For as long as he can remember, Luke LaShea has had a voice in his head telling him he’s not good enough. It echoes through everything – in life, in relationships, and even in his songwriting. He calls it his little devil on his shoulder and it’s the thing that pushes him to be somewhat of a perfectionist. If something isn’t right, it bothers him, and it’s not unusual for him to fuss and nitpick about something until it’s right.
For the Los Angeles-based artist whose new EP “Fade to Blue” is grabbing the attention of fans all over the U.S., this constant need for perfection is something he works hard on to overcome. But it’s also the thing that ends up elevating his music to levels of quality that makes people sit up and pay attention when they hear it. In many ways, music is therapy for him and he knows that the music he creates can end up being therapeutic for other people, too.
“That’s why I choose to do it,” he said. “It’s a great way to express myself and get things off my chest. I’m not trying to make music to get the clubs poppin’ or make people go crazy. I’m making music that people can use to turn lemons into lemonade, or to turn whatever bad feelings they have into something different. For me that’s something artistic and something that can be relatable to other people.”
The start of that journey came when Luke was 15 years old. He’d been a lover of music for most of his childhood, but he remembers one specific moment during his middle teen years when a light clicked on and he realized music was something he wanted to pursue professionally. He was listening to “The Cool” album from Lupe Fiasco in his room one day, and the song “Streets On Fire” came on.
“It gave me an epiphany when I listened to it,” he said. “I realized that I’ve really got to pursue this. It’s what I want to do. I remember listening to that song in my room and having that moment. I knew even in that moment that it would be hard, but I haven’t looked back since. Even when that voice in my head tells me that I’m never gonna make it and nobody is ever gonna care, I keep pushing forward and just try to be the best I can be.”
The debut single from his EP shows off that excellence in compelling ways. The song is called “Never Too Far” and he describes it as a melancholy love song with a cinematic feel. It’s an emotional track with a powerful and catchy hook, with flows along the verses that are reminiscent of Bone Thugs N Harmony. The beat is melodic and catchy as it builds to a crescendo. Since its release, fans have been ecstatic about his sound and have been clamoring for more from him. The other songs on the EP showcase his unique blend of rapping and singing and melodies and songs about relationships or overall emotional things.
“I like to be focused on writing songs, not just bars,” he said. “I like smooth flows and catchy melodies paired with thoughtful songwriting. That’s what sets me apart, I think, from anyone else out there right now. And I’m always moving forward. If you’re stuck then you’re not moving or working on something and you get stuck in the mud. I’m always working on new songs. I have a lot of stuff in the works and songs that I’m writing right now that will be ready in 2020. One thing I’m really excited about is a new single called ‘How Many Lives’ which has a totally different vibe than anything I’ve released yet. I’m hoping to drop that in January.”