Winner of The Voice 2017, Craig Lucas has just released his album, Restless. I had a couple of questions for the champion, so naturally, I asked him…we spoke about his ambitions, his experience on The Voice and the inspiration for the album.
Richard Chemaly (RC): Firstly, congrats for on winning The Voice. I’ve always been curious, since there are so many other talent competitions out there, why opt for this one in particular?
Craig Lucas (CL): Unlike other singing competitions, The Voice focuses on nurturing and coaching talent. You get to spend so much time with established artists -the coaches- who are invested in their talents and work hard to make sure they grow week after week. I didn’t think I would win the voice, but win or lose, I knew that if I made it in, I would, without a doubt, walk away being a much better artist than I was when I entered. It is very rare that you get to be mentored by industry legends like you do on The Voice.
RC: Being from Elsies River, the community must be pretty stoked with you. What was the first thing that you did upon arriving home after the victory? I know you intended spoiling your mom by taking her on holiday. Have you and how was it?
CL: The entire community was waiting for me outside my house when I got home.it was such an incredible experience. Everyone came out to greet and tell me how proud they were of me – seeing all the little ones look so inspired was incredibly special. I haven’t had a chance to take my mom on vacation yet. After winning, we immediately jumped into promo and recording the album. She works too. We are planning to go away as soon as the dust has settled from the launch on the album and she has some free time to get away too.
RC: Onto the new album. You worked with tons of people including Peach…an honour most would be exceptionally envious of. Jumping straight into studio with the masters must be somewhat overwhelming. Was it? How did you overcome this?
CL: It was a little overwhelming at first being introduced to all these incredible musicians and producers. I felt a little inferior because I was the new guy on the block. They were all so welcoming though and so friendly, I very quickly felt at ease. They showed great appreciation for my music and my singing and it made me feel more confident.
RC: You’ve mentioned that the sounds are inspired by real life situations but there are an infinite number of those…how did you pick which ones to pump into the album?
CL: The songs are quite general lyrically, and revolve around universal themes of love, struggle and being young. The lyrics I wrote came naturally, we didn’t really plan for songs to go in a certain direction. The music lead us and whatever emotion or real life situation that I had gone through and that resonated with the music is the direction we’d follow.
RC: Now that the album is released, you’re probably going to have to tour to market it. Where are you keen on travelling to?
CL: I want to take the album all over the country – to at least one venue in each province. I want to play my music to all my fans, but also to people who don’t know me or my music at all.
RC: Now you have the victory, album and tour under your belt…what’s next? Any place you’re ambitious to perform?
CL: I would love to tackle the South African music festival circuit -starting with rocking the daisies next year!- I would also love to have my own show at the Grand Arena in Cape Town. It was the first big stage I ever sang on. I have watched so many shows there and always dreamt of having my own show one day.