. Then I reminded myself that I was listed and linked to on the line up too so it's unlikely that it's a mistake.

For as long as I've been writing songs I've been very aware of the fact I am not and will never be the best songwriter in the world, although I am still more confident with my songwriting than I am with my singing. Growing up, I was never a particularly good singer and, believe it or not, dance was more my thing. I was surrounded by some incredibly pessimistic people for a long time and if I ever decided to sing for a performance or later when I started uploading YouTube videos, they were never far away, ready to remind me of how incredibly average (or below average) my voice is. It's taken far more people encouraging me than ever told me I couldn't sing to make myself believe that actually this is maybe something I can do and I am okay at. I will never be Beyonce and I will never have a voice that is anything like hers, but I do have a voice like Lucy and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The problem is, no matter how many people compliment you, you're always going to remember the insults more. It's the insults that stick in your mind and rear their ugly heads when you find yourself searching for a source of confidence. I still have very vivid memories of people insulting me about music about 7 years ago and I can't remember a single compliment from that time. I'm aware that there probably were some, they just don't stay in my mind.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, last year I moved schools and was the new girl for the first time in my life. When I met new people, I didn't mention my music or YouTube channel as I had no idea how people would react but it didn't take long for my new friends to find it as I have it linked up to all of my social media sites. I was expecting a reaction like I had experienced in my old school, of 'why would you bother, nothing will ever come from it, you will never be famous' (they completely missed the point, clearly) but instead I was met with 'oh my goodness I had no idea you're a singer songwriter, you're amazing!'. Even teachers found out due to people talking to me about it during lessons and by the time we were a few months in it was not unusual for my Business Studies teacher and I to be sat around playing ukulele duets during lunchtimes. Even now, people are still excited by it and I have a friend who knows all the words to all the songs I have put on my YouTube channel and constantly asks me to upload more. I have another who helps me with any graphic design type things (you can thank her for the banner at the top of this blog!) and has offered to help me film some videos/take photos for anything I may need photos for. 

In addition to that, the last year for me has seen me attending a songwriting bootcamp run by the wonderful Amy Wadge (her brain combined with Ed Sheeran's produced the beautiful Thinking Out Loud). I worked with lots of other local musicians who were all incredibly talented and although I had so much fun and would go back in an instant, I felt intimidated by how good they all were on more than one occasion. One particular afternoon I was feeling incredibly intimidated and confided in the incredible musician I was working with when he asked why I sang quietly that I had been told so often that I can't sing that I often find it hard to sing loudly when other people are around. His wonderful words of encouragement (he is honestly one of the kindest people I have met in a very long time) definitely helped a little, as did the same from Amy Wadge, but those other voices remained in my head. Even support from other musicians I admire online (looking at you Dave Giles) hasn't silenced those voices, although they have certainly contributed to turning the volume down.

My point is, even though I'm surrounded by incredible people who are as supportive as is possible to be, those voices from my past are still in the back of my mind reminding me of how average I am. I'm not sure that they will ever go away. Slowly they are becoming quieter, but they are still there and they still make an appearance when I have a big event or am uploading a new YouTube video. Although I know it is probably a good thing to have faced criticism before I even really properly got into this whole music thing, it's still difficult and if I wasn't so stubborn and determined to prove them wrong, it would've been very easy for me to stop because of what they'd said. I considered giving up on YouTube a lot before last year. Although I now very rarely consider giving up, because the only opinions I hear are positive ones with the occasional piece of constructive feedback I can't help but wonder what the pessimists are thinking.

This slightly went off topic as late night blog posts often do but the point is still there. You could have hundreds of people complimenting you and all it takes is one insult to knock your confidence to the ground. I know now that the times I was told straight up that I can't sing were nothing more than them being mean because they could be, but that doesn't make them easy to forget.

Always make sure to be careful what you say to people. You never know what it is they will remember for years and once it has been said, it can't be unsaid.

Despite feeling intimidated and slightly inadequate, I am massively excited to be performing at the regional semi final of The Big Music Project. Even being able to say I am a semi finalist and one of 14 people they want to see there sort of blows my mind. 

If you are one of the people who has been supportive of me, there are no words to describe how grateful I am. Something as simple as saying 'I loved your latest YouTube video' may seem stupid and insignificant to you, but those comments whether online or in person absolutely make my day and it makes me more happy than I can say that I have been lucky enough to have encountered such lovely people.

Thank you so very much,
Lucy x

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The It's Not Me, It's You Tour by Dave Giles

*This was written late last night - please ignore any grammar/spelling mistakes

Tonight I went to the Cardiff date of the It's Not Me, It's You tour with the lovely Dave Giles headlining and Danny Gruff, Robbie Coles and Matthias Harris all making appearances. I have seen Dave Giles live a grand total of 4 times (I learned tonight that I have attended all of the gigs he's played in Cardiff) and I would still go again tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is going to be Dave's last headlining tour due to it not being nearly as successful as it deserves to be and because of this I felt like I needed to share my opinion on it.

The gig itself was everything an intimate gig should be. The downstairs room of Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff,  while not full, had enough people for it to be a decent audience and the audience that was there were respectful of the artists while still knowing when to make a bit of noise. The four singers and Dave Giles' band were sat in the audience when they weren't on stage and then whole evening had a really relaxed atmosphere to it.

