With one foot in Havana Cuba and the other in Malmö Sweden, Swedish Grammy nominated artist LUCIIA was raised by a family that lives and breathes music. Her talent has taken her beyond Swedish boarders working with Grammy winning producers and songwriters in the US and UK.
With the assistance of London based producer Maleík, LUCIIA has forged her own gorgeous sound, where classic 90s R&B blends with the sonic image of the future.
What or who inspired you to begin a career in music?
“Here we got a singer, this babygirl will turn out to be a star one day” was the first sentence describing me, by the nurse that delivered me. My mom saw the talent grow from early on to say the least… and at the age of 4 I performed on stage for the first time. My dad is the lead singer in a big Cuban band, hence I was constantly surrounded by live music and often fell asleep during rehearsals.
When can one call this a career? I have been performing and recording for a long time. In 2018 I toured with a big Swedish rapper called STOR, many years ago I was signed to a label but ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable releasing my own music until I finally found the people that helped me write my own story. I’m inspired by artists like Jazmine Sullivan, H.E.R, Donell Jones, Faith Evans, Keyshia Cole, Khamari, Whitney Houston & Maeta.
What differs you and your sound from other artists in the music industry?
I´m being me. It might sound cliché, regardless, it´s the best way to describe how I approach life and music. I am a happy lone wolf, a little stubborn with a dash of trust issues. At times this makes my journey harder and slower but at the same time I feel like it´s worth it because my foundation is solid and that way, no one can take it away from me.
My sound is heavily influenced by old school/90s R&B with a sonic image of the future. In terms of how that differs, I believe my sound to be a bit more nostalgic.
Your latest release, ‘SAME THING NEW MAN’ is out now. Can you please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the song?
Chaos. It´s so hilarious looking back on that session when we started this song, nothing was working tech-wise, the heating was off in the middle of winter and I had kind of a bad day. Thank god!
At the time, I was about to see someone who had been flirting with me for a while, and just when I was about to let my guard down, he instantly started acting weird and that’s when I realised things weren’t adding up. I decided to stay at the studio and was venting to Maleík, my co-writer/producer and organically the situation turned in to a demo. The story behind the beat is actually a funny coincidence. Maleík had started on the beat after a conversation we had over the phone a couple days earlier. I´d seen the Whitney movie that inspired me to make a more up tempo song like “If I told you that”, it turned out he had seen the same movie, the same day… We finished the song together and Marl added his magic final touch to turn it in to perfection.
In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?
From what I´ve released, without doubt I would say Lost & Found. I wrote it in Atlanta together with the incredibly talented, wonderful person and Grammy nominated songwriter – Daijah (Snoh Aalegra/Baby Rose/Chxrry). Produced by the insanely musical Bobsled, who also suggested Daijah to join the session.
The session was so peaceful, and I really felt safe opening up about how I had been feeling about myself and life in general. The transformation I had earlier last year really made a difference, I started to take care of myself properly and taking responsibility of my well-being. The song is a result of those decisions.
From what´s to come, it is the interlude “CARRY ON MY LOVE”, on my EP (dropping in October). It´s the most honest and vulnerable song I ever wrote, simultaneously carrying the complicity of the entire project.
How do you handle the balance between artistic expression and connecting with your audience?
It has been challenging for me to be equally open to my audience online and through my music. I feel free expressing my true self in the studio and even more so on stage. I’m slowly getting comfortable communicating with my audience online as times goes on.
Supporting one of the biggest bands in the world is a true blessing and I feel like that will be a turning point for me to reach a wider audience at the same time, and in a way, I only see in my dreams. A true pinch me moment.
Can you share a memorable or defining moment in your career so far?
Meeting Maleík was truly special, I have had the privilege to work with talented songwriters and Grammy award winning producers in the past. Then, to later on find a person who fully gets my vision, musicality, and having the time and passion to invest in me in so many ways. Writing, producing and even vocal producing my entire project was something I have been praying for the last couple years and then to have it come true was a gamechanger for me.
Performing the exclusive and world-renowned conference Brilliant Minds alongside names like Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell and Deepak Chopra was a moment that made me realize that my dream was becoming reality.
I recently was invited to visit BBC Radio London studio for a headline slot interview on Raffaella Coleman and Kim Davis Friday show The Scene. They have been supporting my journey since the release of BRB on zoom and to actually enter the BBC building, talking to them in person and having my single pre play on air was yet another one of those dream come true moments.
What advice would you give to aspiring singer-songwriters who are just starting their musical journey?
Look at every little accomplishment as a stepping stone towards something bigger, every successful person on this planet had to fail again and again before reaching their goals and so do you. Stay patient and grateful along the way, practice every day and remind yourself why you want this. Don´t forget your purpose. Even through the hard times.
What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?
In a couple weeks, I will be supporting Coldplay for their 4 shows at the biggest stadium in Sweden. I’m about to release 2 more singles and then my 2nd EP this October. Currently working on setting dates for my first headline tour.
Anything else you would like to add?
Even though I’m still independent, no man is an island and I would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one who believed in me, helped me out, booked me, created with me and dedicated their time to my journey so far.
‘SAME THING NEW MAN’ is available now via all major platforms.
Connect with LUCIIA