Lucy Dacus talks NME through her ‘Firsts’

The singer-songwriter on her musical first times

For many, a typical first job could be working in retail or waitressing; but not for Lucy Dacus. Instead, the American singer-songwriter’s first forays into the working world came through a stint as a child model.

“My dad’s a graphic designer and he works with photographers a lot,” Dacus explains in the latest instalment of NME’s Firsts. “There was this photographer who was like: ‘hey we have this job for a billboard that’s going to be in Iowa that’s advertising being a foster parent, and we need a really sad looking kid to be on the billboard'”. Dacus got the gig, saying: “they paid me 800 dollars, which lasted me five years because I was a child!” As for the success of the campaign, she adds: “I don’t know if it convinced anybody to be a foster parent, but that would be cool.”

The years of modelling passed and Dacus gravitated towards music, although her first experience of being in a band was short-lived. Joining a group with her pals, she explains: “after a couple months of being with the band, they unceremoniously just started having band practises without me, and so I was kicked out of the band.”


One critical moment she definitely will not forget was her first festival performance. Playing the famed ‘Lady Gaga slot’ at Lollapalooza in 2016, Dacus took the experience head-on, bringing her support system of friends to the festival by sneaking them in as crew. “It was the best night of my life,” she tells NME.

For the latest instalment of NME Firsts, Lucy Dacus also discussed her first tattoo, the first
song she finished writing, and what it was like hearing her song on the radio for the first
time. Watch the video in full above.