Matthias Harris, who kicked off the evening, is not someone who's music I was aware of before this evening. I can honestly say I was completely blown away by him straight away. He is far from your average singer-songwriter in that he takes to the stage armed not only with an acoustic guitar but also with a keyboard and section of an electric drum kit as well as a laptop to allow him to loop what he plays. He manages to make it sound like there is a full band on stage with him when in actual fact it is just him. Matthias Harris is truly an incredible musician and is obviously very talented at what he does.

Next up was Danny Gruff. I saw Danny Gruff live the last time I saw Dave Giles, at the most recent Upload Tour in Cardiff, so I was already aware of how talented he is but he did not disappoint tonight. It was great to hear him play with a full band rather than just hearing him and his acoustic guitar like it was the last time. Having bought his EP Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings last time I was able to sing along to a few of the songs but it was nice to hear a few I wasn't familiar with as well. Danny Gruff has an incredibly unique voice that I believe is the kind of voice everyone enjoys listening to.

Robbie Coles followed Danny Gruff and as with Matthias Harris, I wasn't aware of Robbie or his music before tonight other than seeing him on the poster for the gig. I was definitely impressed with him. He has fantastic stage presence (although that may have been assisted by alcohol as it was his birthday and it's safe to say he was celebrating) and his songs are incredibly catchy. On the way home, I found I had one particular song of his in my head which is always a good sign. Robbie Coles is clearly a fantastic songwriter and performer and I would've happily watched him play a much longer set.

Finally we have Dave Giles. As any of you who have read my posts from the Upload Tour 2 or the Summer Warm Up Tour (2013) will know, Dave Giles is one of my favourite musicians for so many reasons. He is an incredible singer/songwriter and an incredibly skilled guitar player, but more than that he manages to build up an incredible relationship with fans of his while remaining professional. The first time I met him, friends of mine told him I had a YouTube channel and he told me to send him the link on Facebook which I did thinking nothing would come from it and he took the time to not only watch one of my videos but to comment and give me constructive advice alongside compliments. Since then, he has watched my cover of one of his songs and given me advice about music on Facebook on a few occasions. As I said to the friends I went to the gig with tonight, Dave Giles is what I hope I would be if I manage to pursue music as a career, not in terms of sound as my music is quite different to his, but in everything else. In his incredible organisational skills that allow these events to happen. In the way he manages to remember names and faces of fans and encourages them to do what they love to do, as he has with me. In his stage presence and the way he makes the audience feel that they are all friends of his, rather than complete strangers. 

I am absolutely gutted that more people don't see how incredible Dave Giles is and that he doesn't receive anywhere near as much recognition as he deserves. If you've not heard his music, please, please listen to it. Every song of his tells a story and his lyrics are beautiful. He honestly is a fantastic musician who has not only influenced me, but also encouraged me in what I do. I've never come across a musician like him and, from what I've seen, he honestly is a lovely person.

Dave, thank you.

Lucy x

Monday, 1 September 2014

Dear Future Me (2)

To see last year's letter to my future self click here.

Dear Future Lucy,

You're 17 at the moment. 17 is the age where you're expected to act and think like an adult but in your mind you are still a child. It feels like yesterday that you were 14 and the thought that in less than 4 months you will be 18 and legally an adult is ever so slightly terrifying.

You've had to do a lot of thinking over the last few months, mainly in relation to university. You've had to decide what you want to study and where which sounds a lot simpler than it is. As always, you put too much pressure on the decision and build it up to be a decision that defines the rest of your life when the likelihood is, it won't. All of this has led to the development of what appears to be anxiety, although nothing is diagnosed.

Your cousins from New Zealand came back for 6 weeks this summer as always. Yet again, you've found yourself loving them even more than you did last year despite thinking that wasn't possible. Currently aged 7 and 3 they are both hilarious and adorable and you wish they lived closer although, you recognise that New Zealand is their home. You were best friends with them this year, in their words not yours, and have been promised that they will facetime you soon.

Music is still a prominent figure in your life although you've not written a song or uploaded a YouTube video in far too long. There isn't a reason for this, you just haven't felt inspired to which is fine. Your channel now has 139 wonderful people seeing your face pop up in their subscription boxes when you bother to upload anything and you've had some incredible opportunities in the last few months thanks to your decision to upload some videos to YouTube 3 years ago. You've met the lady who wrote Gold Rush with Ed Sheeran, one of your favourite songs of all time although you managed to remain cool and not blurt that out mid conversation, and you've worked with some incredible musicians who you now have the privilege of calling friends. You've also written an outro for one of your school friends who also has a YouTube channel which at this current point in time has over 2,000 subscribers and you feel lucky to have such incredibly talented friends who are lovely enough to give you that sort of opportunity and exposure.

Blogging has become a bigger part of your life this summer. You have put a lot of time and effort into each of your four, yes four, blogs and you're incredibly proud of them. Although you will probably constantly be updating and changing things you're very happy with how they are and you're incredibly thankful to your wonderful friend Ishani who helped you get them to that point. You have put the most work into your book blog which is getting more and more views by the day and you are now able to earn money from it as you now have an affiliate account with thebookdepository. Although you're yet to make a noticeable amount of money this way, it's exciting that the opportunity is there for you.

