I’ve met many upcoming UK acts this year, but Luke Bingham was one of the few artists that really got me excited for the future of UK music.
Hey Luke. What have you been up to?
I just came off tour with Loick Essien which went well; we did all the student shows. I’ve just been in the studio writing new music and travelling.
Well, travelling is always a pro!
[laughs] Yeah it’s good but it gets boring after a while, I’ve seen too much of the motorway…
You’re supported by the BBC. How did that come about?
They do a thing called ‘BBC Introducing’ and they were visiting Nottingham, Derby and Leicester, places like that. I submitted some tracks to them and they asked me to come and do an acoustic set in Nottingham. I did that and it led to Radio 1 playing my single… and it went off from there.
The BBC described you as “all of the members of JLS moulded into one man” pressure much?
[laughs] Well, they all play their own role in the group. Being a solo artist, you have to do it all yourself. I think the comparison was made because we are all young, urban and I’m a mixed race guy! Apart from that I don’t know… But I’m not complaining!
What has the journey been like for you since you got signed?
I got signed in April after I was on Radio 1, which was a big movement for me; that’s when Universal heard me. It’s been all ‘go go go’ since that moment. I went to LA with Radio 1 to do a performance on Sunset Boulevard and then I went on tour with Trey Songz in the UK.
Trey Songz is a big look. How was it?
It was perfect, I had my target audience. It went down well; it was one of the best performances I’ve done.
And how did LA treat you?
It was my first time in America so there was a lot of expectations. As a British artist, they liked me, especially my accent. [Starts mimicking the American accent] I switched it up on stage and they seemed to appreciate that.
When it comes to song writing and recording, who inspires you?
I grew up listening to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, but currently I listen to a lot of Drake, Trey Songz, Bruno Mars and Tinie Tempah, people like that.
You’re from Leicester, right? I can’t tell by your accent… Do you live in London now or somethin’?
[Sniggers] That is correct, I am from there. Leicester is a small place, but we aren’t out of touch, we are up to date with music. The problem is there isn’t a lot of opportunity for you to promote yourself. There are lots of opportunities in London; musically there is a lot more going on where you can get involved. But I don’t live here. I stay in Leicester a lot but mainly I’ve just been travelling up and down, on the roads. I live wherever I lay my hat at the moment…
Sorry to ask you this, but I guess you know you can’t escape it. You were in X Factor a few years ago (2006 to be exact) what do you think of the show now and what did you learn from your experience?
I was young and I didn’t know which direction to go in. Everyone said ‘you should go on X Factor’ so I tried it out – it wasn’t really my kind of thing. I’m happy that I did do it and I didn’t succeed at it – although I wanted to back then. People should realise it is a TV show not a talent show; it’s for entertainment purposes. I think right now, it has played a better role than it ever has, because it gives people a platform. You don’t have to go on it to win. Having the chance to perform on that stage will increase your fan base and give you media attention, whether you go through or you don’t.
What tips would you give singers trying to catch a break?
Its dedication that got me here. All I can say is stay dedicated, know what you want to achieve, believe in yourself and put yourself in the right place at the right time.
So what is next for Luke?
You can look out for my single which will be out real soon, in the next month or so. My promo ‘Nothing To Lose’ is currently circulating, check it out. My album is virtually completed, that will be out late next year… look out for it.
For all things Luke, holla at him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Luke_Bingham