LU is a nineteen year old alternative R&B artist, living and working in London. Yes, that’s right. Nineteen. After graduating from the world renowned BRIT School, LU has embarked on a journey of self discovery with her music, image and beliefs. Thus comes debut release, ‘Bad Habits’, which premiered on the BBC with Jamz Supernova and is out today.
As a BRIT School graduate LU, real name Luchana Shaw, is no stranger to the music industry. Having racked up almost 100,000 SoundCloud plays on her versions of The Internet’s ‘Special Affair’, Drake’s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ and her soulful feature on 28th’s ‘White Wine’ has given her the perfect grounding from which she can grow.
After a trip of self discovery to the infamous Los Angeles, LU returns with a new lease of life on one hand and a lust for creating art on the other. “I’d been stuck in the doldrums in a lot of different ways”, she said, “but especially musically. I had all these tracks laid down and they were very much inspired by those difficult emotions that come into play in every day life. But on my trip to LA, I just rediscovered my youth. That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?”
LU came to the realisation that she’s 19, not 91. “I need to take stock of who I am”, she added, “what I want and what art I want to produce. When I got back I just continued this carefree nature that I was turned on to in the States. It just gave everything a new meaning and allowed me to view myself and my art in a different way”.
‘Bad Habits’, which was released today, encapsulates the brand new eyes that LU peers through to create her music; “It’s very much about embracing my youth. But also being realistic with expectations. The irony in the hook is a result of me being very observant to what’s going on around me. People put on a front and act like money grows on trees so blowing it is the norm. When in fact there’s a reality in play that dictates how you actually need the money to live. There’s another side to it all where I’ve definitely fronted that I have this boujee lifestyle. But it’s just me, and a couple of friends acting like #queens in the back on an Uber. Hey, it’s all fun really!”
Influenced by the likes of SZA and Jorja Smith, LU injects an authentic realism to the traditional alt-pop that we know, and love. ‘Bad Habits’ sets the scene where the BRIT School graduate takes centre stage. Her slick delivery shimmies and saunters over the sincerity of the intelligent wordplay. From her admission of her epicurean habits to labelling herself an ‘Uber hoe’, LU documents a realistic convivial experience. Before the smooth guitar of the verse is replaced by obnoxious synths and irony in the hook that is.
Bad Habits is the first track of many that LU will be revealing for the rest of the year.
photographer GENEA BAILEY
stylist GRANT SANDIFORD