You got your AS results a few weeks back and although they're not as good as your GCSE ones were, you're not unhappy about them. You know it was the best you could've done at the time and that's the most important thing. They may be average results but you worked your butt off for them so you're proud nonetheless.

Things are okay at the moment. You're not super happy due to being terrified about university but you're surrounded by incredible people so you know you'll be fine in the end.

Until next time,

Lucy x

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Life Offline

There have been a couple of instances over the last few weeks where I've been forced away from my laptop screen and not through choice. Without going into details, there was an instance where we were left without power throughout the house (except from one plug socket in the kitchen that for some reason wasn't affected) and another where my laptop basically decided not to work for a day. Both times made me realise just how heavily I rely on technology, specifically my laptop.

If you're reading this now, chances are you're more than a little familiar with the internet. As someone who is fairly active online on most social media sites I spend a lot of time on my laptop. And I mean a lot. If I'm not watching YouTube videos I'm blogging or chatting to my friends via Facebook Chat or seeing what the latest news is on twitter. I've always been aware of the time I spend on my laptop but I never really considered how much I rely on it.

Obviously, spending time on my laptop is not the only thing I do. I'm a fairly big reader so if technology is down my automatic reaction is to head to a book. I love that I'm able to do this and I have that back up, but I've noticed that my attention span when it comes to reading isn't great anymore because my brain expects things to be constantly moving forward like a twitter feed. It takes a really good book to captivate me and hold my attention for hours at a time these days whereas even last summer I read whole books in a day because they held my attention. I feel like because I rely on technology so much, I feel like I always have to be connected to the world around me through it which means I find it difficult to switch off from the world and enter the world of a book.

I don't like how much time I spend on my laptop, but I don't think it's a massive issue either. I'd like to not rely on my laptop as something to hold my attention for long periods of time and a tool for curing boredom that nothing else can cure but my reliance on technology has also led to me setting up this blog and my others. That proves that the time I spend online isn't a total waste because at least I have produced something at the end of it. 

What do you think? Do you rely heavily on technology? Do you think it's a problem if you do?

Lucy x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Taking Photos at Live Performances

A few months back Carrie Hope Fletcher uploaded a video to YouTube titled 'Instagram Generation' in which she discusses taking photos during live performances. Since then, I've been thinking about it a lot and I've sort of developed a little policy for myself. I definitely fall into the category of wanting to document everything and I like having photos of things I've seen and done to look back on at a later date. That being said, I've decided that from now on when I go to a live event where it is appropriate to take photos, I'm going to follow my new little rule for myself. That rule is that I only take a few photos and once I have one that is instagramable for me to post on the way home, I stop. 

One of the reasons I like to take photos of things, besides for myself to look back on, is that I like to share what I've done through instagram or on this here blog. This little rule for myself allows me to do that but stops me from seeing the whole live performance through the screen, something I could very easily fall into the trap of doing (and definitely have done in the past).
Upload 3: Dave Giles, Danny Gruff, Luke Cutforth, Emma Blackery, Bribry and Candice

That being said, notice I said above 'when I go to a live event where it is appropriate to take photos'. I would never, under any circumstances, take a photo during a theatre performance. Having grown up performing in plays and musicals and going to see them I know all too well what the rules are for photography in theatres. It's pretty much, don't. Taking photos during a performance where people are acting can make it incredibly hard for them to stay in character and it just inconveniences everyone involved. The likelihood is that you will then have a member of the theatre staff come up to you and they will ask you to delete the photo (often for the copyright reasons Carrie mentions in her video) and it just creates a lot of unnecessary hassle. So please, don't take photos in the theatre.

If you're at an area or stadium gig and you love taking photos of things like this and are happy to experience it through a tiny screen, by all means take as many photos as you like. Flashes going off in this size audience will make no difference at all to the performers. However, if you're at a smaller, more intimate gig, try and be respectful. Why not try out my instagram rule? Take a few photos but only enough to know you've got something to share with the internet. As a musician myself, I can tell you that if I was to play a gig in a small venue and everyone in there was more focused on a screen infront of them and taking photos it would be incredibly off-putting. In smaller venues, the acts can see almost everyone in the audience and they want to see you and see if you're enjoying it or not. They don't want to see what camera or phone you have. However if the act is a relatively unknown one, seeing photos online after a gig can be amazing because it shows you enjoyed it. If you do take a few photos, don't be scared to share them on twitter or instagram, I'm sure the act will be grateful.
Evan Gardner and me. Photo taken by Young Promoters Network

Obviously my thoughts here only apply for the average person attending a live event. If you're particularly into photography and have permission from the performers to take photos it's a whole different story. My instagram rule only applies to the average person.

What do you think? Are you like me and you like to have at least one photo to share online or does that not bother you? Or do you disagree completely and think taking photos of live performances is fine regardless of the circumstances? Let me know in the comments.

Lucy x

Saturday, 16 August 2014


For some random and unknown reason it would appear that recently my blog has been on my mind a lot. It would appear that with a break from school which means a break from writing essays every week my idle hands have turned to my blog in search of somewhere to write. I've always enjoyed writing my blog. As I've said before, I think of it as my own little slice of the internet where I can write and post what I want. As I said in my 'Numbers' post a few weeks back I know that there are very few, if any, people who follow my blog or even read more than one post so there is really no pressure for what I write to be good which really helps.

