Lyla Foy translates sensitivity to songwriting

“Put on Missy Elliott or something and just goof dance!”

Lyla Foy translates sensitivity to songwriting

By Rebecca Durband

London singer-songwriter Lyla Foy releases her second album ‘Bigger Brighter’ in September. Signed to Sub Pop, Foy has toured with a range of alt-rock royalty from The National and Sharon Van Etten to Midlake and Fleet Foxes.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

At this second in time I’m listening to Bedouine, a new artist to come out of Spacebomb Studios in Virginia, who I love. The Shacks, Frankie Cosmos, and Mr Jukes are also on heavy rotation. I’ve just finished reading Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin which I’ve been meaning to get into for a while. There’s an atmosphere in it which really transports. That’s sort of what I look for in all books and music. I want to be taken away and out of myself (and preferably to Paris). I absolutely cannot listen to music and read at the same time, who can do that?! I always drift into the music and the lyrics and listen to that story. I don’t have a TV at home but I’ll stream Black Mirror or Handmaid’s Tale if I’m Netflix and chilling.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

Sometimes there are dark months as a creative, when you’re not sure when you’re going to see the next pay cheque. Those are the most challenging times for me. I’m super sensitive so I get hurt when things don’t go to plan. But there’s a silver lining and that’s writing. All the stress and sadness can be translated into songs, even happy sounding songs (rare) but songs for sure!

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

Nothing on my to-do-list. Straight onto my Mellotron and write some tunes, then spend the evening by a lake or at the beach with cold meats and good peeps.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Anyone who’s not born into a war zone should feel eternally grateful.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Ace mental health for me means honesty (to myself, mainly). I’ve found that really hard in the past, but I try not to hide my tears and fears anymore.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I’m not a consistent model of health when it comes to food. But luckily I do love healthy stuff and I’m obsessed with swimming and running so it tends to balance out. I see more of a correlation between working out and my happiness than food and happiness. Having said that cake makes me feel terrible and eggs and curry (not together) make me feel good.

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

I really like to change it up but I do lots of yoga, dancing, cycling and running. Swimming is a constant – I could not live without it. I walk everywhere.

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

Aha! Yes, my friend Claire sometimes breaks into tag when walking along together or in a group situation. It’s so silly, I love it! It’s crazy how quickly it knackers you out as a fully grown person. It’s probably an amazing HIIT workout or something.

What three songs lift your spirits?

Something Is Worrying Me – Otis Reading

Periodically Double Or Triple – Yo La Tengo

I Believe – Alex Hepburn

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

I don’t think I’ve read a self-help book before, but not because I don’t need help or support but I’d rather talk to my family for friends and hear personal stories and tailored advice. That’s just me though! My family live pretty closely by this saying – “If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again”.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed? 

The rumours are true, it makes you feel so blissed out to stretch and slide about and then just lie in peace for a few minutes. And dance, put on Missy Elliott or something and just goof dance!

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