From dreamy days to dark days. Lucy Mason writes about being an artist in London.
Lucy Mason is one of many Australian musicians and artists living abroad in a quest to expand their musical horizons. Music Love recently published the remarkable story of Starley, a Sydney-based musician who moved overseas to make it, came back jaded and wrote one last song that ended up charting everywhere. Like Starley realised before her big break, it can be a lonely time that can make you want to give up and walk away. London, New York and Los Angeles are common destinations for Aussies wanting more opportunity than our large but lightly populated country provides. Hailing from Sydney's northern beaches (Showbox Coffee in Manly regularly features in her dreams), Lucy made the decision about four years ago to take the plunge and move to London. Lucy has supported Jamie Cullum and Matt Corby, recorded two EPs and her rendition of Amazing Grace featured on Channel Nine's drama Gallipoli in 2014. With a brand new EP being released in the next month or two, we thought it would be good to check in with Lucy, asking the gifted songstress with the voice of an angel to write about the highs and lows of a musical life in London.
A LIFE IN LONDON, BY LUCY MASON
"I never really imagined where life would take me when I decided to pack up my life and move across the world to London with the music ‘dream’ in my sights. I was led here by a series of extraordinary events and opportunities that surprised pretty much everyone in my life, including myself.
I always knew that it was in me but very aware that most people thought it was a bit of an unrealistic and selfish ambition. It is a bit crazy to me now and I often wonder what I was thinking but I suppose I didn’t really think about it too much at all, and I’m so glad I didn’t because living in London has been one of the most significant things I’ve ever done.
So I moved to ‘make something of myself’ as an artist, a performer and ultimately a person that was ready for that world. Ready for the ‘industry’. I knew it would be painful moving away from Australia, and leaving behind friends and family for something that might be hard to understand. Life as I knew it would really never be the same from that point on. The ‘dream’ of music would never be the same, turns out it evolves, all the time. I began to watch my career go from great heights to massive lows in a matter of days and back again. I had to learn a lot about myself and my response to disappointment. It’s made me better. I’ve learnt the real truth behind ‘not giving up’ because when you can continue on in the face of great disappointment and frustration you find a whole new depth within yourself that wouldn’t be there unless you kept moving. A whole new level of creativity you wouldn’t want to trade for anything, not for any opportunity, gig, record deal or any amount of money. I have learnt that this process has been my development as an artist and instead of being contracted for life to a major company who will try and make you into what they think will sell, I got to develop myself through the natural process of failure. Day by day I am growing and getting better and refining my skills and working out how to create the sound that I can hear in my head.
I’ve had the opportunity to do things I could have never let myself dream of and I’ve got an amazing life here. If I’d never have left, it never would’ve happened. Yeah it’s been a challenge. I’ve hit my breaking point once or twice sure, but every time I decide to just get back up again and continue on I do myself a favour, because in the face of failure I have learnt that it’s not a good enough excuse to quit. I am continually humbled by the talent that surrounds me here, but they challenge me and inspire me always to be better. I am so thankful for the dark days because they lead me to make this new EP which is called Going Home Broke’ and I am so proud of it, it hurts."