I don't write things on my blog for it to gain attention from other people. I write it because I like to have a place to write and share my thoughts on anything I feel like I have thoughts worth sharing. If other people enjoy reading it, that's fantastic. But it's not my primary reason for writing. I tend to turn to my blog if I don't feel I can write a song about a subject which would explain why my ideas for blog posts have gone up considerably recently. I've not written a full song in weeks.

My blog is different to most of my other social networking type sites because of it being just as much for me as everyone else. My YouTube and Twitter are both primarily to try and get my music heard by more people and most of the others are primarily to link people to my YouTube channel. Although I do mention my music and my YouTube channel on here quite a lot, I would never sit down to write a blog post and think 'I'm going to include a link to my YouTube channel in this', it's more 'adding here that I have a YouTube channel makes my opinion easier to explain' or something similar.

Although I'm aware there aren't many eyes reading this right now, I would really love it if anyone who does read it could leave me a little comment below just letting me know you've read it. Tell me anything! Your name, where you're from, what you enjoy. Anything that you want to share that lets me know you're here. I'd love to hear from you.

Lucy x

If you do like what I write I have a few other blogs too! You can click on the banner here and it'll take you to them.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Exams and Results

With A-Level results day mere hours away, I'm sure I'm not the only one with exams on my mind. Tomorrow morning students all over the UK will be picking up a little piece of paper with numbers and letters on it that can determine their fate. Although I'm not in the category of those finding out whether or not they will be able to continue their studies to university, I will be picking up results and the letters on that piece of paper could determine which universities I apply for, what subject(s) I study or even just what I do from here on.

I've been thinking for a while about the exam system. The more exams you do, the more you get used to them which is brilliant. You develop techniques that work for you in coping with exam stress and you learn which methods of revision work for you etc. The annoying thing about exams, however, is that the more of them you do, the more important they become. Last year I was incredibly nervous to pick up my GCSE results and this year I'm just as nervous, if not more so, to pick up my AS results and I have no doubt that next year that nervousness will be doubled. Nothing weighs too heavily on my results this year, but if I want to get in to the university I have in mind when I apply in a few months I need to have reached what I wanted to reach. Although if the results are lower than I'm expecting I will be able to apply to a different university with slightly lower requirements, I would be very annoyed at myself for making that happen.

Like I said, I know that next year I'm going to be far more worried than I am currently and, to be perfectly honest, the thought that the day where I will find out which university I will attend is only a year away terrifies me.

If you're picking up A-Level results tomorrow, particularly A2 results, I wish you the best of luck. If you do get the grades you wanted, congratulations! If you didn't, remember it is not the end of the world and as is often said on the internet, you cannot be defined by a letter on a piece of paper. That being said if you're feeling really down about your results don't hesitate to contact me for a chat. You can either leave me a message on here, tweet me, send me an ask on tumblr or head over to my facebook page and send me a private message on there. I'm more than happy to talk to you. 

Lucy x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Jon Cozart's 'The Truth About Disney Princesses' TEDxYouth@Austin Talk

Having found Jon Cozart (aka Paint)'s After Ever After video with the rest of the world last year, I very quickly became a fan of his. I think he's an incredible singer and a very smart guy who seems to be able to very clearly see what will go viral, a skill I think we all wish we had! I just came across this video and although what he says is pretty simple, he has a very good point.

In his TEDx talk he says 'if I don't give people a reason to click away, they're not going to click away'. Such a simple thought but one that's entirely true. He later goes on to say that this means he's careful about the quality of what he posts from the material itself to the production of it all. I'd never really thought about it before watching this talk but Paint must be one of the very few channels on YouTube with 2 million subscribers+ that only uploads new content every few months (if that). Despite not uploading content weekly like most YouTubers have to do to retain their audience, every single video Jon Cozart has uploaded to his channel has well over a million views. This means he must be doing something right.

His mantra about not giving people a reason to click away obviously works, his view count and subscriber count show that, but it would be naive to think that's all there is to it. Although, as a content creator myself, I wish it were that easy, I'd be willing to bet that nearly all of his subscribers are there because of his wonderfully unique content. Sure, the production of it helps, it's always nicer to watch a video in HD rather than one that looks like it was filmed in the 1950, but his views are that high because he has a real talent for creating unique and interesting content.

Do you have a theory as to what makes a good YouTube video/YouTuber? Let me know in the comments below!

Lucy x

Saturday, 2 August 2014


I love winter. I love Christmas and fairy lights and the type of weather where it's so cold you can see your breath yet it's still sunny. But because of that I always forget how much I love summer. I only seem to remember feeling too hot and being uncomfortable because it's so hot when summer is over, but the last week or so has reminded me what I love about summer.

Summer to me is going down the beach every day with friends that I see about twice over the course of the rest of the year and the fact that it doesn't matter that we've not seen each other for six months, we just pick up from where we left off.

Summer to me is spending the days at the beach, the evenings playing pool with my friends and then waking up to do the same thing the next day without getting bored of it.

Summer to me is walking a minimum of 5 miles a day to get to the beach and back and not even noticing.

While it's very easy for me to remember the exciting things that happen every December, I forget what happens in July. I forget just how much I love the friends that I rarely see outside of July, with the exception of August, and I forget how much I love having a beach within walking distance, no matter how far that walking distance is.

