Five minutes with Lucy Whittaker ☕
We get to know the pop, singer-songwriter ahead of the DIVA Music Festival
Lucy Whittaker. Photo Sorrel Higgins.
Having started the writing process at the age of 12, Lucy Whittaker’s early influences of pop, soul and reggae have been integral to her songwriting.
Fast becoming one of the most influential unsigned commercial pop artists around — this one shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
DIVA: Can you tell us a little more about your latest single Who’s Gonna Know?
LUCY WHITTAKER: Who’s Gonna Know really embodies my new sound — it’s darker, grittier, and more honest than anything I’ve released before now. It’s about the dark desires that everybody feels at some point, and trying to keep those feelings hidden …while also giving in to them.
What was it like collaborating with Yizzy?
It’s so cool to have Yizzy featuring on this track — his sound suits it perfectly. I’ve been following him for a while now, and love what he does. I really wanted him on this song so decided to reach out at the beginning of the year, and luckily he jumped on it! It’s amazing to have him on the track — he’s doing so much for grime right now.
You’ve just released the video to Who’s Gonna Know video. What are you hoping fans will take away from it?
I wanted to release a video which reflected myself as an artist, and that my fans could relate to. In the past, I was stopped from releasing LGBTQ-themed videos, so to finally be able to release a video which makes a statement was really liberating.
You’ve taken the UK Pride scene by storm. What’s it been like performing at major Pride events?
Prides are the best! The crowd is always so fun and the atmosphere so positive. Everyone’s there to have a good time and celebrate who they are, and it’s a really liberating feeling. The fight for equality is so important, and to be able to stand with my community in solidarity is always emotional for me. Performing on the DIVA Women's Stage at this year’s Pride In London was one of my career highlights so far!
Do you ever face challenges being an openly queer woman in mainstream pop?
Being a musician is tough enough so as you can imagine, being a female, LGBTQ musician has its challenges! I definitely think I face challenges that non-LGBTQ artists don’t come up against — I’ve lost count of the number of people who have "advised" me not to feature girls kissing in my music videos! I’m a huge advocate of being yourself and being proud of it, so I think about my music in the same way. If I want to write a song about a girl, I’ll write that song.
How are you feeling about performing at the DIVA Music Festival? Supes excited?
I can’t wait for DIVA Music festival! Playing festivals is always great, and it’s going to be awesome to perform to a crowd of like-minded people from my own community. There are some really cool acts playing, and I’m excited to chill and enjoy the other music over the weekend too. I’ll be singing along very loudly to KT Tunstall, that's for sure.
Any words for your queer fan base?
Love yourself, and be proud of who you are.
DIVA Music Festival takes place from 30 November – 2 December 2018 at Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 1TB. Visit divamusicfestival.com for tickets, on sale now!
Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.