This next artist was a winning contestant on 93.9 Little Bacon Bear’s 'KYV Versus.' Due to her impressive skills, versatility, and the will to grow, she's definitely a force to be reckoned with! DMV AUX presents to you, the embodiment of a true artist, singer/songwriter, Lucy J.
Lucy was born and raised in Springfield, Virginia, roughly 14 miles out from our nation’s capital. As an adolescent, she participated in countless freestyle rap battles and enjoyed watching Grind Time Now after school on YouTube.
“I would always hit up YouTube after school from six grade, up until freshman year. They would drop them sporadically, so I would check almost every day, and sometimes twice,” Lucy stated.
Growing up, she was raised in a loosely strict Catholic household, but it didn’t stop Lucy from listening to music her family wasn’t so fond of. “They would say, you know, you can’t sing this at church, but okay,” she stated and laughed.
On the topic of church, Lucy once tried out for the church’s choir but was turned away due to unclear reasons. Angered by their decision, she turned to poetry, which developed into singing/rapping. Throughout that time, Lucy also became interested in spoken word and wanted to share her poems but felt like she lacked the delivery/tone needed to perform.
At the age of 17, she was in a rap group for a year and a half but left due to her eagerness to grow and improve. “In a group, I felt too comfortable and wanted to branch off to get out of my comfort zone. If you’re comfortable for too long, it slows down your growth,” she stated.
After leaving, Lucy began to take her talent seriously and started investing in her solo career by watching YouTube, recording at home, and looking for studios. Luckily, after two years, she soon found a studio in Burke, Virginia; after presenting unmixed and mastered music, they loved her and offered Lucy a songwriting position in the studio. Lucy has now been with them for four years and has since released her debut project “Sweetgrass” that could be found on all platforms.
Taking on the position as a songwriter, Lucy stays creative by attentively listening to beats from different producers and evaluating the tone before writing. “Ten seconds into hearing a beat, I already know the vibe it’s going to be,” she stated. Additionally, she draws inspiration from the late Selena Quintanilla, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Outkast, Kehlani, and Ninth Wonder.
In light of the DMV music scene, Lucy shares that the music culture is changing in the area and has the potential to become a music capital. The only issue is the lack of support within the community in comparison to other areas such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York City.
As she visited these places outside the DMV area, she noticed that various artists would show genuine love towards each other. Initially, when she began her music career, Lucy did not receive support from others within the community and further explained that “expressing your support to another artist does not take away from you.”
Lucy shares there is a lot of undiscovered talent throughout the DMV, but she's grateful for platforms that highlight those artists.
When it comes to her musical style, Lucy describes it as a fusion of hip-hop culture, and trap soul, this is usually her go-to sound. As she creates music, her goal is to include lyricism and bars because she noticed that some R&B music has those elements, but they’re not highlighted. It’s a must to include flowy bars due to her love for rap and spoken word poetry, and it's something she wants her audience to feel and hear throughout her music.
Despite Lucy’s love for music, she’s also a loving mother to her son, Angel, who’s been freestyling since the age of three! Although critics share with her that as a woman, it is almost impossible to be a great artist and a great mother, she does her best to balance the two. Lucy J adds that she never allows the two to clash, she loves them both and continues to grow and succeed at both.
Two years from now, Lucy wishes to continue songwriting as an ideal career due to its challenges and room for continuous growth. Additionally, she hopes to distance herself from being her biggest critic, release several EPs within the next years, and a new single at the end of May.
When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, Lucy would tell them it’s a long game, and you must love it. She stated, “If you don’t love it, then you’re in it for the wrong reason.” Music is a blessing in her eyes, and those who can create it; in all, love it unconditionally, and you’ll work through it!
Read more about Lucy J with a closer look below.
What song do you currently have on replay?
“Ass Like That” by Victoria Monet. It’s a great song, especially for working out.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
A Cinderella Story. If I can’t find anything to watch on Netflix, I will turn that movie on because I know I will always be satisfied.
What do you miss most since being quarantined?
I miss Sweetgreen, acai bowls, and the studio especially. I miss walking into the studio and creating music, it was a part of my daily schedule.
What’s one thing you wish you didn’t have to pay for?
I wish I didn’t have to pay for food and clothes.
If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would definitely go to the studio and record.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is holding the door for someone and they don’t say thank you. I also hate when someone does not say excuse me and/or they don’t respond.
Would you rather win fifty-thousand dollars or let your best friend win five-hundred thousand dollars?
I would rather my best friend win five-hundred thousand dollars because we always have each other's back and never count favors, she simply deserves the best in life.
Magnified Topic of the Week: Lucy J’s Album “Sweetgrass”
Lucy is of American Indian and Salvadoran descent, and the term “sweetgrass”, is a herb in her tribe to cleanse the home of negative energy and restore peace.
She released her debut album, Sweetgrass, in 2019, during a time she was overthinking music and contemplated quitting. “I wasn’t having fun anymore, and was stressed when it came to writing music,” she stated.
However, to fix the overwhelming feeling, Lucy went back to the basics and got back to the reasoning of why she started her journey in the first place. In the midst of everything, Sweetgrass was created as a therapeutic outlet to cleanse and is now an album we could all use to restore peace.
Check out her favorite song off the album, “No Wrong”, that is totally freestyled below!
Article written by: Asha Cole and Dejah Moné