He had his launch show at The Latest Music Bar the other night and we were blown away by his incredible performance, combining powerful soul tracks with stunning rap parts. Luke Fincher is one of Brighton’s up and coming music talents who is just about to really kick off. We had an interview with the singer-songwriter and here is what he told us about himself, his way into music and his plans for the future.
Hi, Luke. Nice to meet you. How old are you?
I am 21.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Croydon but my family has constantly moved around most of my life, so I’m a bit of a nomad.
How long have you been in Brighton for?
I moved out of my parents’ when I was 18 and have lived in and around Brighton ever since.
What made you come to Brighton?
It’s my favourite place in England. It reminds me of California where a lot of my family are from, so I feel very at home down here. Brighton is a very accepting and comfortable city for me and I don’t think I could have started a music career in a better city.
Which record label are you working with?
There are some things happening right now that I can’t talk about too much, but it’s all positive and exciting.
Have you already released your first single?
I have released content in the past while I was in college and after but I see this year as being my true musical beginning. I see the things I did and released in the past as a prologue to what’s to come.
Can you tell me a bit more about the songs you have been working on?
Well, we have been recording songs for almost two years now which is exactly what we want. People can expect it to be diverse and for each song to have its own vibe. I wrote all the songs and co-produced them with my friend and band member Will Fox who is super talented.
When did you first start to sing?
When I was a kid, I had little interest in singing apart from in the shower or singing along to Dreamgirls with my mum. In year 5, the school in Eastbourne I was at decided to do a production of ‘Joseph’ and all year 5 and 6 students had to audition.
For my audition, I sang a little Destiny’s Child and then went back out to play. When we got back from lunch, the teachers announced the parts. Once they got to Joseph they said my name and I was shocked because I really didn’t think I could sing and that the teachers must be crazy.
But I did the show and from that moment forward, teachers in various schools kept getting me to sing in assemblies and shows. It wasn’t until my Mum took me to The BRIT School open evening that I really began to consider a career in music.
So, did you go to BRIT school in the end?
Yeah. After about a five month process, I got into BRIT school music strand. I met some of my closest friend I’ve ever had there and had some really special relationships with some of the teachers there.
In what way do you consider your relationships with some of the teachers to be special?
I had a teacher called Stuart Warden who really encouraged me to perform in assemblies. That really helped me build a stage presence and Elizebeth Penney, who was the Head of music at the time, gave me great encouragement for my songwriting and performing. She also gave me my most important lesson, which was to not bury my head in the sand when things got difficult and to face up to my mistakes.
So you had teachers that were supporting you, but how did you get your music out there?
While I was at BRIT, I didn’t have much money, so I started busking in Brighton on weekends and holidays. I was 14 back then. Within a few days I had a load of cards from promoters, producers and other musicians. A few months later, I got one of my first gigs at Concorde 2 which then helped me get a gig about 2 weeks later at the Brighton Dome supporting RizzleKicks. Once I started writing my own music, I also put tracks on SoundCloud and then moved on to doing YouTube videos. From that point on, I’ve just been developing as an artist by exploring my voice, performing, producing and listening to the people around me in the team I have now.
What does it feel like to know you have all these people around you?
The feeling of now having people backing me and believing in what I do is a bit surreal at times but it makes me feel so grateful as I know some artists like me that sometimes don’t get that opportunity. Regardless of what happens for my career in the future, the full support of my management and publishing was enough to finally believe in myself and what I can do.
Have things changed a lot for you ever since you really started your music career?
I think my work ethic has grown more than I thought it could. I always was committed to what I do but when things began moving somewhere it only motivated me more to push myself to exceed expectations. My Mum has always told me to always give 150% more in anything I wanted to do and now that I’m a bit more grown, I think I’ve finally embraced that philosophy.
Apart from the singing, do you play any instruments?
I’m not the best piano player in the world but I can do enough to produce and accompany myself if I want to.
What do you like most about singing and making music?
There are some things that we feel and do that are hard to fully put into words. Music is a way for me to almost completely express what I’m thinking or feeling. The singing and writing lyrics allow me to orally convey my feelings and thoughts while the music is my way to present those thoughts and feelings I can’t quite put into words, which some may say is “The Vibe”. With that being said, I love everything about it from recording to performing.
