In Conversation with LCYTN
Lucy Tun or LCYTN (get it…) has created Good Nights Bad Stories. It is her debut EP, on which she is the sole singer and the almost-sole producer. LCYTN is clever with her handiwork. The most unlikely genres are seamlessly stitched together as her own. All the songs are interwoven with whipsmart ad-libs and profound lyrics. LCYTN has created an infinite dream world, all from the comfort of her bedroom.
The opener, ‘Enough’, sets the agenda: to capture the confusions and contradictions that arise from breaking into adulthood. The typical tones of such adolescent angst have previously been laid down by indie pop artists such as Rex Orange County and they are found here too. But LCYTN soon deviates from this path. There are trendy dance beats (‘Every Thursday Night’) – even trap beats (‘The End’).
LCYTN still finds the space to be personal and sincere. She explores her insecurities, particularly as a victim of conditional acceptance. On ‘Insecure’ she is accepted, as long as she can be someone’s fetish. On ‘LOVE?’ she is accepted, only if she can be the subject of someone’s infatuation. LCYTN is the sonic descendant of ABRA; the lyrical descendant of SZA and the emotional descendant of Frank Ocean. But she is very much her own person and her own artist. And recently I had the pleasure of interviewing her:
JL: How did you get into music?
LT: I started training in classical music aged 8. I went to be a music scholar at my school, where I’d write choral music, as well as play the piano and violin. But I ended up failing my music AS Level…at first I thought that maybe I wasn’t that good at music…but then I realised that classical music wasn’t my way to go down.
What’s your musical process?
I make the melody first. I don’t make a really good beat and then am like “Oh, sick beat! This shit fire!” I teach myself to make the beat that I want…sometimes it takes two weeks, sometimes it takes two years.
What’s your sound?
It’s difficult to pinpoint myself to one sound. That’s why I have lots of sounds!
Tell me about how you use your vocals.
It comes naturally to me; to add little ad libs here and there…I decided that I wanted this to be my sound, with dreamy voices, because that’s how it is in my head.
What are your influences?
SZA is someone I really appreciate in terms of how meaningful and relatable her lyrics are. KAYTRANADA is also one of my biggest influences in terms of musicality and production. Yaeji and Peggy Gou too, who are both Asian female producers.
What inspired the EP?
People wanted to brand me as a cutesy Asian girl: a bit sassy, a bit pop-y. The EP was meant to be released in July – but I met someone. It was my first relationship in a very long time. I moved in with him. I started prioritising him. And then it ended within half a day. After that, I couldn’t keep up with the cutesy vibe. I wrote a whole load of songs that had a much darker vibe. They were adult. They were real. I needed to write them so that all that pain, all that shit, was worth it.
Tell me about ‘Insecure’, it feels like a very meaningful track.
‘Insecure’ wasn’t for anyone except myself. It was about having an identity crises. Being Asian, growing up in a white-dominated area in London and not knowing about where I was from.
Tell me about Mag
He’s from Bristol, we met on Facebook. We made the song ‘Water’ together. It’s about when I’d just moved to London, when I was changing friendships so much, I just got fed up with it. Everything else on the EP, besides ‘Water’ with Meg and ‘Black’ with Theodor Black, is all LCYTN. Besides the fact my Dad played the guitar on ‘Sorry!’
There’s the single [which has now reached No. 4 on the Myanmar Top 100 Chart] ‘Fuck Love’ with Nay and Reload, both Burmese artists. There’s future shows to come.
Any closing thoughts for readers?
Every song on Good Nights Bad Stories is so good – so much thought and effort went into every single song. Which songs arrogant. But I’m exhausted by how much I beat myself down and I’m trying my best to not let myself hold myself back.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
I won’t say ‘stable’ like in a previous interview…I want to be signed to 88 Rising, which solely promotes Asian artists. A big dream of mine is to get on there. I want to visit Burma more, to have a strong Burmese fan base, to relate to Burmese girls more. To be the type of artist I wish I had. To be happy and content with who I am.