But I've remembered now, at least for a little while.

Lucy x

This has sort of followed the style of the 'Letters To July' series by Emily Diana Ruth. If you don't know what I mean click here to watch some of them on YouTube, they're beautiful and definitely worth your time.

Saturday, 26 July 2014


I've always been a worrier. Even when I was very little I used to worry about the outcome of my actions which would then mean I wouldn't do things out of fear of getting hurt or getting in trouble etc, etc. It's never been an issue, until recently.

Some of you may be aware that the next academic year will be the last one I spend in school and I will all too soon be heading off to university. Those of you in the UK (I'm not sure how it works elsewhere) will know that this means recently I've had to look into universities and choose what course I want to study at which university and prepare my personal statement and everything else that needs to be done when applying for university in the UK. This whole thing I find terrifying.

I'm not good with change. I'm not good with being out of my comfort zone. I don't like being on my own for extended periods of time and I don't like new places. All of these things don't really fit too well with university. 

Over the last year or so there have been a few instances where the feeling of anxiety has become so overwhelming that all I can do is cry (I know it sounds dramatic but it's the only way I can describe it so just go with it). It's not until this happened in the car on the way to a university open day (that not so helpfully happened to be on the other side of the country) that the pieces fell into place and I realised this is what an anxiety attack is. The overwhelming feeling of anxiety, the feeling claustrophobic and like all I need to do is get outside and even when I do get into fresh air it is not 'outside' enough, finding it difficult to breathe, time going very slowly, all things I never really realised were symptoms of a real thing rather than me just being ridiculous, because that's what I had thought it was before that. 

It wasn't until the same thing happened in school and a wonderful friend of mine and the head of college talked to me about it that I noticed a correlation between talk of university and an intense feeling of anxiety. Every time university is mentioned I feel at least slightly anxious and the two recent 'attacks' I've had have been when university was in the equation: on the way to an open day and during a talk on personal statements.

It's also been a little difficult to figure out what's going on with my brain because I have what I would describe as anxiety attacks rather than panic attacks. From speaking to a friend of mine who suffers from panic attacks, it definitely seems that there is a distinction between the two that I hadn't really considered before. She said what she experiences is a feeling of 'oh my goodness I'm going to die', which is not how I would describe what I feel. Whereas she literally 'panics', mine is more of this overwhelming wave of anxiety that I feel like I will drown under. I don't panic and I know that I won't die and nothing awful will actually happen but at the same time no matter how many times I repeat that to myself in my head I can't stop it.

I'm incredibly lucky in that I go to a fantastic school who genuinely care about the well being of its pupils and will help me through whatever happens but that doesn't make it any less of an issue, just one that is easier to deal with. Hopefully this is just a phase and will only last, at most, for the period of time while I apply to university but even so, I know I have fantastic people around me, especially my friends, who will not only help me but actually understand what it's like.

The trouble is, there are also a lot of not quite so understanding people in my life when it comes to this issue too, whether they mean to be or not. Most of you will probably know I'm a musician. As such, I have to get up on stage, on my own (if we're not counting the guitar I use as a safety blanket) and sing songs that I've written and are incredibly personal to me. Although I get nervous about this, and probably always will, it's a very different feeling. What most people say to me is 'but Luce, how can you have any issues with anxiety when you can easily get up on stage and sing in front of loads of people?'. To that I say, that is the kind of nerves that can be harnessed into positive energy that help you do better. It's a very 'in the moment' feeling as opposed to the long term feeling of choosing a university. To the people who don't understand, just know they are two very different things as I'm sure you can tell from the fact I use the word 'nerves' when talking about performing and the word 'anxiety' when talking about university worries.

University isn't the only thing that makes me feel anxious but it is the only thing that's made it bad enough to set off an attack in the last few months. Simple things, such as trains, give me a much smaller wave of anxiety but it's a much more manageable feeling.

This is definitely going to be an interesting journey, let's just hope it's a short one.

Do you have any experience with anxiety or panic attacks? Let me know how you deal with them in the comments! As this is all so new to me I've not really discovered what works for me yet so you'd be really helping me out! 

Lucy x

If you're interested in this sort of thing, a lovely friend of mine runs a channel on YouTube where she talks about her experience with Tourettes, anxiety, panic disorder and OCD. It's definitely worth a watch! You can find the wonderful Katy over at LetsTalkTics on YouTube by clicking this photo and if you watch a few of her newer videos you might recognise a familiar voice in the outro:

Saturday, 19 July 2014


I posted my first YouTube video on January 2nd 2012 meaning I've been on YouTube as a creator for 2 years, 6 months and 17 days.

As of today, July 19th 2014, I have 127 subscribers and 11,366 views in total.

My most viewed video is a cover of Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran posted on May 27th 2014. It has 1,149 views.

Why does this matter?

As someone who has been attempting to build an online presence and has been for a while, I'm constantly aware of numbers. How many twitter followers do I have? (444) How many instagram followers do I have? (330) Why does my subscriber count seem to never grow?

Recently I've been even more aware of the numbers. In the past year I've made a lot of friends who have an online presence which is growing, fast, which has got me thinking: why doesn't mine?

I still maintain that 127 subscribers is absolutely mind blowing (seriously, 127 people care about my music, even if only a little bit, it's amazing!) but it does get frustrating sometimes that the number remains constant for long periods of time while other people are gaining hundreds, even thousands in a day.

