An INTERVIEW with luke pickett

 Your debut album is due out this year. Could you give us a confirmed date and your personal favourite track featured?
Unfortunately, there is still no confirmed release date. I keep saying it but it really is very close now and I hope people will think it was worth the wait.
It’s hard to pick a favourite track because I love all the songs for different reasons. I have a few to be honest and they keep changing all the time but the one I’m listening to most at the
moment is a song called ‘Keep Yourself Together’. It’s quite different to my older material. It’s a lot more up beat but is quite dark lyrically.
 
What genre of music would you define your work as?
I’m sure my older stuff would be defined as acoustic, but I think that will change with this new record. It’s really hard to say because people always have a different opinion. The easiest thing to say would be pop, but I’ve taken influence from soul, RnB and my more acoustic roots. So I don’t know, maybe a unique blend of all four.
 
Do you prefer working solo or as part of a band?
I’ve been in bands before and being a solo artist is definitely easier. But when I’m playing live I do like having other musicians accompany me on stage. It takes the pressure off a bit I guess and you can feed off each others energy.
 
When did you realise that you wanted to become a singer?
It probably wasn’t until I was about 16 that I knew for sure that’s what I wanted. I had sung in bands before that but once I started writing my first EP I think I grew more confident in my vocal ability and felt that it was something I could pursue.
 
You have been hailed as an excellent live act, what is your reaction to this and what do you enjoy about these performances?
It’s obviously great to know people are saying good things about the live aspect of my show and I’m very humbled by it. It lets me know I’m doing something right and it’s something I’m proud of.
I think what I enjoy about playing live is seeing people’s reactions to the songs. It’s the one place where you truly get an honest reaction to your work. It’s a great feeling coming off the stage knowing you’ve given a great performance and the audience has enjoyed it.
 
You are a skilled guitarist, any advice for other budding musicians?
I’m never sure what to say other than the usual clichéd stuff, but keep on plugging away, practice hard and you’ll keep improving. It’s always good to try playing with other musicians and test yourself as well.
 
How do you feel about the reactions to your EP releases on iTunes?
All in all I’ve mostly had a pretty positive reaction to my EP’s on iTunes so I’m pretty happy with what people are saying. It’s great to know people are enjoying my songs and it gives me the confidence to continue writing new material. I keep striving to better what I’ve written before so hopefully I can continue doing that.
 
As a songwriter, do your lyrics come naturally or are they a reflection on your own personal experiences?
My lyrics tend to be a reflection of my personal experiences, and I like to set the stories in an almost fantasy like world. I’m a massive fan of mafia/gangster films like ‘The Godfather’ etc, and I use a lot of references to those types of movies in my lyrics. Hopefully, people will pick up on that and can relate to the story I try to create in my songs.
 
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I’d love to say selling out the O2 arena but we’ll see. Honestly, as long as I’m still making music that people appreciate and I can make a living from then I’ll be happy.

Thank you for your time and we wish you the best of luck in the future!
Thank you also!

What you stand for, and an interesting fact about yourself?
I hope I stand for music that’s original and authentic.  In my music life and my normal life I try to be an independent thinker and general proponent of weirdness.  Interesting fact: my second toe looks like ET.
Who was the most enjoyable artist you have performed with and why?
I just finished a great run with Wallpaper.  He’s got this totally crazy outlandish stage persona, and it was really fun to watch him transform each night.
What is your favourite mix up on MASHed Potatoes?
Crazytown.  I think that we live in age in which corporations and institutions suppress a lot of natural – and potentially beneficial – psychological variation in the name of “mental health” and that as a society, we suffer for it.  Feeling insane, depressed, out of control – those are the ingredients for great art and interesting people.
You like to manipulate your music and manage to create something beautifully unique. What instruments can and do you prefer to use?
I do a lot of sampling, which means I sort of have the whole musical instrument spectrum at my fingertips.  But in terms of what I actually play, it’s mainly controllers and guitar.
Any plans for your own tour?
Right now I’m enjoying life as an opening act.  I think it’s important to be able to adapt your live show to different kinds of crowds and learn from other, more experienced artists.  Plus, the vague threat of getting booed off stage means you have to make sure you aren’t completely terrible.
Best performance to date and why?
I actually think my best show was my latest show, in London the other week.  Often, when I’m performing, I find my mind wandering off – everything’s so automatic that I don’t have to think about it.  But I was super stressed that day, with jetlag, meetings, travel, and I was able to release all that energy on stage.
You are credited on your educational success often, are you glad you went to University and at the same time pursued your musical career?
I’m extremely happy that I finished university.  At the end of the day, when the show’s over, I’m stuck with myself.  So I’m glad I like reading books.  Because books are more interesting and less frustrating than me.
What are your inspirations for your music?
The things I see and feel.  I’ve been in a very introspective space as of late, so a lot of my writing has stemmed from that.
Your work is original, are you looking to create your own genre?
Not really.  Just trying to make music that’s a bit surprising, a bit left of center.  I’m still figuring out my sound, but I’m getting closer to where I want to end up.
Who came up with the stage name?, was it a previous nickname or just a play on words?
K.Flay was my nickname in college.
Do you prefer to perform in the US or further afield?
I’ve only performed a bit outside the US but it’s been awesome.  I definitely hope to do more international touring this year.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In a studio, working on some new shit.
Something about you that others perhaps would not expect?
I cry during movies.
A message to all your fans?
Thank you!  And stay tuned for new music.  Loooots of new music.

 
How do you feel about your online success?
I’m really overwhelmed by how everything has grown so gradually and has all suddenly started snowballing. It’s honestly incredible and I’m really grateful and thankful for what I’ve achieved purely by using the internet to connect with loyal supporters
 
You’re only seventeen, isn’t the whole experience a bit surreal?
I’ve recently turned 18! haha but yes, it’s so surreal! Especially as I’m so young. But as i said before, I just have to stay grateful as it’s almost all down to people being loyal and wanting to the listen to me 🙂
What are the plans for, and what can we expect from your debut album?
I’m currently writing and demoing songs for my album 🙂 We’re still having fun experimenting with sounds, but it’s definitely going to lean towards the darker side of pop with my acoustic/folky roots 🙂
 
How do you feel about the amazing reaction to your rendition of “Liar and the Lighter”?
So shocked! It was uploaded for a friend and i honestly thought nothing of it, I did even put it online intending on getting views. I’m so glad i did decide to do it now though!
 
What advice would you give to other young musical enthusiasts?
To make the most of all of their resources. The internet has been the biggest platform for me in regards to building a fan base. But to also, interact with ‘fans’ and thank them as these are the people who help you and stay with you 🙂
 
What hopes do you have for the future?
I want to continue with what i’m doing now, writing, recording, touring and meeting followers 🙂 I hope to release my album this year also 🙂
How does it feel to be placed as MySpace’s number one unsigned act?
Ridiculous! haha but in a good way of course 🙂 Must be boring as i keep saying it, but all i can honestly do is be grateful for it 🙂
 
Can we expect a 2011 tour?
You can! Although no dates are confirmed yet! There will definitely be shows all over the country, including FESTIVALS! yayay
 
Sum yourself and your music up in three words?
Optimistic, real, haunting
 
Thank you for your time and we wish you the best of luck in the future!
Thank you! X