Emerging jazz singer-songwriter, Anoushka Lucas delves into her debut album release, geeking out over songwriting, and speaking terrible Russian.
Anoushka Lucas is in a cupboard. Sort of. Ducking into the tiny Writer’s Room in the Bush Theatre on her lunch break to speak to Headliner, she explains that she’s managed to squeeze in between a desk and an armchair.
“So, that’s a good visual,” she laughs.
Described as “an exceptional voice and a great songwriter,” by Jamie Cullum, Lucas is known for her singer-songwriting capabilities, influenced by the sounds of Carole King, Zadie Smith, Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday. Acting, however, is something new:
“I’ve never acted before,” she admits, whilst discussing her part in Chiaroscuro, which finished in late 2019. “I have this funny side-career in theatre – it’s not funny,” she corrects herself. “I thought I would come to London, make my music and be somewhere with it quite early on, and actually it has taken a lot longer for me to understand what sound I wanted to make, and how I want to present myself – and also to navigate the industry. It has changed a lot over the last 10 years.”
Lucas has a strong background in musical theatre, composing many original scores, and for a ‘non-actor,’ has made decent cameos in Kenneth Brannagh’s Murder on the Orient Express as well as Netflix musical, Been So Long, although she says her scenes all got cut.
“Now I’m about to compose the music for a new, big musical, which is funny because I’ve always been so focussed on my own music, that I didn’t notice that I was doing so much theatre work, and now I realise that it has become another part of my career. After tiptoeing around [acting], I said, ‘okay, I think I’m ready to do some proper acting,’– so [Chiaroscuro] was my first proper go at it, which is pretty nerve-wracking, but fun. I like doing things that scare me because I think that keeps me focussed. If I sit back on stuff I find easy, I get kind of bored, and I think what I do isn’t as good.”