From: NY, United States
Genre: Pop, Soul, Jazz
Lucy Woodward began her musical life when she was born in London twenty-something years ago. Lucy’s father was a composer, conductor for the BBC Singers and director of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. Her mother was a belly dancer/musicologist who also studied opera. After living in Amsterdam briefly, Lucy moved with her family to New York City when she was five. “I was lucky to have had such an international lifestyle when I was so young, because it’s a big part of who I am today,” she says. When she was in high school, her mother became a music teacher and moved the family to the Bronx. Lucy found other kids who “wanted to sing everywhere,” she recounts. “You couldn’t stop us. We’d sing and dance Salsa.” The first songs she recorded were House music, because “everyone’s dad or brother had a studio in his basement.” Lucy found singing that kind of music “liberating and improvisationally freeing” and she began to write her own songs.
An exceptional talent and terrific live performer, Lucy is already a young veteran of the music business. Lucy’s song "Dumb Girls" from her Atlantic Records 2003 debut album While You Can was a Top 40 chart hit, which allowed her to tour internationally in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America, as well as garner her significant press exposure including a spot on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".
Lucy’s song "There's Gotta Be More To Life" earned her a BMI songwriter's award and she's recorded songs for several film soundtracks including What A Girl Wants, First Daughter and Accepted, as well as covering Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” for Disney’s Ice Princess. “My good friend Jamie Houston who I wrote with on my first record was producing the track. The song took about an hour to cut, and in that time I knew I had the inspiration for my next record. That vocal made me open up in ways I hadn’t done before. It was really satisfying.” Lucy plunged back into her record collection and pulled out all the recordings of her favorite songstresses – singers like the sassy powerhouse Etta James and the wild and idiosyncratic entertainer Betty Hutton, who had originated “It’s Oh So Quiet” in the early 1950s. “Her fearlessness just blew me away.” But, Lucy adds, “I have so many musical influences, and I knew I needed this record to allow for that. I am a singer fan. When a singer can make her voice dance, that’s what moves me.”
After the success of While You Can, Lucy felt a shift in her songwriting inspiration. “I kept coming back to three albums in my collection: Julie London, Ray Charles, and the soundtrack of The Jungle Book. They were triggering something in me I hadn’t felt in a while and I knew I was brewing up the sound for my next bunch of songs.”
Lucy’s new album, Lucy Woodward...Is Hot and Bothered was co-produced by Lucy and Itaal Shur (Cyndi Lauper, Jewel, Ricky Martin, Robi Rosa and Maxwell), her longtime collaborator and musical director. A multiple award-winning composer and producer, Itaal is best known for having written the smash hit “Smooth” with matchbox20’s Rob Thomas for Carlos Santana, which won the “Song of the Year” Grammy in 1999. “All of our songs were written on piano or guitar, but Tim K. was integral in tying the songs to all the strings, melatrons, horns, live and programmed drums, and whatever else we could muster up to make our sonic template,” says Itaal. “Writing solid songs and having this innovative soundscape to showcase them on was our goal.”
Lucy and Itaal teamed up with electronica-inspired Tim K. (half of Home & Garden), and the three set out to create a funky, sultry, pop/torch song record with twisted beats. The title song, “Hot and Bothered” takes the melody of a Yiddish lullaby Lucy’s grandmother sang to her as a baby. “It turned out pretty racy, but I still think Grandma Sylvia would approve if she heard it now,” Lucy says. “Lucy and I wrote the song ..Hot and Bothered’ before she recorded the Atlantic album,” says Itaal. “I felt [While You Can] was good, but only scratched the surface of who she was as an artist. I told her I wanted to make an album with her that was totally 100% bona-fide Lucy. I wanted to capture the rambunctious, whimsical, funky, melancholy, sexy, soulful, playful, and explosive Lucy that I had known for years.”
Recently, Lucy performed on “American Idol” judge and superstar producer Randy Jackson’s debut album for Concord Records, which is being released in March, and she sang on Celine Dion’s latest release, Taking Chances that is out now.
Lucy’s journeys have led her further from New York each year, and to Kenya many times. In 2006 she went to Rwanda to visit an AIDS village that she and her friends had been raising money for. Another year they brought school supplies to a Nicaraguan children’s refugee camp. “Most of my friends are musicians, so we had a talent show. We sang Bob Marley songs to the kids, and they sang us songs about Jesus. We had our broken Spanish, and they didn’t speak a word of English, so music was the only thing that connected us.” Lucy was recently asked to sing for Desmond Tutu at a benefit for his foundation in Dallas, and she sang with Carole King at another benefit in New York.
Lucy is currently touring along the east coast of the US promoting Lucy Woodward…Is Hot and Bothered.