“I played The Ryman before with City and Colour, and Dallas Green has this array of amazing pedals with him,” recalls London-based singer/songwriter Lucy Rose. “I was drooling over this tremolo pedal of his, and I was going to have to save up for that for a long ass time,” she laughs. “At the end of the tour, he just ripped it off the board and gave it to me. It’s the only pedal I have and I still have it with me.”

As a teenager, Rose decided to pursue music as her life’s work. Playing gigs in London pubs, she honed her songcraft, talent, and style. “I had to work really hard,”she recalls. “I felt like I was just another girl with an acoustic guitar, I don’t fit the mold, so I had to do it DIY for a long time. I recorded my first album in my parents’ living room,” she continues. “I was lucky enough to sing with other bands and be a part of the London scene, and became a part of a really supportive network.”

Ten years later, after countless shows around the world playing to thousands upon thousands of eager listeners, the adventurous Rose, who was just named by the New York Times as one of the 17 standout acts at this year’s SXSW, found herself headed to South America. “It was probably the most important tour I’ve ever done,” she admits. “You get to a stage where you can get so lost in your career, and there are so many artists who don’t even know why they’re doing music anymore, they’ve lost their passion. Expectations for success—to ‘be’ something, to sell this many records, to play in front of this many people to make them feel like they’re doing the right thing—put so much pressure and stress and anxiety on people, and I was feeling like that. I realized I was so lucky to fans at all, and I realized there’s so much pressure to make new fans, and I hadn’t caught up with the fans I already had to try to make more,” she says. “It was important for me to go meet those fans in developing countries. There are huge parts of the world who feel like they’ve been forgotten about and that they may not be as important. I was reading tweets from fans there asking me to come there. My DIY instinct was to do it differently, and make it happen myself,” she says. Rose put the call out to her fans—she wanted to tour and play for them and make the shows free to attend, but in order to accomplish that, she needed places to stay during her travels. “We did eight weeks and lived with fans,” she says. “I feel weird about calling them fans, they’re more like friends to me now. They were a huge source of inspiration for me and reminded me of what music is all about. It can be life-changing. It gave me the biggest reality check of my life. If your music can impact one person’s life, then it’s worth doing it.”

Her latest record, Something’s Changing was largely inspired by that experience. “Every song has a clear message, I was barer in this record than I have been before,” she explains. “This one was so inspired by many other’s stories. Some of the songs are hard to play and hard to listen to, but I wanted it to be an intense record for all the people I’d met. I also learned a lot about myself, some of the things I wish weren’t there in the first place,” she admits. I’d find myself walking into someone’s house, and I’d wonder how we were all going to sleep in the places we were, or the shower consisted of a bucket of water heated with an electric cord stuck in the water. A part of me was scared about it, but then I realized they were sleeping on the floor so we could have their beds, and I was embarrassed, and then overwhelmingly grateful,” she continues. “I was the happiest I’d ever been. Everyone was so kind. I realized I could do more too. Now, my house in England is always full of people, and I try to repay the favor anyway I can,” she adds. “We can all take a page from their book.”

[Click HERE for tickets and show information.]

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