The sad truth is, as a musician, the more people that care about my music the better. Although 127 is a massive number in my eyes, sadly it is not to the people of the music industry. Although deep down I know there are many reasons my channel doesn't seem to grow, arguably mainly because I don't upload regularly enough, 31 videos in 2.5 years isn't great really, I still find myself hoping to one day wake up to a massive increase in subscribers.

YouTubers or musicians or public figures in general constantly say that the numbers don't matter, but they do. The more people that watch, the more people they suggest it to and the more it grows again and the circle continues more with every upload. But not with me. I know that I must be doing something wrong but I just can't figure out what it is.

Even now, as I write this, I know it probably won't be read by anyone despite my hoping it does. I love my blog, but it seems no one else does. Because I enjoy writing it, the numbers don't affect me on here, but I'd be lying if I said they didn't in other spaces online.

Do any of you create any sort of online content and find the same thing, that it just feels like you're stuck at a certain number, however big or small that may be? Let me know in the comments and we can chat about it!

Lucy x

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Upload Tour 3 and YouTube/Celebrity Culture

The Upload Tour returned last week and I went to the Cardiff date (Wednesday) with a few of my friends like last year. This year seemed different which is why I thought instead of doing a review like I did last year I'd try and contribute to the discussion that seems to be going around the internet at the moment regarding YouTube Culture in the context of how it affects events like this. This is a pretty long post because I have a lot of opinions on this subject so I'd suggest grabbing a cup of tea and getting comfortable. (I also will not judge if you skim read or skip sections).

The discussion on YouTube Culture, which started when Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter posted this video, is one that seems to have snowballed very quickly. Although I was tempted to write a response I wasn't planning to due to the huge amount of video responses and the insightful and interesting points they raised which made me feel that I had nothing original to contribute, however, after going to the Upload Tour 3, I feel the difference I noticed between last year's Cardiff YouTube gigs, both Upload 2 and the Summer In The City Warm Up Tour, and this tour was huge and I believe that was down to this 'YouTube Culture'.

Last year I went to Upload 2 with 2 of my friends and we went purely because we wanted to see eddplant and bribry perform live. We were there for the music and nothing else. We had no idea that there would even be a possibility of meeting the musicians afterwards and because of that we were over the moon when we were able to. The same goes for the Summer Warm Up Tour. Although we'd been to Upload 2 so knew the possibility of meeting the musicians was there, we went to see Dave Giles, doddleoddle, Tom Law and musical Bethan sing and were pleasantly surprised when they came out before hand to meet those of us who were waiting before the gig and have a little chat and then again when they did a meet and greet afterwards. For my friends and I, that was the same with Upload 3. We went for the music not for a meet and greet. It would appear that other people, not just at the Cardiff date from what I've read on the Facebook event, went purely because they wanted to meet Dave, Luke, Emma and Bribry, which is why they then seem to have been rude when they weren't able to.

Obviously I only know what happened at the particular date of the tour that I went to and can only speak from what I've read online, mainly from Emma Blackery's post on the Facebook event about people being disrespectful in lines and at meet and greets and then from her tweeting about some people who were rude when told they wouldn't be able to do a meet and greet. All I know first hand is that in Cardiff on Wednesday, Dave Giles told the audience that he was ill and loosing his voice and him, Emma, Luke and Bribry all seemed as though they were a little bit fed up. Whether this was due to the fact Dave was ill or that, as she told us, Emma had suffered from anxiety earlier in the day or not, they were very open about the fact that people on previous tour dates hadn't been respectful during the meet and greets and I think it's fair to assume that that impacted their moods.

Although I don't know it as fact, I'm fairly sure this lack of respect comes back to the same element of YouTube culture that Louise talks about in her video. In the video Louise talks about the way certain viewers at meet and greets and similar events overwhelm her and how she doesn't agree with people idolising her because, as she puts it, 'we all started as the same'. It definitely seems that people at these kind of events forget that the people they are meeting/watching perform are people too and I've seen multiple video responses to Louise's video talking about how we, as viewers and creators alike, need to imagine the other complexly. Essentially, both viewers and content creators are complex human beings with individual lives and, despite how hard it may be at times, we really need to remember that. 

Personally, I feel that it's such a shame that some people miss out on things like meet and greets due to some people being disrespectful, rude, or just, let's be honest here, overreacting when meeting someone. I'm not saying that when meeting someone you admire you shouldn't be excited or happy or any of the other emotions you might be feeling, I'm just saying you need to remember you're meeting a person and try and keep the fangirling to a minimum, at least while with them. You can go home and fangirl with your friends as much as you like, just don't do it infront of who you're meeting.

It seems as though I'm not the kind of person who 'fangirls' when meeting people I watch on YouTube or who's music I listen to or anything similar but I honestly believe that's because I make a conscious effort not to. As a musician myself, I know that if I want to get anywhere in the industry I need to remain professional, especially around people I admire which is why I make this effort. For example, during the Upload 3 gig Dave Giles asked if I was there because he wanted to say hi and then afterwards, while I was buying merch, came and gave me a hug. For those of you who haven't read the posts I wrote about the Upload 2 or Summer Warm Up gigs, despite only knowing of Dave and his music for little over a year I'm a massive fan of his and I think he's an absolutely fantastic musician, so much so I covered a song of his recently on my YouTube channel. Knowing that he not only recognised me and remembered my name but also went out of his way to say hello to me whilst he was on stage was amazing and I don't think he'll ever know how much it meant to me. But I didn't 'fangirl' or 'freak-out'. 

