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ACM vocal alumna, Lucy Randell, has had quite the ride since graduating from ACM – including featuring on Gorillaz’ studio album Plastic Beach and performing with The Streets. Off the back of her latest album release, Heads Up, we caught up with Lucy – A.K.A Annique…

Tell us a bit about your background.
I grew up in Essex and was always singing and generally performing – you literally couldn’t shut me up! Mum was also a singer and taught me and my sister to sing in harmony as kids, this really helped me out later in life. My father is an artist and my sister acts, she performs burlesque and also teaches art – so we’re all very creative in our family. This is why I am in a career such as music – it’s how I was raised, it’s what I know best and I am just overwhelmed with how performing / listening to music can really motivate me emotionally. For example if I want to get house work done or work out I put on some drum n bass or James brown, if I want to relax I’ll listen to classical, jazz or artist like Jill Scott, if I’m baking I’ll play early Ella Fitzgerald Gerald or 1920’s music, and if I need cheering up, I’ll put on swing music to put a spring in my step. It all excites me massively! Sometimes I do like a bit of peace and quiet though – no music, no conversation just silence.

Tell us about what you were involved with whilst at ACM?
I graduated from Acm a while back now so my memory is a little rusty, but off the top of my head, ACM hooked me up with performing at a few exhibitions; Tomorrow’s World show at Earl’s Court being one of them. I did some voice over work for Eagle radio, Death in Vegas and Sound Eduction. Although I haven’t received all my work since graduating from ACM directly, pretty much all of it has been a lead from a contact I met there.

What are your aspirations for the future?
My main focus is getting my debut album Heads Up out as into the world as possible – then tour it. The festival scene is one I have always loved. I have played a few festivals abroad as Annique. I have also performed at Glastonbury a few times with another band I write with (Step 13) but would also love to do Glastonbury with the Heads Up album. I would also like to hear some of my songs remixed into dance or urban music and maybe do some collaborations.

So what Can We Expect For The Remainder Of 2015?
Heads Up was released March 23rd in the UK and we had a cracking launch party at the Gilgamesh in Camden. The show included a full 8 piece band – it was so much fun! We spent the last year making a shed load of music videos and the latest of them will be released closer to the time of the launch but for now here is one we prepared earlier.

How did your course prepare you for life in the music business world?
It gave me the right attitude, tools, knowledge and contacts you need to get by in the industry. It also gave me a launching platform with experience and confidence in performing with professionals. Being away from home and any distractions, helped me to focus but everyone is different I guess.

Do you have any advice for those looking to get in to industry?
Get out there and meet people. Even if you’re not at the stage where you have found your sound or style, it’s still worth it as that will come with time and experience. Why not hook up locally with friends who are musical and just see what happens. If it doesn’t end up being your kind of thing at least you’ll have experience of what you like / dislike and what makes you tick, I guess. You never know where you’ll meet your next lead in life. If like me you needed a total change, go to a music school. You may find you enjoy a role behind the scenes ie. management or PR. Just meeting new people and being challenged with a new look on life can really boost your spirits and get you inspired, not to mention lead on to bigger things. Make sure your team are the best you can get and don’t sign your work away impulsively, on the whim of what seems like a great idea or false promise – a contract is a contract and they are hard to break. Seek advice, as much as you can, as often as you can. Know as much as possible about the ‘business’ of music as the creation of music and be confident enough to ask questions. Once you’re established and confident make sure you have social media and a website in place as they are vital.

What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
After my GCSEs I went to a local college to study performing arts but got too distracted. I fell behind on the course work and quit after 6 months – I had no job and no direction. My mum saw I was at a turning point in my life so suggested I went to ACM for an audition. At first, being the eccentric teenager I was, I was outraged that she was suggesting me leaving home, but after I stormed off upstairs and had a quiet moment to myself I thought – why not? What’s to lose? I am doing nothing here. So I went, and I got in! I felt so proud of myself. From then on I was a different person. I was away from all of the distractions and extremely focused. I also had two jobs as well as studying. It was literally a u-turn for me. The college noticed me and put me forward for work that came through – which I am eternally grateful for. I guess more than anything it gave me a chance to perform with a live band. Any contacts/professional work that I have now has been through ACM. For instance my best friend (who was on my course at ACM) asked me to sub for her in a band, that was the band I met my co-writer Koby Israelite in. I also met other musicians and the backing vocals for The Streets and The Gorillas was another lead from that. In short it was massive a turning point in my life and one of the best decisions I ever made.

What was the best part about studying at ACM?
Probably the fact that ACM changed my whole perspective on life. I think I would’ve been on a completely different path. It was where I met one of my best friends and I am still in touch with a lot of the pupils in my year, who are also very successful in their careers related to the arts.

Keep up to date with Annique via her Website, on Twitter and Facebook.