For the past year or so, R&B has been waiting for it’s next big male R&B artist to explode into the game. And the man that’s perfect for the job, has been on the cusp of greatness this entire time, but still has yet to fully explode into the game. We’re talking about R&B singer Luke James. Recently, we got a chance to chat with Luke about his upcoming album, his life in New Orleans, and maybe a possible Beyonce or Brandy collaboration in the near future. Check out our interview below:
The first time I ever heard you sing, the only thing you had on your YouTube page, was a cover of Paramore’s “The Only Exception.” And I’ve been a fan ever since. We haven’t had a voice like yours since the likes of John Legend and Maxwell so I’m truly excited for what’s ahead for you.
Luke: Thank you man. I truly appreciate that.
Dante: First off, tell us a little about your background, where you grew up, etc.
Luke: I was born and raised in New Orleans. Single parent home. Just me and my mom. And we lived with my grandfather.
Dante: Growing up in New Orleans, what were some of your favorite things to do?
Luke: I picked up the saxophone at a very early age. I pursued music – especially jazz and that opened up a lot of doors for me and I spent a lot of time playing and practicing.
Dante: Music is a huge part of the N.O.’s culture, even in the schools. The high school you went to, St. Augustine High School, is famous in New Orleans for its band, the Marching 100. Were you apart of the Marching 100 when you attended?
Luke: Yes I was. Some of the best times of my life.
Dante: Mine was, and still is, Jennifer Lopez. But who was Luke James’ childhood crush?
Luke: Man…Halle Berry. Halle Berry. Defintely.
Haha. Definitely understandable. So right now, you’re managed by Frank Gatson, one of the most respected behind-the-scenes guys in the game. What is that like to have someone like that guiding your career?
Luke: Extremely trying – only because he has been in the game for so long and has worked with so many respected artists who I look up. It moves me to want to be great. It’s awesome to have someone in your corner with that kind of knowledge at your disposal.
Dante: 3 names: Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Brandy. These 3 women are legends at this point in their career. How does it feel to know that they have been so supportive in your career, even before the masses have heard your material?
Luke: These are women who I grew up listening to and to get their admiration is both validating and humbling.
Dante: Speaking of Beyonce, you opened up for her Revel shows last year, as well as opening for her current Mrs. Carter World Tour. What’s your relationship like with Bey and what’s the best advice she’s given you thus far?
Luke: Beyonce is my big sister. Her work ethic has been her best advise to me.
Dante: Will there be a possible Bey/Luke collab or maybe a Luke/Brandy collab in the near future?
Dante: Your debut album, Made To Love, is slated to be released this fall. How’s the album sounding?
Luke: It’s gonna be amazing. The date is TBD. Stay tuned.
Dante: I know you’re signed to Danja’s label, N.A.R.S. Aside from him, who’s producing on this album?
Luke: Stay tuned! It’s going to be great.
Dante: Awww man, the “Stay tuned” lol. Any features we should know about?
Luke: Aside from Hit-Boy who is featured on my latest single “Oh God” and Wale who was featured on the remix of “IOU”. For any others, you must wait for the album. I want to keep it spontaneous.
Dante: We’ve heard “I Want You” (which I think should’ve been a huge single) and “I.O.U.” When are we getting that next single?
Luke: “Oh God” featuring Hit-Boy is actually the newest single. Video just dropped. Super proud of that.
Dante: Do you feel pressure to conform to the more progressive, edgy R&B sound in efforts to gain a radio hit and spark mainstream buzz?
Luke: I just want to do music that makes me feel good, which in turn will make the listener feel good. And I think I do that. So no, no pressure.
Dante: Any parting words for your fans?
Luke: I am truly blessed to do what I love and I thank all of you who have leaned an ear or spoke a word that celebrated my dream…
Oh, my movie, ‘Black Nativity’ with Forrest Whitaker, Angela Bassett & Jennifer Hudson comes out this November. Make sure you guys check that out! My first big acting role!
Dante: Thanks for your time Luke! We can’t wait to hear the album!
Luke: Thank you guys!