At the time I was confused as to why I didn't but after having some time to think about it and let it sit in my brain I think it's a combination of the recent discussion on YouTube culture making me realise that it's important not to think of people in the public eye as something they're not and the fact that, ultimately, I respect Dave too much. Although I was surprised by the fact he remembered me I realised that, as I've met him twice before, covered a song of his on YouTube and spoken to him online asking his advice on a few things before, there was no reason for him to not remember me. I realised that just because he's a much more successful musician than I am and he makes videos on the internet, doesn't mean he's any different to anyone else, he just has different talents and a different job. 

Although the discussion at the moment is very much about YouTube culture rather than celebrity culture in general, all the points raised from this discussion got me thinking about, how as Louise said, everyone starts out the same. It can be really weird to imagine your favourite celebrities doing day to day things like going to bed at night or having a lazy day at home, but we, as fans, need to ask ourselves why that's weird. They're just as human as everyone else.

Ultimately, although it can be difficult to remember at times, at the end of the day, all people are the same. They may be incredibly talented in a certain area and they may have a different job to what the majority of people have, but that doesn't mean they should be treated differently. Although YouTube is definitely evolving and the gap between viewer and creator is growing constantly, it's important to remember that, regardless of subscriber count, someone who runs a channel with 3 million subscribers is exactly the same as someone who runs a channel with 3 subscribers. 

Even the fact that the process of creators and viewers meeting used to be called 'meet ups' and is now referred to as 'meet and greets' shows that the YouTube community has shifted from a mutual relationship to a very one-sided, celebrity-like scenario. It's probably too late to reverse this but it's never too late to change attitudes, which is why we need to constantly try to remind ourselves that we are exactly the same as these 'famous' people. Who knows, maybe one day we will be able to change attitudes towards those in the public eye.

If you've made it to the end of this post, first of all congratulations for reading all of that but secondly, please leave me a comment letting me know what your opinion is on this issue. It's something I've been thinking about a lot and would love to discuss!

Lucy x

On a related note, I recently watched this video from Candice (aka CandySomething) on people saying they wish the YouTube community could be like it used to be and it's definitely worth a watch. It fits well with the theme of thinking of people/things as something they're not.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Downfall (Film Discussion)

As I didn't feel like doing much revision but need to prepare for the exam I have in a few days time on Nazi Germany I thought I'd watch the film 'Downfall' and I felt like I needed to share my thoughts on it because oh my goodness is it a good film.

Downfall is a German language film that focuses on the last few days of the Second World War and Hitler's time in the bunker where he committed suicide. From my knowledge of the events historically (which is admittedly, limited) this film seemed incredibly historically accurate. I am honestly amazed at how the writers managed to write a film that not only acts as a fair and accurate representation of the events but is also so thought-provoking and emotional. I also thought the actors did a fantastic job at portraying each individual character, particularly those playing the roles of the characters we know now to have committed horrific acts. For example, I found that the actor playing Hitler managed to portray the character as a complex human being rather than simply a mass murderer. With historical events it is very easy to forget that behind what happened, each individual had a life and I think that is why I found the film to be so powerful as it showed this individuality of each person in ways that a history book or documentary cannot.

Although I found it quite slow at first (I actually ended up watching it in two sittings just over a week apart) it was definitely worth persevering with it. I cannot recommend this film enough. If you are worried you won't enjoy it because of the subtitles, don't be. You forget they're there very quickly. If, like me, you have a fair knowledge of the German language anyway you probably won't even need the subtitles.

It may be due to my interest in German history or Germany in general but I honestly enjoyed this film to the point I felt I needed to immediately share it with you reading this. If you're thinking about watching it, please do. I'm sure you won't regret it. And when you do, come back here and leave me a comment telling me what you thought and we can have a little discussion about it.

Have you watched any other films that focus on German history/either of the world wars that impacted you and you think I should watch? Let me know below! I watched Schindler's List last year and you can see my thoughts about that here.

Lucy x

Friday, 2 May 2014

Days Like These by Dave Giles - A Ukulele Cover

If you've not watched my latest YouTube video yet I thought I'd do a quick little post updating you!

My latest video is a cover of 'Days Like These', a truly lovely song that never fails to make me smile by a wonderful musician, Dave Giles. I've wanted to cover a song of Dave's ever since I became a fan of his after seeing him perform live on the Upload 2 Tour last year (since which I've seen him live another time) but decided to take a while to decide on the right one and I thought this was it!

I love this song and I thought the sweet, summery tone to it would sound lovely with a ukulele, so that's what I did! I'm going to see Dave Giles perform live in a few weeks at the Cardiff date of the Upload 3 Tour which he is doing alongside his friends Bribry, Luke Cutforth and Emma Blackery. If you've not got tickets yet you really should, the last time I saw these guys live they definitely did not disappoint and I'm definitely excited to see how it's different with Emma Blackery in the mix!

Let me know what you think of my cover and if you like it, don't be afraid to tell me or share it! It means the world.

Lucy x

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Songwriting Bootcamp

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I was offered the incredible opportunity to go to Muni Arts Center in Pontypridd to work with some other local musicians and a few industry professionals as part of a songwriting masterclass. The three days were run by Amy Wadge, an incredibly talented professional singer/songwriter who has worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran and it was honestly such an incredible few days.

I've been writing songs for a good few years now but I've never experienced co-writing beyond writing with a few friends for a bit of a laugh. I had no idea what to expect from my first experience of it but it was amazing. Seeing the way other musicians approach songwriting and being pushed to write the best songs we could in a limited time was definitely a challenge but I already feel like it's changed the way I write. Over the 3 days I wrote with around 7 different people in various groups ranging from a group of 5 to a group of 2. Through working with so many people we were really able to see the different ways of approaching things and everyone definitely had their own techniques of doing so.

I left the course on Wednesday after showcasing every song we had written together over the few days feeling incredibly inspired, not only to write more songs and take more risks with my song writing but also to work hard to be the best musician I can be. Every single person I worked with was incredibly talented but at a different stage with music which made me realise that, if I work hard, there is a possibility that becoming a professional singer/songwriter could become more of a reality than just a dream of mine. And even if I don't pursue it as a career, I know now that I will never stop writing.

The masterclass made me want to try co-writing a lot more and after meeting so many incredible people, and exchanging follows on twitter, I'd like to think that is a definite possibility for the future.

Thank you so much to Amy Wadge and SONIG for running the course and Young Promoters Network for contacting me about it. It was an incredible experience that I feel incredibly lucky to have been involved in and I hope to be able to do it again!

Lucy x

Click here to go to the playlist of the songs that we wrote!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Perfect Alibi - My Latest Musical Creation

Hello lovely people of the blogosphere,

If you don't follow me on any of my social media sites you probably haven't seen the latest YouTube video I uploaded, or you might not even know that I post YouTube videos at all! It's my latest song called Perfect Alibi and you can watch it here if you're interested.

If you liked it and want to be super lovely, you can also buy it on bandcamp by clicking here. I'd also really appreciate it if you could possibly subscribe to my YouTube channel/follow me on twitter/all the other social media links that can be found in the 'A Bit About Me' page on here (warning, there's quite a lot of them!). I'd also really love it if you could leave me a little comment somewhere on the internet letting me know what you think of my music and how you found it!

Thank you for being wonderful and reading all of this, sorry to ask you to do so much but it really does help more than I can say.

Lucy x

Saturday, 11 January 2014


I know this is a little late but it's something that is important to me so I still wanted to post it. 2013 was quite possibly my best year so far. I did my first 'big' exams that actually count and got good grades, I met some musicians that really inspired me, I started a new school where I found people that make me so happy and my music 'career' seems to be growing by the second.

One of the main things that started happening toward the end of the year was that my music 'career' started growing. The reason I add the quotation marks is because I've still not really got my head around the fact that there are people in the world who are paying to hear me play my music to them, it's absolutely mind blowing. My online audience is growing too as I hit 50 subscribers on YouTube at the beginning of 2013 and then hit 100 at the beginning of November. I also set up a Facebook page for my music and if everything goes to plan, 2014 will bring with it a website to go alongside this Facebook page, both of which serve the purpose of getting my music heard by as many people as possible, so please head over and like my page to help me out! It seems as though every time I play live I get another 3 offers for more opportunities so I am so excited to see what 2014 will bring for me in terms of music!

A massive life change that happened for me in 2013 was leaving the school I've been at for the last 5 years in order to start sixth form in a new one. I won't say too much about it because I've written a full post that you can read here but I felt it was important to mention because I can already tell that the next 2 years at this school will be far better than anything I've known. I've gone from completely dreading going to school to actually looking forward to it. Although A Levels are REALLY hard work, I'm surrounded by incredible, talented and lovely people who make it worth while.

The summer of 2013 for me was amazing. I had about 12 weeks off school due to finishing my GCSE exams fairly early and the majority of that time was spent with friends. I am incredibly lucky in that I live within walking distance of a beach (even if it is a long walk!). My friends and I took full advantage of this and for about 2/3 weeks it is not an exaggeration to say we were there constantly. We would meet around 10/11am and wouldn't get home until about 9.30pm and would then do it all again the next day. The people I did this with were friends that I'd made in school but had never really been that close to so it was really lovely to get the opportunity to really get to know them and properly spend time with them before we all went our separate ways. I also got the chance to spend a lot of time with my cousins who came over to the UK from New Zealand for 6 weeks which was really lovely.

All in all, 2013 was a really incredible year for me, so much so that I was a little sad to say goodbye to it. Let's just hope 2014 matches it! Thank you for sticking with me through 2013! If you want to, share some of your favourite memories from 2013 in the comments below!

Lucy x

I don't normally post links at the end of a post but here are a few links to blog posts I've written over the last 12 months that have documented my year. Just click on one to take you to the page, I hope you enjoy reading them!

Other things that I've written/created about time passing:
Dear Future Me (blog post)
Remember Me (song with video)

Memorable moments of the year that I documented:
Summer in the City Warm-Up Tour (Cardiff)
Upload Tour 2
100 Subscribers
50 Subscribers
A Trip To London With My Best Friend
My Last Day of Secondary School
Starting Sixth Form/College