Interview | Luchi

Our alumna tells us how she used ICMP's facilities to film live videos of for her debut album, 'Alien Girl'...



Originally from Italy, ICMP Songwriting alumna Luchi has found her voice and hit a creative stride in London.

Luchi (known as Lucia Carmignani) completed her studies in 2021 and has been refining her sound and music ever since. While studying with us, she utilised the space at our Queen's Park campus to record and film live versions of the tracks that make up her recently released debut album, 'Alien Girl'

You can watch the series here and get to know Luchi more in our new interview exploring the video sessions and record below.   

You can also catch Luchi performing live on 3rd May at Pizza Express Live (Holborn)

To start off, what led you to ICMP? 

After graduating from music high school in Italy, I knew I wanted to continue my music studies through university and always dreamed about living in London. During one of my visits, I met one of your alumni, Richard Fairlie, and he recommended ICMP to me. 

At the time I was working on an Italian artist project but felt stuck and in need of a change. After my audition, it was clear to me that starting a course  at ICMP was going to be exactly what I needed!

How did you find your time with us? What were the most important things you learned? 

I absolutely loved my time at ICMP! The first year was an incredible change of perspective from the small town I left in Italy to a city as big and crazy as London.

At ICMP, I immersed myself fully into a music environment and spent so much time around creative people that it really pushed me to learn a lot about myself as an artist and as a person." 

I learned what it means to be an independent artist and I gathered as many assets I could to be one. 

For someone like me, that feels writing and music in general is something extremely private and to be done in the comfort of my own room, I opened myself up to collaborations and learned as much as I could from others. 

At ICMP, I also met some of my closest friends and collaborators and created a network that is still very present and valuable. 

Could you talk about your debut album? What is the record all about? 

'Alien Girl' is a journal in music form. It's the story of my first years in London moving from Italy. 

In the hope that other people can relate to this, I started feeling like an 'alien' in my own country. So I moved away and found a welcoming environment for my music, loving friends and an opportunity for independence. I felt understood. 

This album is almost like the story of a second birth for me, artistically and humanly. I wanted to honour my roots as much as the new community of people I found and my first time falling in love. 

It's not an extraordinary 'over the top' story, but it's very human and real and the songs in the album can be relatable and maybe bring some relief to other people's lives. 

Were these songs written during your time at ICMP? 

Oh yes! During my time on the Songwriting course, I had so many opportunities to write and to be inspired by different topics and approaches. 

Life events and education were mixing up perfectly and it really was a highly creative time of my life! What an incredible memory to have! 

Where did the idea for the live video sessions come from? How did you get the team together to create them? 

In 2020, I decided to put together a band and start performing my songs live. Little did I know I was going to find some of my closest friends and collaborators in the process. We all became very enthusiastic about the arrangements and loved playing together live.

Soon it became the most enjoyable aspect of the whole project and it inspired the making of everything else (the original album included!). 

Additionally to live shows, I wanted to frame the whole experience into something we could go back and re-watch at any time in the future. I also wanted to give an opportunity to anyone that came to our gigs or never made it to one, to have something available to them at all times! 

I love the concept of including people that can't physically make it to a show, with a virtual version of the same thing! 

There are many different collaborators involved in the project? Was it a challenge to have so many? 

The biggest challenge will always be finding a time when everybody is available! I am grateful to the WhatsApp groups for making it a bit easier on that side! 

For everything else, it was an absolute joy. The musicians I have played with in the last few years have always been very active in my projects and I liked exchanging ideas and creating the sound together for this one. 

When it comes to my own music, I am very protective but everyone I collaborated with on this one (who are also my friends) knew that and always respected my vision. For anything that went outside of it, I loved letting someone else take the wheel and I couldn't be happier with the results. 

Have you any advice for music makers or creatives looking to take on a project like this? 

Take your time and be patient. I recorded this project at the end of 2021 and was only able to finish and release it in April 2024. 

Life as an independent artist can be overwhelming and full of challenges but if you believe in your creative voice and you try to be patient with what's available to you at the moment, it will give you so much satisfaction."

Also, remember that you make your own rules and you decided how to manage yourself! That is the beauty of being independent. 

What would you advise anyone looking to join ICMP? 

Make the most of it! I absorbed so much during my time at uni and wrote so much music. 

I would advise to take it as an opportunity to be vulnerable and fail as much as possible. Consider each classroom as an opportunity to train for the real world out there. Also, remember to have fun!

What have you been up to since you left? How did you orientate yourself in the industry? 

Since I left ICMP, I learned so much about myself as a person outside of any school environment and this newly found maturity reflected deeply on my writing. I am diving deeper into researching my sound and what 'my sound' means to me. 

I definitely learned that the music industry is an interesting place made of very specific rules and many rule breaks at the same time. 

I am navigating finding the best role for me in it and exploring all the routes. I have always been interested in from writing and production to performing and working behind the scenes. 

And what are you up to next this year? 

Now that the 'Alien Girl' era is coming to an end, my goal for this year is to work on a new chapter of music releases. 

You can expect a darker, deeper introspection in my songs and a little bit of a detachment from that dreamy alien girl state. 

However, before I do that, I would like to invite you to one last big celebration go 'Alien Girl' on the 3rd May, live at Pizza Express Live (Holborn). 

I hope to see you there!! 

Get tickets for the gig and listen to the album on Spotify below:

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by ICMP staff writer
April 15, 2024
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