INTERVIEW: Five minutes with The Voice’s Craig Lucas

Photo: Daniel Craig Johnson.

On 27 October, winner of The Voice 2017 Craig Lucas released his debut album, Restless. We spoke to Lucas about the album and his experience on The Voice.

In October, you released your debut album. How did you experience the recording process?

It was very daunting at first. I had never been in a recording studio before. I felt like a fish out of water and doubted myself a lot. The producers however were so welcoming and kind and showed a real appreciation for my songs and my voice. They made me feel good. It was such an incredible feeling seeing my songs come to life – it felt surreal having something I thought of become an actual thing that others could hear and feel.

Which songs on the album did you enjoy recording most?

I enjoyed recording “They don’t really care about us” and “December” the most only because I got to record them back home in Cape Town and we weren’t as pressed for time as we were with most of the other tracks. I also really enjoyed recording “Hearts exposed” a lot because the track kept shape shifting with every round of recording – it was pretty cool to experiment with so many different sounds and versions of the song and then seeing how different it ended up being to what we initially planned.

Has it been a big change for you to move from covering songs on The Voice to recording your own?

Absolutely. Recording my own songs felt more natural – these were my melodies and my words. And even performing them feels different, my body and hands and head instinctually nowhere to go and what to do. I automatically knew what to do and how to deliver it. With the songs on the voice I often has to sit and think and internalise the lyrics and the music in order to find some way for me to relate to it so that when I perform it, it remains genuine.

At your blind audition for The Voice, you sang “House of the Rising Sun”. What made you pick this song?

I have been a big fan of singing competitions for many years. Almost all my favorite contestants from these shows sang “House of the Rising Sun” and killed it. It is a big song, very difficult to sing and a big risk, but they always pulled it off, and when they did, it was ALWAYS a big moment. I knew that if I was able to pull it off, I too would have a moment and I wanted to make a good first impression.

Earlier in 2017 you released your first single, ” I Said This”. What inspired this track?

This track was inspired by me wanting to give back to my fans and everyone who supported me on the voice and after. I was in such an amazing space and so I wanted to put out a feel good track for share the good vibes I was feeling. The lyrics also speak about it being “your song” and “our song” and that’s exactly what I wanted it to be – a song directly for my fans.

What first attracted you to making music?

I was (and still am) a very shy, quiet kid. I didn’t have many friends. I could strike up a conversation or keep one going. I also struggled to express my emotions and so I was very frustrated. Music was the one thing I could turn to that made me feel better without expecting anything in return – I didn’t have to be a certain way, or talk, I could just lay there and listen. Music healed so much in me. I want to be that for someone else, for some other awkward quiet kid struggling somewhere.