Soulful R&B crooner Luke James may be familiar to some due to his brilliant performance on the BET Honors of his debut single “I Want You.” Luke’s production has not been great for the last couple of years, but he definitely has the talent to spark a trend and help bring true soul singers with mass appeal back to the forefront of the music world.
Raised an only child in New Orleans, Luke grew up with a wide variety of influences ranging from Marvin Gaye to Willie Nelson. These influences have certainly had an affect on Luke’s approach to music, as he seems to prefer the more organic and sincere type of R&B. His cover of Paramore‘s “Only Exception” displays his genuine passion for all music.
I vaguely remember Luke from an R&B duo called Luke & Q. After he and Q decided to go their separate ways, Luke has been captivating audiences across the United States with his soulful voice, flirtatious falsetto and charm.
One fan who has certainly been captivated by Luke’s talent is R&B diva Beyonce, who invited him to feature in her music video “Run the World.” He co-wrote the song “Crawl” by R&B/Pop heavyweight Chris Brown and has also penned songs for artists such as Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.
Whilst in high school, Luke joined a band that played around New Orleans and opened for artists such Brian McKnight. After graduation, Luke moved to Los Angeles under the advice of his manager and began singing backup for Tyrese. It was through Tyrese that Luke met up with production duo the Underdogs and signed with their label, but is currently signed to Mercury/Island Def Jam via New Age Rock Star Records (NARS).
Although Luke has a great image, substance is his main focus. He is all about his voice and spreading a message that can positively touch the masses. From what I’ve heard so far he seems to be in the mould of a Luther Vandross or a Brian McKnight, churning out traditional, timeless R&B love songs. His latest single “Mo’ Betta Blues” is certainly a song that will make fans of timeless R&B love songs finally take notice of him.
Earlier this year, Luke was a supporting act for Beyonce during her show at Atlantic City’s Revel Resort, where he entertained a crowd which included First Lady Michelle Obama. He also released a free mixtape last year December, titled #Luke, which was received with favourable reviews and comments from die-hard soul fans. He is currently working on his debut album Made To Love, which is set to be released later on this year.
While he works on his album, Luke has been gradually building a solid fanbase, performing at festivals such as this year’s Essence Fest in his hometown alongside the likes of Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo and reportedly making big impressions on festival goers.
Be on the lookout for more from Luke James.
Listen: Luke James – #Luke