Get to Know: Lucy Baker, Comedic-Genius-stroke-Saucy-Songstress
Unfortunately we're all pretty familiar with dick pics nowadays - but what to do about it? Not So Popular's Tash Cordeaux speaks with London's up and coming YouTube sensation, Lucy Baker, the master-mind behind 'Don't Send Girls Pictures of Your Penis'.
It's a fantastic day in Soho, and I find myself sat beside Lucy Baker talking about penises, shit nightclubs, selfies and Donald Trump. A standard Monday lunchtime if you ask me...
NSP: So Lucy, before we get down to the zipper, let's talk about the beginning. When did you first start writing these delightfully devilish verses?
LB: Well, it first started when I got to university and I had a bit of a shocker... Day 2, I was stumbling out of a college bar, tripped on a step and broke my ankle. Not ideal as my broken ankle and crutches made it virtually impossible for me to make friends. So, for term one I mainly ended up writing tunes.
NSP: What was the first one? What was the reaction on campus like?
LB: It was about how shit Durham nightlife is. At that point it was officially home to the 2nd worst nightclub in Europe. That was until the first burnt down, and then it took pride of place as THE worst. Reaction wise - as Durham's not really an arsty university, there seemed to be no one else commenting creatively on these things. Luckily, this meant my tune was well received. I was approached by university magazine, The TAB, on Facebook and suddenly 8,000 students across the country where sharing and watching it (see article here). It was the first thrill, which has kept me going.
NSP: Did it help you find friends in the end?
LB: Ha, in a way I think it did. Naturally, I have quite a sensible look with the stereotypical mousey brown hair and I think people wouldn't expect me to have a more quirky side to myself. So yeah in a way it was good for that.
NSP: What brought you down to the big bad city?
LB: After university, I moved down to London to do a creative advertising course, which was great. There I learnt to make videos and suddenly the prospect of singing comical tunes on YouTube was less scary. The more I learnt to do with videos, the more visual distractions I was armed with to enhance the comedy - it was no longer just me and my voice.
NSP: Speaking of visual distractions, let's talk about the Penis Song - the one about dick pics. It seems this is where things really kicked off for you, having been covered in the Metro. What we want to know though is where did this idea arise from (excuse the pun)?
LB: Haha, well it started off at my parents house over lunch. I was planning to go meet a friend who is a serial dick pic sender, and as mum and dad both have a silly sense of humour, I'd decided to tell them about this infamous 'willy flasher'. They found it hilarious. Whilst wondering how to tell guys to stop flashing their junk, mum and I ended up spending the day rhyming words with penis. It was a hilarious day at home, and she came up with some great lines such as 'although we know you never did intend us any malice, it would be more polite of you to put away your phallus.'
NSP: As we know, nowadays everything can be seen as controversial, how was it received? Did you get any grouchy pant responses?
LB: Well, I was slightly worried that everyone would think I was a raging man hater, which is obviously not the case. The video is meant to be more advisory than condemning. Most of the Facebook responses were positive; people seemed mostly to be tagging their friends saying "that's so you Dave" etc. However, in every 1,000 there's one mental case. For me, this took the form of a dick pic from a fake Facebook account at 2am in the morning. Someone under the alias 'Sharon' had sent me a message. Not just any message. It was a shockingly large, naked shaft accompanied with two fuck you fingers. I went to block and report the account, and discovered it was already deleted. Someone had set up an account specifically to show me their knob - I suppose if you're going to do it, do it properly.
NSP: It seems that lots of your songs take everyday social situations and habits and brings them to life in a comical tune - however, we've noticed you recently got a bit more political with your video 'Dear Donald' in response to Trump coming to the UK. Can you tell us a bit more?
LB: It's a recent one from when the petition to ban Trump's arrival in the UK was circulating. I totally agreed as I think he's an utter pig, so I thought I'd write him a little something. I enjoyed it because it's one of those songs that seems polite at first, but has a much more punchy message. Just like Noel Coward's stuff, it was created in that sort of vain. I sort of hope Trump's seen it and is now crying to Melania Trump, whose secretly wishing that she'd known earlier that marrying this rich man would lend herself a bigger job than simply shopping for designer bags.
NSP: We've seen your latest video, 'Instagrim', and we absolutely love how it calls out the way we're all using social media at the moment - demanding a funny, inane alternative. What's the inspiration?
LB: I was just having a bad week and social media had been on my mind for a while; the way and reasons we use it - myself included. Especially so if I fancy someone. I was thinking how funny it is that we only show our best bits on Instagram and Facebook. However, when you're having a shit week and everyone's posting pics of parties and poached eggs, it doesn't make you feel any better. So I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if we all just posted pictures of us chowing down on the sofa or crying into our mums' laps.
NSP: Is it fair to say it looks quite a bit into how we experience jealously online?
LB: Yeah definitely. Jealously is such a human trait - apparently the first emotion we can detect in babies is jealously - or rather a feeling of injustice. I think this is something we experience when viewing other people's social media as well as often true of the motives behind our own.
NSP: Speaking of social media, you've got another one coming up soon on the topic, what's the underpinning theme this time around?
LB: It's to do with selfies and the people who take them. I'm guilty too, although I try really hard not to take them. However I'll have those moments where I've had four salads that week and I'm feeling fresh so I think why not spread the love around with a selfie? Hmmm, insecurity probably plays a large role in it. Especially so when it becomes a chance to show that person you fancy that you're in your prime - erasing their image of you from two weeks ago when you randomly bumped into them sweaty and gross.
NSP: Are you going to get the hashtags out?
LB: Yes, I think they can be so funny. For example, #sunnydays. When has anyone ever seen a sunnydays post with the actual sun in it? It's all tits and teeth. There's also a lot of weekday hashtags out there that we use to hinge our vanity on, such as #Friyay and #ThirstyThursday. I'm also a big fan of #meandbae - especially where bae's looking awful. So, watch this space.
MORE TUNES FROM LUCY BAKER FOUND HERE.