Described as being a “perfect slice of alt-folk pop” by Amazing Radio’s Charlie Ashcroft, it is no wonder that Luke James Williams is making waves on the UK circuit. This UK singer-songwriter released his debut EP Drove in November 2018 receiving much positive support from publications like BBC Introducing, BBC6 Music and Rocking Magpie Blog. We had a sit-down with the folk artist discussing his new single ‘This Says’ and much more!
Why did you choose to enter the music industry?
I’ve written and played music throughout my whole life. It has never been a conscious decision, just something which I’ve always done and love doing. Music has been a great friend to me.
What can you tell us about your release ‘This Says’?
It’s the first new song I’ve released since my debut EP Drove, which came out at the end of 2018. I’ve been playing it live for a while, but this studio version is quite different and I’m excited for people to hear it. It was mixed by the brilliant Alex Bush at Sonikwire Studio in Irvine, CA, who it has been a real pleasure to work with – he brought so much to the track.
What was the recording and writing process like?
The song came together quite quickly; most of the chords and melodies in one initial burst and I had the chorus lyrics finished before I picked up the uke. Then it was a case of finishing the verse lyrics and writing the bridge.
I recorded it with my friend and long-term collaborator Nick Kozuch at Unit Studios in Hertfordshire. All the main tracking was fairly straightforward, but I always had the idea of having a Danny Elfman-esque choir on the track. I managed to find a choir in Cambridgeshire close to where I live called ‘Sing For Joy’. They are a community choir which requires no audition to join; singing for the pure fun of it and as a way of promoting well-being.
I got in touch with them and they loved the song (which was a relief!), Then it came to the process of writing the choir part and recording them singing in the little village hall where they rehearse. It was an amazing experience!
What do you hope people take from the single?
A connection, whatever that may be – good or bad. I’ve already had a few lovely messages from people off the back of the play on BBC6 Music saying how they could really relate with the lyrics of the song.
Which is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
I enjoy the challenges of both, but I’d say lyrics. Sometimes it can take time to hone down and accurately articulate what you are feeling or what you want to say.
Describe your music in three words.
Raw. Honest. Open.
What do you think is the best way to discover music?
I tend to find the best way through word-of-mouth from friends or people you might meet at gigs and in record shops. After that, I’d say BBC6 Music and BBC Introducing.
What does the future hold for you?
At the moment, I honestly can’t say. It feels like such a strange time to be releasing music. This new single and the next were meant to be part of a full album for release later in the year, but I only managed to completely finish two recordings before lockdown. When I can safely get back into the studio we’ll see about finishing the album; then we’ll have to see what the future holds regarding playing live. Long-term, I just want to keep writing and playing music as I always have done.
What advice do you have for any person planning to become a musician?
Be yourself. There is no one on planet Earth quite like you. Your voice and way of seeing the world and expressing yourself is as unique as your fingerprint, so embrace it and be proud of it.
Also, find a way to make music in an enjoyable and sustainable way. In other words, take care of yourself. It’s a stressful and cruel world at times and it’s important to find a way to make it so that you can keep enjoying it and doing it for the rest of your life.
Do you have any message for our readers?
I hope you and your families are all staying safe and well in these strange and scary times. Thank you for reading.