How's lockdown been for you?
Apart from the economical side of things, it's been kind of liberating, in some senses. It really makes you think about the people you spend your time with - and your physical and mental health - so I've used it for the positive, I'd say.
You've recently lost an incredible 3 stone. Have you managed to maintain that weight loss, despite the restrictions in place?
(Laughs) Yeah - that's more a lifestyle change, I haven't just lost weight. I now have a really active lifestyle. I ran 2 half marathons in the last week - 2x 22k runs and a couple of 10k's in the last week too. I focus a lot on running and weight training - and what to eat. It's not to do with weight loss really, more to do with maintaining feeling great.
Have you always ran a bit?
No. I started running in January. I kind of do things to excess - everything in my life. I started running and then after 3 weeks I just decided to run 10k - I've now signed up for Brighton Marathon, next year.
That's impressive! What advice could you give the rest of us, that are perhaps feeling we've gained a few pounds during lockdown and feel particularly lethargic at the moment?
I think the thing to remember is that, whether it's weight gain, or a feeling you have, you are in complete control of your own body - even though sometimes it feels as you're not. I'm sober because I have issues with drinking, the same way I have issues with the moderation of food or alcohol. I've had to take control of those things and remember how actually I am responsible - I am the only person that is responsible for the way I feel and look. So, if you feel a bit down or want to change those things, firstly, they ARE changeable, you're not stuck, you can do it and secondly, that it's down to YOU.
You just mentioned being sober (10 months now), has that been a challenge to maintain in the current circumstances?
No, not for me - and I know it's very different for a lot of people, but not drinking has changed my life an insane, unbelievable amount. It's the whole lifestyle shift, rather than being dependent on using alcohol or food to feel better. I'm fueled by different things now. I don't have any booze in the house and I don't like going to supermarkets!
So your life has really changed dramatically then, since you stopped drinking?
Oh, absolutely. We have a tradition in this country that if we are celebrating, we have a drink. If someone does, we have a drink. Whenever we meet really, we have a drink. When I got sad, I got drunk. When I was happy, I got drunk. Actually being happy or sad, now that I can deal with those emotions and feel them, I think enriches your life - gives you a bit of purpose.
You're going through a divorce at the moment too, but you do sound remarkably positive about life...
Yes. Obviously that's very distressing and sad, but I think this whole lockdown has just made me think that if your family and friends are well, ultimately, that's all that really matters.
I'm guessing all this has given you tons of material to write about on your new album?
Yes, absolutely. The album is called Choices and it's about that natural fork in the road where you suddenly think 'Oh, I've got a lot to think about, choices to make.' There's a song called Sober on there, which explains my reasons for going sober. There's a lot of songs with a bit of attitude on there. I don't really talk about my divorce to the press so much, as I don't think that's fair on my ex, but on this album I say more about everything than I would ever vocalize in person.
There's a tour planned for later this year too - hopefully?
Well, fingers crossed. The health of the people that support my music is the absolute priority. Obviously, the prospect of no summer festivals and no tour is dreadful, but honestly, the priority is the health of the public - so if we have to cancel/pospone, then that's what we have to do.
What's the first thing you will do once the lockdown is lifted?
Go to see my sister and her 6 month old baby.
You have a huge following on social media - over half a million on Twitter - do you feel under pressure to share stuff all the time?
I guess it's just part of the job. I don't think I would have social media otherwise. I don't think anyone should be able to have it until they're 18 - or maybe even older!
What memories do you have of your time on X-Factor?
(Laughs) It was nearly a decade ago, so not many! It was very crazy. A lot of people see it as the highlight of their career, but for me it was just a TV show. It's pretty contrived.
Have you stayed in touch with anyone from the show? Simon Cowell?
No, I've never heard from him. Ever. I speak to Rylan sometimes.
By having to leave the show early, due to illness and subsequently finishing 9th, do you think now that this actually benefited you in the long run?
Oh yes, definitely! I don't see what singing more covers, when you don't intend to sing any covers for the rest of your career, can do for you, to be honest. You could sign to SYCO, but that was never really what I wanted. I just wanted a career with longevity, especially in this country, and that's what I've got - so I'm very thankful. It took me a really long time to regain credibility after going on the show - which I honestly thought I could change by doing my own songs on there, but a lot will just brush you off if you're associated with that show. It;s taken so long to come in to my own, so I am really glad I stuck with it.
I normally write for the regional papers, here in the East Midlands. Do you have any connections with this area?
I do actually. The guy who designs all my merchandise, Dhillan Bhardwaj, is from Nottingham. He's one of my best friends and is coming on tour with me. He owns a company called Ratchet Clothing (www.ratchetclothing.co.uk)
Although you're not an 80s artist, I was really keen to chat to you, not only because of what you've achieved in your music career, but also, as an ex-athlete myself, I am in awe of the transformation you have made with your body. However, I must ask, do you have any 80s musical influences?
Yes, Melissa Etheridge, she's an American 80s artist that I like a lot. Boy George, too. I actually wrote a couple of songs with him - he's a lovely guy. IOU, which we wrote together, is on my We Are album. It was very surreal. I even gave him a lift home and I was like 'WTF.....!!’
Lucy's album, Choices, will be released later this year.
Lucy Spraggan Choices Tour 2020
15 Nov 02 Academy Glasgow
16 Nov 02 Academy Sheffield
18 Nov 02 Academy Bristol
19 Nov 02 Shepherds Bush Empire
22 & 23 Nov 02 Ritz Manchester
More dates to be announced.
Lucy’s debut top 20 hit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzcytiq8ZOo