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CelebMix Exclusive Interview – Luke Friend

After appearing on ‘The X Factor’ back in 2013, finishing in third place in the competition, going on to release his own original music, along with many more achievements, talented Luke Friend has recently unveiled his new single ‘L I A R’ – an upbeat, honest track, which inevitably marks a new chapter in his music career.

Further to the release of new music, it was recently announced that he would be portraying the role of ‘St Jimmy’ in ‘American Idiot,’ touring the UK with the musical.

CelebMix had the opportunity to exclusively speak with Luke Friend about his new single ‘L I A R,’ his upcoming role in ‘American Idiot’ and much more. Keep reading to check out our exclusive interview with him!

You have recently released your new single ‘L I A R.’ How does it feel to have new music released?

“Having new, fresh music out after over a year…it’s a relief to be honest! I have such a fear of releasing until I feel completely happy and satisfied with a track – that’s why I always take a long time to release. I want to make myself and the fans happy and proud of the material. ‘L I A R’ is one of the best songs I’ve ever released, I reckon! Heartbreak is an awful, yet wonderful thing. It’s brought out the best art in me and has helped me grow so much as a person. It’s such a sass queen song – I adore it!”

Do you feel that ‘L I A R’ is a contrast to previous releases of yours?

“I think if there’s no contrast, the excitement gets lost – so yes, it’s a complete contrast! But I love it. I’ve never wanted to be an artist in one lane. It gets boring and the art can’t be amplified properly if change doesn’t happen, I mean, just look at David Bowie, but still hold possession and the identity within my vocal I believe.”

Who are your musical influences? Further, do you feel they have a direct impact on the music you write, record and release?

“I wouldn’t say a direct impact, but certainly a massive influence. I’ve recently been listening to a lot of Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and The Cure. So it’s completely different to what I’m doing, but definitely the emotional angst and story-telling they possess in their songs, I’ve taken on. I’m an old soul at heart!” 

How long did it take from the original writing process of the single up to the recording and thus release of the track?

“I’d been mulling over the chorus melody in my head for a week or so, but the song in its entirety took a day – literally a day to write and record. I did it with my two brothers Dan Dare and Ryan Keen, who are both incredible musicians and producers in their own right.”

Do you draw on previous experiences and use them in your song-writing?

“Almost every time I write, it’s got to come from within, as cliché as it sounds, it’s so true. Well, that’s how I feel about it anyway. Those moments you see an artist struggle to get out a lyrics because of the meaning behind it, those are the moments I thrive for. It’s that magic that makes you and the audience connect, happy or sad.” 

You appeared on ‘The X Factor’ in 2013, whereby you finished in third place. Do you feel that the show was a good platform in the sense of you, for example, gaining a fan base and releasing your own music?

“Certainly! I did genuinely have a lovely experience. I met incredible idols such as Seal and Ozzy Osbourne. I specifically remember when I first met Ozzy, he said to me: ‘You got a great voice kid, keep it up” – what a legend! It certainly gave me the confidence to perform in front of big crowds when the time comes too, so I’m thankful for that.” 

Do you remain in contact with any contestants from your series?

“One of my best mates is Nicky McDonald, of course! He’s still an absolute nightmare, but I love him and always will!” 

It was recently announced that you are going to be portraying ‘St Jimmy’ in the upcoming UK tour of ‘American Idiot.’ Are you looking forward to this role?

“I KNOW RIGHT! Somebody pinch me. It’s always been a dream of mine to perform on the stage in musical theatre – it’s coming true. I trained before the show, as that’s what I thought originally I’d be getting in to, at Italia Conti in my later years, but it all started at Debut Theatre School. That kept me out of trouble in Leeds/Bradford. I’m super over the moon about it and I know this is a big opportunity to me.”

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AS PROMISED!………………….??????? Something I’ve been having to keep a secret from you guys for sometime… (it literally killed me not to shout from the top of every building ever. ?) ? I’m going to be apart of the new cast of @ukamericanidiot for the 10th anniversary UK tour in 2019 portraying “St.Jimmy” ???? I MEAN SOMEONE PINCH ME. // Growing up around and in theatre groups, seeking out my passion for performing, all those classes and hard work trying to perfect my craft… I never thought I’d actually get the chance. But I always had hope and determination and never stopped the manifestation. Dreams really do come true. // I really wanna thank everyone who helped me get to this point. You know who you all are. I hope I do @greenday and everyone involved on the @ukamericanidiot tour proud and ESPECIALLY you! ///////////// Let’s go. L x ???? #americanidiot #idiotnation #americanidiottour

A post shared by Luke Friend (@lukeyfriend) on

Will this be the first segment of acting you have done or do you have prior experience?

“I started around the age of eleven back up North at a place called Debut Theatre School and progressed from there. I’ve always loved performing/acting. I remember early years running around in my boxers into the living room, imitating Jim Carrey from ‘The Mask,’ – ‘SMMMMOOOKKIN.’ He’s someone I really look up to. I love making people laugh and smile.”

Is there anything you are most looking forward to in connection with the role?

“I’m really looking forward to playing such a complex character. He’s essentially Johnny’s (main character) psychotic, obsessed, chaotic and drug-addicted alter ego. It’s a lot of moods in one. But I believe in myself – I feel I am up to the task. Also, I’m singing Green Day songs every day – that’s sick!”

Will there be additional music releases in EP – a potential EP/album?

“One thing is for sure – more music will be getting released whilst I’m on tour! I’ve been working so so hard to get everything finished before tour! It’s been hectic (my brain feels like a fried egg right now). It’s a good thing though – I love being busy.”

Finally, do you have a message for your supporters?

“I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time. I’m sorry I was so quiet with updates when I was going through heartbreak, a super rough time with losing a best friend to mental health, but I needed to be away from the Internet world. I’m sure you understand, sometimes we all do. But I’m back, with good faith in my heart and a whole lot of storytelling and songs to give to you all! Manifest and dream, the possibilities and achievements are endless – just don’t stop dreaming. ‘L I A R’ is finally out! Go listen! All the love!”

‘L I A R’ can be bought on iTunes by clicking here. The track can also be streamed on Spotify through the link below and is also available to purchase through other responsible music purchasing outlets.

Do you love ‘L I A R’ as much as we do here at CelebMix? Are you looking forward to following Luke Friend in his upcoming ventures, including his role in ‘American Idiot’ and hearing more new music from him? Make sure you tweet us and let us know: @CelebMix.

Written by Rachel Dempster