Why do you play music? What do you want your music to do for people?
I think the main and first reason I fell in love with creating music was because I’ve been a bit of a weirdo most of my life. Once I found music, I had finally found a place where I could be myself by myself without judgement. With my music, I just want to do what other artists have done for me by providing an escape and inspiring others.
So, singing and songwriting gives you that sort of sheltered environment where you can be yourself. What was the first song about that you wrote?
I’m not sure if my memory is quite good enough to remember the first song I wrote, but the first one that I wrote, recorded and released was a song called “Superhero”. It was about my first relationship with someone and my complete admiration of this person which, I have to admit, was a blind and ignorant admiration at times.
Where do you get the inspiration for your songs from?
I get most of my inspiration for songwriting from personal experiences and then interpret that experience into a story within the song. With that being said, I do get a fair bit of inspiration from Science fiction and Fantasy stories I enjoy, especially when it comes to the music.
I think I do that because it takes the songs to another level and helps with giving the audience that escape from this world for three or four minutes.
What music do you like to listen to?
Just as with my inspirations, I could go on for days. I listen to a diverse range of genres, R&B, Soul, House, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, North Indian Classical music and so many more. As I have moved around a lot, I’ve sort of become a melting pot of interests and it’s the same for my music tastes.
Are there any big names in the music business that you consider as your role models?
I admire so many artists for so many different things. I would have to say my number one has to be Beyoncé. I’ve always admired her dedication to her artistry and performance. I’ve seen her live twice now and she gave me life both times. Other artists that have inspired me are Toni Braxton, Prince, Linkin Park, Paramore, Evanescence, Tinashe and Eric Serra, just to name a few. But obviously I could talk for days about artists that have inspired me.
As an artist, how would you describe your style?
It’s hard for me to describe my style as I draw from many different genres, but I would say it’s primarily R&B. Sometimes, I also include rock and dance elements and I love Asian and African instruments and matching the tone of my voice to the sound of each song.
You said you haven’t released an official single yet, but you have already got quite some music videos out on youtube. Is that something you are particularly interested in?
Absolutely! I can’t wait to release music videos on my own channel. I really want to tell stories and add another layer to the songs. When I record songs, I picture them in a live environment and in a music video, regardless of if we plan to make a video for it.
In 2014, you won the Search for a Star Talent competition. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
Well, I was really surprised that I won because I booked the day off work but they didn’t approve it so I went to perform during my lunch break. I felt a little bit rushed. I performed a song that I wrote and that is called “Ghost”, which I thought I wouldn’t be able to win with as it was a little depressing, but I just really wanted to perform this particular song. So yeah, winning was a bit of a shock but I was really grateful.
So that was a first shock so to say but one year later you got chosen to perform at the Brit Awards, which is quite a big deal. How was that for you?
Unbelievable. One of the best days of my life, for sure. The reaction from the audience on the red carpet and in the VIP area was so overwhelming. I am so grateful to the BRIT Trust for giving me that opportunity and for also giving me a Sapphire ticket after my first performance.
After your BRIT awards performance, you had yet another big one at the Brighton Pride. What did it mean for you to sing at that particular event?
Another day which is ranked as one of my best. It was the largest audience I have ever played to. It was also the first show where I had a full band and dancers and the adrenaline we all had was incomparable to any other show any of us had done before. The day just made me love Brighton more.
Apart from these three highlights, what was the most incredible experience in your music career so far?
I would have to say building the team I have around me. I have worked with a lot of people in the past and I have never felt like it was quite right, but now I feel like I am on the right path. I put of lot of that down to the people I have around me from publishing and management to the band and producer.
What are your plans for the future? What do you hope for as a musician?
I hope to make a positive impact. I want for whatever I’m doing in my life to leave a positive impact on the planet. There’s nothing else as important to me as that. It’s no different when it comes to music for me.
What have you got coming up?
I don’t want to give too much away yet as we are finalising plans, but we just put on a launch show at the Latest Music Bar called the “The Beginning” and it was such a great night. But you can expect music soon and I’m so excited to start showing people what we’ve done.
Where can people find your music?
If you go and follow me on social media, you will be the first to know when the music is coming out.
That’s a promise. Thank you very much for this interview Luke and all the best for your music career.