SINGER Lou Hickey tasted fame by pairing up with The Fratellis’ frontman Jon Lawler to form Codeine Velvet Club – and now she wants more youngsters to get helped onto the musical ladder.
Songwriter Lou, 28, has spent time working as a singing teacher in Renfrewshire schools and has been a judge on the panel of talent show Renfrewshire Schools Rock Showcase twice.
It’s through Lou’s work in schools that she knows, first-hand, that there is a wealth of untapped talent right here on our doorstep.
Lou, who recently sang Caledonia with Dougie MacLean at the high-profile Scottish independence launch, told the Paisley Daily Express: “When I did the Renfrewshire Schools Rock Showcase last year I was so jealous because when I was at school there was nothing like this.
“I didn’t get in to bands until I was about 19, but some of these kids are as young as 13 and 14.”
Lou, who went to St Luke’s High in Barrhead and has a BA in Applied Music from the University of Strathclyde, said the standard of musicians, singers and songwriters in our schools is first class.
She added: “It is quite a high standard. At last year’s showcase there was a real mix of everything from indie pop to heavy rock. One band I remember well was instrumental and their guitar player was epic.
“I love teaching. I used to be a singing teacher for Renfrewshire Council and worked in six high schools – that is why I was asked back this year as a judge.
“I think if things like this get kids involved in rock and pop music then it’s great, and other councils should do it. They should be encouraging children.
“I picked up piano and learned the clarinet when I was at school, and there was a bit of snobbery – singing is always seen as being a wee bit cooler. There are a lot of great singers out there in the schools, and some of them are quite exciting.
“The guitar and drums are valid instruments. In fact, I know some drummers who make more money than anyone else!”
Lou, from Neilston, is currently in the process of releasing her first solo album, which will be her first release since her Codeine Velvet Club days.
She is doing this through crowd funding, which sees fans helping artists to get their material released.
“Releasing music needs a lot of money to throw about. So nowadays fans can buy the album in advance or buy packages with artwork and merchandise,” she explained.
To find out more about Lou, and her music, find her on Facebook or go online to www.louhickey.co.uk