Craig Lucas became an absolute star with his rendition of The Animals' House of the Rising Sun and received four chair turns during his audition for The Voice SA. I chatted to the Cape Town heartthrob, singer and songwriter about his roots, what inspires him and what generally makes him tick.
Who is Craig Lucas and where are you from?
I was raised in Elsies River. I am an introvert and hated the spotlight, so my main focus was always school. I perceive myself as a monotonous person, so I am very quiet, and the stereotypical introvert, however, the competition stretched me and took me out of my comfort zone. My father passed when I was three and my mom raised myself and my (only) brother Warren.
How long have you been singing?
I always loved singing, but didn’t like big crowds. So I participated in smaller shows, such as my school talent show and other smaller events, but The Voice forced me to swim and I slowly overcame my stage fright.
So I heard that you are quite a ‘smarty’?
(Laughs) I was the top achiever of my grade in matric and was amongst the top 15% at university. I did undergrad economics, and switched post grad in finance and achieved a cum laude.
What kind of music inspires you?
I love all kinds of music, but I am a songwriter prior to being a singer. I’ve always wanted to write songs and produce for famous people. I want to create music that people can relate to and I find groups such as Florence and the Machine and Lorde very different, but relatable. I also love old school rock like Journey and Queen.
I know Kanye West often basks in his own glory, but I love that he is so confident and that he doesn’t really care what anyone thinks. Locally, I love Jimmy Nevis’ music, because his music is quite unique. My music playlist is quite diverse, so I am open to all kinds of music.
Well done with achieving top 6! Why The Voice?
I have been watching the American version for the longest time and found that it is a very uplifting show. The judges are called coaches, and instead of eliminating people, they actually ‘save’ them. The show encourages positivity.
Where do you see yourself in the competition?
Previously, I just wanted to survive every week, and go to the next round. Now I have realise I stand a chance to win, and I really want to win! I am doing everything I can to achieve this, so I am always trying new things.
Which celebs would you would like to collaborate with?
The South African music industry is filled with talent, and as much as I love working with Khan, I would also love to collaborate with Lira. She just completed a song for Disney, which I can’t stop listening to. There are also plenty of producers like Timo ODV and Sketchy Bongo who collaborate with local artists and make great music. Shakirah is also an amazing artist, whom I would love to work with.
Are you a bathroom singer?
Absolutely! I sing all day, every day (not just in bathroom and shower).
What do you in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family, and one or two really good friends. I also enjoy going to the movies by myself (or friends).
What does one do to get your attention romantically?
You must be an extrovert who is sociable and who makes me laugh, and who talks a lot! I am a quiet person, so another introvert may make things awkward.
People who complain all the time!
Have you gotten used to being a celebrity?
During the show one does not feel any different, as you don’t spend time with a lot of people. You use the time to prepare for the live show. On a Sunday, after the show, the supporters wait and say hello. It still feels surreal, and has not sunken in. I enjoy listening to why they support me and their inspiring and encouraging words.
What is your favourite song?
I have a few including; Florence and the Machine’s Shake it Out. In the lyrics it says – “It’s hard to dance with devil on you back, so shake him off.” Sometimes the weight of show is heavy, but it’s important to stay strong.
What has The Voice done for you?
The Voice helped build my confidence, helped me grow, and gave me plenty of time to reflect.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I would love to do music full time, especially concentrate on the piano and the guitar. I also would like to produce music and write songs for different artists. There are plenty of excellent artists that never get the exposure they need and I would like to assist them and pay it forward.
What is your biggest or weirdest fear?
Cockroaches! I cannot touch them, I am so afraid of them!
What advice do you have for people who are interested in entering the industry?
Just be yourself. There is a space for you in this world. Don’t be like anyone else. Stay true to yourself. People vote for people they relate to. Money might make you rich, but it does not last, you will find more reward in just being yourself.
You can follow Craig’s journey on Thee Voice every Sunday on M-Net at 17h30. To vote, download WeChat for up to 100 free votes per day or SMS 01 to 33692.