English singer Lucy Spraggan came into the spotlight after auditioning for The X Factor back in 2012. She was signed to Columbia Records afterwards and released a major label album called Join The Club.
Her latest record is Today Was a Good Day, on the Cooking Vinyl label. She will return to play Glastonbury soon and the first track, "Stick The Kettle On," from her fifth album was recently used on a new episode of Grey's Anatomy.
Spraggan sat down in her green room at Schubas ( before a June 25 performance ) to talk about being an out artist.
Windy City Times: Where are you based these days?
Lucy Spraggan: I live in Chester now. My wife moved us out when I was on tour. I have not even spent a week there yet! I've been touring since September.
WCT: I guess it's part of the job.
LS: If I wasn't touring, something would be wrong. [Laughs]
WCT: Are you performing at WorldPride this year?
LS: No, I am not. I played a little showcase at the Stonewall Inn though. I heard Madonna came in the fire exit to play on New Year's.
WCT: Taylor Swift was just there, too.
LS: She was there the day after me. She has come out of nowhere suddenly loving the gays. I read the lyrics of her new song and was surprised.
WCT: What are your thoughts on all the stores with rainbow flags?
LS: I think they should have the flags up all the time, not just June. It's not the same at home. The corporate thing with Pride is very new where I live. I felt very overwhelmed in D.C. when I saw all the flags. I thought it was really nice.
I did an interview at a gay bar recently and the interviewer asked me if I came to the bar because of Pride month. I said, "I came to the gay bar because I'm gay! It's not a June thing for me."
WCT: You toured with another out artist: Melissa Etheridge. What advice did she give you?
LS: I learned lots from her and still keep in touch. I went to her show in Ohio the other day and hung out. I look up to her. She could be an asshole with that talent, but she is the nicest person I have ever met.
She gave me advice about acid reflux. She said she gave the same advice to P!nk and Adele. She talked about diet and how that would help.
WCT: Did you always want to be a singer?
LS: Yes. I have done shows since I was 12, so about 16 years of shows. I went to college to be a fire fighter. I did magic for a little while professionally. I was a plumber, too. I doubt this will be my last job either!
WCT: You can certainly hustle for a pound.
LS: My hustle is on point!
WCT: You came out when you were 14 years old?
LS: Yes. My coming out was so insignificant that me and my mum have different stories. She thinks it was at a different time than when I think it was. My mum thinks she part of a gang now and the coolest person on earth because she's got a gay kid.
She's a journalist, and outed me when I was 14 in The Guardian.
WCT: How is it being an out musician?
LS: I can't remember being in. I don't think I don't get something because I'm a lesbian, I just think that's how it works in the music business. There are probably disadvantages, but I never really think about it.
WCT: Did they mention you being a lesbian on X Factor?
LS: I did a version of the song "Gold Digger" and I said I would only do it if there were women twerking behind me. It turned out really cool and Brian Freedman did the choreography. It was super-queer and wicked!
WCT: Talk about wearing a spacesuit in your new video, "Lucky Stars."
LS: I wanted to capture what it feels like to be anxious. When you wear an astronauts suit and walk down the street people look at you funny. The people in the video are just strangers. All their looks are real.
WCT: Was it hot in the suit?
LS: Yesand it stank!
WCT: What do you want to say with the song?
LS: It's about being grateful for the people in your life. It's about saying thank you.
WCT: Your song from X Factor "Last Night" is about liquor. Are you a big drinker?
LS: I would like to say no, but yeah. Blue Moon is my favorite beer.
WCT: You must have heard from fans about being out as a musician.
LS: That is something that's really cool. I try to explain it to the straight people that work for me. The gay community is so powerful. We are so tight. I can go in any gay bar in the world and feel common ground with the people in there, that we could be friends. Not just because we are gay, but because we face adversity together. We are a strong community and I like being a part of that.
When I look out at my shows and see members of the LGBTQ community, I always feel proud of that. I headline Pride festivals in Europe.
WCT: I have read you have had many foster kids over the years. I was adopted, myself.
LS: Really? So is my mum. That's why I wanted to get involved with it, after seeing the way she was. Since we just moved to a new county, we have to go through the process again in the new place. We just built a big barn, so it would be cool to have kids there!
WCT: Do you have a favorite tattoo?
LS: There's this massive Elvis Presley one. I want to go to Graceland and Dollywood in Tennessee, then get Dolly Parton tatted on my other leg!
Visit LucySpraggan.com for more on this talented singer.