Hype List 2024: Lucy Tun: “World-building is important; that takes time”

With a knack for larger-than-life storytelling, Lucy Tun‘s sonic tapestry is as diverse as her talents. 

Words: Martyn Young.
Photos: Patrick Gunning.

Lucy Tun is one of those exceptionally talented people who can seemingly do anything. She’s a DJ, a producer, a singer, a songwriter, a sound engineer, a classical music expert, and she’s also really good at knitting. In 2023, though, Lucy began to make the leap from the alternative electronic music scene under her previous musical alias of LCYTN into the bright alt-pop wonderland of 2023 as Lucy Tun, flourishing under her own name and using her distinct talents to create an immersive world of eclectic and genre-bending pop on her stunning EP, ‘Unreal’. 

Lucy has always been very busy and remarkably creative, regularly recognised for her DJ and production work over the last five years, but it’s now that everything is coalescing into one glorious package with her refined creative vision. “This year has been pretty explosive,” she begins, characterising 2023 as the moment she gathered all these ideas and feelings and began piecing them together to really make it happen. “A lot of first times happened this year. Some of this music is two years old. There was a lot of thinking involved in the previous years and not a lot of doing, while this year is a lot of doing and not much thinking. It’s been a transformative year for me.” 

“I’m always trying to put myself in different shoes”

lucy tun

Lucy’s musical exploration has always seen her follow her own path. “My music journey has been quite colourful,” she explains. “I’ve tried, and I still am trying as many things as I can, from how I started to where I am now and the communities that I operate in. I feel like I’m always trying to put myself in different shoes. Music has always been like that for me. When I was a teenager, I was really into classical music. I was a violin player, and I played piano for my school. I ran my school choir, and I was in orchestras. I was a sound engineer for a year up until the end of 2022. I was working as a sound engineer in a recording studio. Before that, I did a mixing and mastering course. The year before that, I was heavily into DJing. I’ve gone through all these different phases. It’s really helped me in that it’s pushed me to focus this year; as much as doing all these cool things has been fun, there has to be some form of continuity, and you have to stick to something.” 

The thing that she’s stuck to is ‘Unreal’, her first collection of music released under her own name. A culmination of years of experimenting, honing her craft, musical discovery and personal reflection. To illustrate the disparate sounds and influences that make up her music and her whole expansive sonic tapestry, Lucy uses a film analogy that highlights the blockbuster potential of her stories coming to life. “I saw the first Avengers film when all of the Avengers came together, and it was this mind-blowing thing of five superheroes who all had their own little worlds coming together to build this bigger world, and I thought how amazing that was,” she smiles. “In a way, I planned this EP and this project with a little bit of inspiration from that.” 

“In a way, I planned this EP and this project with a little bit of inspiration from the Avengers”

lucy tun

“I feel like each single has its own journey and personality. Even sonically and genre-wise, they sound not too similar. I got inspired by how each song had its own feeling and each character in Marvel has its own personality and story,” she continues expanding on the film analogy. “When a really good story is told, whether you’re a musical artist or an artist or a writer or producer, telling a good story is the main thing, if you’re able to expand that story enough so people can find all these details and take that for themselves then that’s a really good piece of art. The details are important, and world-building is important. That takes time. The main thing for me was coming to terms with the fact that good things take time. There isn’t really a rush to put something out. I’ve taken my time to build as much as I can with the songs I have now.” 

The songs themselves feature the kind of wide-eyed ecstasy and endless possibilities of dreaming that characterises her best work, like on previous banger singles like ‘Kulture Klub’. You can hear the genre-mashing sounds of guitar-led rock track ‘Rabbit Hole’ or the disco swoosh of electro turbo banger ‘Diary’. It’s intoxicating stuff. 

“The do-it-yourself energy is so high”

lucy tun

As well as being a visionary artist in her own right, Lucy is also part of the loose collective of artists that form the Loud LDN scene focusing on high energy, D&B-driven pop but with an experimental and refreshingly forward-thinking outlook. “It’s a crazy time,” exclaims Lucy. “It feels amazing to be coming up with people at the same time that I know and I’m friends with. It’s all happening at the same time.” Lucy also stresses how hardworking and self-nurturing these artists are in spirit and work ethic, with people like Caity Baser, Charlotte Plank, Issey Cross, and Venbee truly infiltrating the mainstream. A new generation of artists thriving in a new musical ecosystem. “For some of these artists, people will see them and think they have a huge team behind them, but it’s literally just them. The do-it-yourself energy is so high amongst all of these artists coming up at the same time. When you think about how music was consumed 25 years ago, it’s a completely different market. The entry barriers for making an album, recording it, producing a CD or vinyl, getting it in shops and having people buy it or stream it is completely different now. A track can literally be done in your bedroom on your phone. That’s so crazy. I feel really excited to make art like that as well alongside my friends.” 

Going forward, Lucy wants to continue to mesh genres and sounds and warp them to fit her own singular vision. “My idea was if I set the parameters so wide, then can anyone put me in a box?” she asks. “I wanted to put everything out there and get everything off my chest with ‘Unreal’.” So, what’s next, then? “There’s a lot of music, she smiles. “This year was the beginning, and next year is going to be much more honed in. I want to do storytelling on a larger scale and make something more conceptual. That’s something that I’m working towards at the moment. This project is testing out the waters, but the next project after that is going to be much more polished.” 

Taken from the December 2023 / January 2024 issue of Dork.


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