GURU: definition, noun: spiritual teacher, tutor, sage, counsellor, mentor, guiding light, spiritual leader, master.
And one Ballymoney singer-songwriter has chosen the word ‘guru’ and its root meanings as the title for her forthcoming album.
Born in Ballymoney and now living in Coleraine, Noelle Lucas is a busy 31-year-old mother of two young daughters and is currently preparing for the release of ‘Guru’ in the new year.
And the first single from that album ‘Do You Deny Me’ is already attracting interest.
Noelle told the Times: “I released ‘Do You Deny Me’ on October 1 and then plan to release ‘Numerology’ on November 11, then the album at the start of 2018.
“The album is called ‘Guru’. ‘Gu’ means the dark, ‘Ru’ means the light, moving from the darkness into the light.
“I have written and laid the album out like a story, where the end track is actually the starting track, then it reflects back upon a dark and difficult time in my life.
“As the story progesses the darkness moves into the light, into a better place of understanding within my mind, into acceptance, joy and happiness.
“I have been writing songs since I was 11. I started out writing stories and poems. It’s something that I was naturally interested in, which I found helpful when dealing with challenges and emotions.
“I played in a couple of bands, doing weddings and the like, but I always kept my songs to myself at that stage.
“I am my songs and my songs are me. I write what I feel and I feel what I write.”
Noelle explained that in recent years, she felt strong enough to release her songs into the public.
“I just feel stronger now than I had ever felt before so I went to a local studio and recorded the album - when I found the time as I have two girls, Penny and Nicole, aged four and two!” she laughed.
“I’ve written everything on the album, they are all original songs. Then there are some instrumentals added by Clive Culbertson and Simon McBride.
“It was finished around March of this year and took it to Jon Astley in London. He is a record producer who has worked with the likes of Abba, Sting and The Who. He mastered the album and it is really great quality.
“GuRu plays out like a story, where the start is the end and the end is the start and so the story progresses, with strength and character growing throughout until it comes full circle. ‘Gu’ is the dark and ‘Ru’ is the light, moving out of the darkness into the light, ‘GuRu’.
“I bear my darkness within the album from ‘Do You Deny Me’ onwards and reveal how I broke free from the ‘Chains’ in my life which ultimately lead to a wonderful and beautiful spiritual experience, a rebirth.
“I call my rebirth experience ‘Monkey 47’ and within this song I raise and give up my ball and chain to the heavens for transmutation. The album has a great, strong message, ‘We Are One’, and I hope it connects with people’s souls.”
Having completed the process of producing an album, Noelle admits to experiencing a “creative comedown”.
“It was all go for about six weeks and then it was done. But now the focus is to get the album out there.
“You do wonder if people are going to like it but I am happy with it, I am confident in it.
“I am just taking baby steps at the minute but I am organising a gig here and a gig there,” added Noelle. who played at the recent Belfast Culture Night.
She also has a hugely informative website with some stunning images.
“Those shots were taken in Drenagh by Ivan Scott by Medusa Photography.”
Reviews so far of Noelle’s first single ‘Do You Deny Me’ have been positive:
“A truly stunning voice with a depth and warmness that draws you in” Stuart Clack-Lewis (Premium Blend Radio Station)
“A ray of sunshine needed in these dark times...Pert stage worthy vocals” Noelle Ellis (Gigging NI)
For more information on Noelle’s music career to date and her upcoming album, you can find out more information on her website www.noellelucas.com
Noelle also has a Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellyellzmusic/