Your new favourite Queen of Pop and our Festival of Sails Emerging Artist Stage Winner.
The 2023 Festival of Sails Forte Emerging Artist Stage winner, Jacqui Lumsden, is a beacon of light; her music guides listeners through the tumult of everyday life. The brightness of her vocals paired with the sheer beauty of her authentic pop-inspired tunes creates a soothing balm for all, momentarily ridding us of worldly stressors as Lumsden’s intoxicating melodies wash over our senses.
Formerly the lead singer of pop-punk outfit Creature Fear, Lumsden has recently unleashed her solo venture into the world in the style of Carly Rae Jepsen and Marina and the Diamonds.
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Feeling like a natural evolution, Lumsden has opened up a new chapter in an already impressive career, officially ushering in her arrival as a pop phenomenon. With a string of singles already released, including her most recent poignant yet upbeat track ‘Closer’, Lumsden takes risks while keeping true to her roots, launching a sound that is entirely her own.
While no stranger to the local music scene, she captured our attention instantly, intoxicating us with the dulcet tones that are carried ever so sweetly throughout each track she shared on that Emerging Artist Stage in January. Couple that with engaging pop melodies and what is left is a showcase of songs one can let loose all inhibitions – embracing self-love and dancing as if a spell were cast. Lumsden’s music just seems to tick all the boxes.
Having toured with the likes of Ball Park Music and Killing Heidi, treating audiences to her impassioned vocals and synth-heavy instrumentals, Lumsden’s live show is colourful and theatrical all at once. She is a new force on the live scene that should be enjoyed, partly influenced by her love of theatre in her younger years.
“I did a lot of musical theatre as a child and thought that was going to be my destiny. You can imagine my devastation when I realised I was a terrible actor and dancer! But when one door closes, another opens and after high school, I found my passion for writing songs and performing my own music.”
Now Lumsden wears confidence like a badge of honour, particularly evident in her captivating, interactive and optimistic stage presence, fuelled by her bubbly yet enormous energy.
“I love seeing my songs connect with people. Some people will remember certain lyrics of mine, others will say my melodies get stuck in their heads – it’s just amazing. There are those special gigs that happen now and again where your mind just switches off and every part of the performance is just automatic but somehow still unpredictable,” she says.
“I find it’s in those moments where I feel the most confident to push a little harder, be a bit crazier and bring all the energy I can. I live for those moments. I’m high off a good gig for a week afterwards.”
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Channelling a melting pot of powerhouse female influencers in Hayley Williams, Kate Bush, Carly Rae Jepsen, Rina Sawayama, St Vincent and Vera Blue, Lumsden has found a new maturity in recent years, reintroducing the artist as one with substance, style and soul-stirring finesse.
With a commitment to her craft, Lumsden’s charming, urgent pop single ‘System Overload’ carried her to the semifinals of Listen Up Music’s 2022 Songwriting Prize. In 2021, she was awarded the Fuse Darebin Songwriter’s Award for her atmospheric single ‘Don’t Go Loving The Same’.
“Winning the Darebin Songwriters Award in 2021 was huge for me. It’s just a small council award but it validated for me that I was on the right path. It’s the proudest of myself I’ve ever been. I’d written something that had connected with people and I was being awarded for it. Unreal.”
Captivating listeners with her authenticity and individuality, It’s undeniable that Lumsden is a powerhouse. Her music is magnetic and gripping, odd enough to make you stay, fantastic enough to leave you in awe. Being entirely independent, it’s no surprise that her style perfectly encapsulates who she is as an artist: driven, bold and dynamic, giving her an edge that makes her wonderfully unique.
“As a completely independent artist, I have lots of challenges. The biggest one is definitely finding that balance between working enough so that I can survive but not too much that I don’t have time to create music and content,” she shares.
“I’ve completely self-funded every music video, studio recording, photoshoot, PR campaign, you name it. It’s not easy but I believe I’m a good investment.”
If her successes so far are any indication of where this artist is headed, then we’re unapologetically all in on Jacqui Lumsden, especially with a highly anticipated debut EP on the way.
“I’m currently recording my debut EP which I hope to release sometime this year. I’ll be playing at Moomba festival in March where I’ll be debuting a lot of the new material so definitely a show worth checking out.”
You can listen to Jacqui Lumsden on all good streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube.