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Lou Hickey, Codeine Velvet Club

Photo of Lou Hickey, Codeine Velvet Clubcourtesy of the artist

How would you describe your music?

"Codeine Velvet Club, its a retro mix of rock n roll, orchestral pop, with vintage jazz undertones?

My solo material is a mix of pop, burlesque, jazz, Cabaret, swing blues."

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"In Codeine Velvet Club, there are two members including myself. The rest of the band are session musicians. I am the joint lead singer and song writer with my band mate Jon. In the studio, as Jon has been producing the albums etc he takes on a more dominant role than myself. Im fairly happy with this, as having always produced my solo material, its a welcomed break and lets me learn and observe. In business and marketing, the record label etc deal more with Jon, despite my efforts to be more included in these decisions. Its incredibly frustrating. I do feel this is because I am female. My suggestions often get ignore, then revisited 3 months later when the men think its their idea! haha

With my solo work, I am the sole song writer, producer, manager. I deal with everything from arrangements to finances. "

Describe your gear.

"For Codeine Velvet Club, I mostly sing, and occasionally play percussion.

For my solo work, I play a Roland RD 300GX I also have a piano in my house

I've also got in-ear monitors. "

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"Yes, I do think there is a difference. But I also think it depends which area of music you are in and what kind of people you are working with. As I have said, often my ideas get ignored, then a few months later one of then men will bring it up saying its their idea. When my band signed, I realized that everyone would approach my band mate Jon with ideas for approval and not myself. I am constantly having to ask for information. I feel like I have to prove my intelligence a little and work a lot harder than a lot of men I know in the business."

Related Themes: Cashing In She's Got The Look

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

"I think the 70's saw the start of a big change with punk, DIY, etc, and I think there has been a constant progression from this. Women are using music to voice their opinions and concerns, as well as making a career for themselves. I released my first two records myself. More and more women are doing this and learning more about the business. They are also becoming more business minded. More and more women have active roles in this industry. Not so much that it is perfectly even, but its an improvement.


Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"I was just told it was hard, and that I would need to toughen up. You have to put yourself out there and give it everything you've got. It is hard being a female working in the music business. To someone starting out, I would say, keep your head down, work hard, and if people choose not to see your intelligence and talent, then more fool them. Sometimes playing up on their pre-conceptions of women is the very thing that can outsmart them the most. You can use it to your advantage. "

Related Themes: She's Got The Look Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

"I have been singing as long as I can remember. I started learning piano when I was 6. We had a piano in my house, and my sister used to go for lessons, and listening to her made me want to play.

At primary I learned the clarinet, and in high school I took up the cornet and trombone. At University I moved my focus to vocals. "

Related Themes: The First Time