INTERVIEW: Missy Lancaster
Missy Lancaster is one of Australia’s most promising country music newcomers. After her breakthrough EP “Missy” introduced her to a whole new audience she’s been non-stop touring and working on her highly anticipated debut album. The end result is the impressive and eclectic “Piece Of Me” which is a mature collection of country-pop realness. It’s evident that her songwriting and vocal delivery have substantially grown over the years and what she’s delivered is a strong collection of tracks that are honest and vulnerable. In March she will be performing at the CMC Festival alongside the likes of Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay and Luke Bryan and further cementing her impact and growth on the Australian country music scene. I recently had a chat to her about the record, her favourite touring memories, sending songs to ex-boyfriends and the comparisons to other country artists she receives. Check it out;
TB: Your debut album “Piece Of Me” is finally out in the world and is a strong collection of mature country-pop tracks. What initially drew you towards wanting to create country music?
ML: Thank you very much! I have felt a strong connection to country music my entire life. I was introduced to music at a very early age but I was drawn to the storytelling aspect of country music. The stories are real and the songwriting is honest.
TB: Heartbreak and growing up is a common theme on the album and compared to your previous EP you’ve become a lot more vulnerable in your songwriting. How did you go about breaking down those walls differently?
ML: When I sat down to make this album I had to think long and hard about who I wanted to be as an artist, what I wanted it to sound like, and what I wanted to say. Instead of trying to write songs that I thought people would like and were catchy,I wanted to be real and honest because I knew that people would connect on a deeper level. I knew that this was a chance for me to tell my story and as cliche as it sounds, this album really has been a journey of self discovery and figuring out who I am as an artist. 19-22 is a huge part of figuring out who you are as a person so I wanted the whole album to reflect that chapter of my life.
TB: What would you say is the most vulnerable moment on the album?
ML: The most vulnerable moment on the album is track 6, “Never In Love”. It was such a hard song to sing. I tried not to over sing it. I think the magical moments are in the places where you take a breath and pull back, the story tells itself. It was a very surreal experiencing recording this song as Keith Urban had been recording in the same studio just before myself.
TB: When writing this record were you constantly aware of the comparisons you were going to receive to the likes Kelsea Ballerini, Caitlyn Shadbolt and early Taylor Swift? And did that affect the way you were writing and recording?
ML: I was hugely aware that comparisons were going to be made so I wanted to make something that sounded like me and told my story. I love listening to an album from start to finish because you have insight to the journey of the artists life. I tried to channel all the things I love about my favourite artists and ask myself why I love it. Whether they’re country, pop, or alternative. All genres of music have inspired me and yes I am a country artist but some songs on the album are a little more rock, pop & traditional country. I think great artists have the ability to be versatile.
All of the songs on the album are extremely different so I was unsure of how it was going to work, but I had to remind myself that everything about this album was a journey of my last few years and it was honest. You can have the best songs and production but I think at the end of the day it comes down to the way you tell the story & whether others can connect with that.
TB: You never seem to stop touring or playing shows so what has been your favourite touring memory so far?
ML: I love playing live. I just feel as though I’m completely in my element on stage. My favourite touring memory was coming back to my hometown and hearing 200 people sing my song back to me. This is where I’ve grown up and dreamt of playing music. It’s a strange thing when you write songs because you don’t know whether your ideas or melodies are good. But when you hear others singing & connecting with it, that’s a very powerful and overwhelming thing.
TB: With the release of your debut album how do you think your live show will shift/adapt?
ML: I think my live show will change in terms of those vulnerable moments in the set. I love a rocking show and always will but I think people will be able to connect with me on a deeper level and have more of an insight to who I am as a person.
TB: You’ve played so many shows and festivals with some incredible Australian and international Country acts so what was the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another artist?
ML: The best piece of advice of advice I’ve been given is to stay true to myself and if something doesn’t feel right within my gut it’s probably not. The music industry can be very challenging sometimes and as a young female artist you can be naive, vulnerable and unsure. I will always try and use my platform to empower young men and women and draw upon my own experiences to hopefully help someone else.
TB: So when you write a break up or a love song about someone, do you send it to them or do you just hope that they listen and know its about them?
ML: *Laughs* I think that’s getting borderline crazy to send it to them. I just let the music speak for itself. Sometimes less is more.
TB: Now that your debut album is out have you already started thinking about how you want to grow your sound and songwriting for your next release?
ML: I definitely have! I think as an artist you are always evolving and changing… I already have ideas for album number two.
TB: So let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where I’m going to ask you some little questions and you just answer with the first thing that comes to mind
TB: If I could form a supergroup with any other band or artist it would be…
ML: The McClymonts & Keith Urban. Because I can’t choose just one!
TB: Most mornings I…
ML: Clean my teeth! I have OCD with cleaning my teeth *laughs*! And then I like to make myself a cup of tea and take a moment to be grateful for everything I have.
TB: One song I wish I wrote is:
ML: “If My Name Was Whiskey” by Carly Pearce.
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be…
ML: To be a time traveller. I want to meet my future babies *laughs*.
TB: In 2018 I want to…
ML: Tour, Travel and enjoy the small things because nothing is ever guaranteed and you really do only live once. If you knew you had one day to live you would love that day very differently so I try to use that approach everyday and be grateful that I’m breathing and have the opportunity to share my music.
Missy Lancaster’s debut album “Piece Of Me” is out now and you can purchase a signed copy from Sanity! https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2361219/Piece_Of_Me_SIGNED_COPY