Luke Black is a relatively new artist on the scene, but he’s already made a massive impact with his music. While Luke himself is of Slavic (or more specifically Serbian) origin, all of his tracks are sung in English, and he has covered many subjects with his deep lyrics and amazing vocal abilities. The young artist moved to Belgrade to follow his dreams of becoming a musician, and he even ended up studying English language and literature. He was spotted by representatives of Universal Music Group when he sang his first ever official song “D-Generation” at a festival, and they’ve decided to officially sign him to their label, making him the first ever Serbian pop musician to get signed by an international major label. His EP Thorns is available now.
He recently released his newest single, Demons, and we are urging you to have a listen
Hello Luke! First things first, I’ve had your new single Demons on repeat, it’s an amazing song and it really brings out your impressive vocal abilities. Tell us something about the song, what inspired you to write it, how long you’ve worked on it, and how the public reacted to it?
Thank you so much! I was going through a period in my life where I was reflecting everything I did up to that point in life and I realized I let my ambition blind me in a way that I couldn’t see the things that were going on, so I wrote a song about being grateful for what you have and getting the negative thoughts away. It was a concept I had at the end of the last year, but I took it to another level when I met my producer and now a friend Venza and then we have both started developing it further. So far I am really happy with the way people react to it as I think this song has that inner message that is common and relatable for a lot of people.
You’re originally of Slavic origins, and when you compare today’s style of Slavic music to your own, you could say that there’s a big difference, especially Ex-Yugo music which is mostly ballads and turbo folk, and now pop making its way into the scene. Did you grow up listening to this music, the same music as your peers or did you have other influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of music genres including the music from our region which I liked for a short period in my life. I listened to a lot of funk & jazz music because my father played me music preparing for his DJ sets when I was very young. Pop music is unfortunately not as present as the rest of the genres and it would be a pleasure if it can coexist with the genres that are popular in this region. By the looks of the situation in this region it seems like I am on a “mission impossible”, but I am not giving up that easily.
And you’ve been working with Venza, a music producer from Spain. How was it and which songs have you two worked together on?
The first song we did together and released is Demons, but while doing that song we also did a track for him which we will release soon. I think we’ll do great things in the future and I think we have an amazing musical connection. Venza is very hard working and I have to say he blew my mind with each idea he had.
So your music has taken you to many cities, and you’ll even be touring China soon. What can you tell us about these upcoming shows? How does that feel? Knowing that even people in China are interested in your music?
I feel like things are as they should be because ever since I can remember I imagined myself travelling and meeting amazing people who like my music. The shows in China occur at the end of June and I will be visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. People from China are very supportive & I cannot wait to see them.
Speaking of performing, where’s the one place (or event) you’d like to see yourself on stage?
One day when I grow up I’d like to perform at music festivals around the world such as Glastonbury. I am now doing “electronic cabaret” shows until I get more possibility to broaden the entire concept and someday hopefully have a full electro-opera.
D-Generation is probably a big achievement for you- it’s the song that put your name out there, and it’s the song that sparked the interest of the label that signed you. Did you ever think that that song would gain you so much popularity and accomplishments? It was after all the very first song you presented and performed live.
D-Generation is one of my most favourite pieces of work I have ever written. It is mostly like that because I tend to write personal lyrics about me and the stuff that happens to me, and yet I have written a song about loneliness making it about the entire generation. I used to listen to the demo with my friends on the benches in the city centre at 2 am while everybody was drunk around us. I felt it was very special and couple of years later it got me places.
What about Holding On To Love? What inspired you to write that?
I usually tend to put a lot of myself in the work and I wanted to write a song about redemption and losing someone you love. I remember being very alienated at the time and I wanted to lose everything to see what was important in my life and what I missed. Then I wrote a song about wanting to get those things back.
I’ve heard you’re on a task to find out more about your origins? That’s admirable of you, since today’s generations have little to no interest about finding out more of their history. When and why did you decide to explore your origins?
Battling a lot of negativity by using stuff that are not as close to me got me nowhere, so I decided to try and conquer ‘demons’ that are working their magic in the area around me and I found it quite fulfilling. While doing that, I discovered the beauty of the region and I wanted to learn more about it in order to like it.
A trend that you’ve started really fascinates me. How would you explain the meaning behind #NeoSlavic to someone who’s unfamiliar with the term? And did exploring your origins inspire you to create this trend?
Having heard a lot of times that I don’t look like I am from this country I started asking myself where I am from exactly? Usually around here people that look different or don’t belong to the stereotyped image of a person from this region are frowned upon and often not feel at home. By trying to get to know the Slavic region, and I still have much to learn about it, I discovered that it had beautiful tradition which is often forgotten by new generations, so I wanted to give it light and ask people to join me in learning about our customs and tradition and incorporate them into modern day and age. I also wanted to show that you can be a person from this region and yet have different interests to those that are expected from you. It is a new way of looking at things and a modern way of keeping our tradition, that’s why I thought #neoslavic would be the best way of describing it.
There are a lot of young people aspiring to be where you are now, to make it in the industry. What advice would you give to these girls and boys who are trying to follow their hearts and who dream big in life, whether others support them or not?
I still have to go through a lot in order to be the best person of advice, but still I think that I can advise them not to give up, no matter what. It is very hard at the beginning and it will be even harder to maintain it. A lot of sacrifices have to be made, but it is all worth it if you love whatever you want to do. I am very passionate about my music and I’m never gonna stop doing it.
You’re just at the beginning of your career and you’ve already achieved so much, you’ve gained titles which no one can take away from you, so what would you say is the proudest moment of your life so far? And what else are you hoping to achieve?
I hope to improve my skills, meet a lot of creative people and work with them, learn from them and I hope to get to meet many people who like what I do. I am very proud of my Thorns EP which I released in September last year because it is my first physical release. It’s true what they say – ‘First love never dies.’
Luke, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to interview you. You’re an extraordinary artist with an impeccable talent for music and songwriting. Thank you for answering our questions and good luck with your future projects!
Thank you so much, I really enjoyed it & hope we’ll talk again soon!