For our latest ‘My 5 Biggest Influences’ feature, we spoke to Luke Sital-Singh, who releases his new EP New Haze, out April 3rd.
‘My 5 Biggest Influences’ is when we talk to some of our favourite upcoming and established artists, delving into their greatest influences and inspirations, to see how bands, records, tracks, friends & family, hobbies and even environments have impacted on their work and music.
More about the new EP below, but first, here are Luke’s 5 Biggest Influences…
As a songwriter, David Bazan is probably my biggest influence. His lyrics especially have given me a blueprint in how to delve deep and offer up raw honest reflections on the muddy stuff of life and the human condition. We share a similar story and so his music resonates on a very personal level for me.
These days I seem to get more excited by the sound of records rather than just the songs themselves. As an aspiring producer I’m always listening out for new producers who are doing cool and interesting things. I’ve become a big fan of Ethan Gruska who’s produced some great records, perhaps most notably Phoebe Bridgers, and has his own artist thing going too. He’s taking the singer songwriter thing into some fresh new places. Hope to work with him one day too.
I like words and found early in my writing life that reading was the key to writing. I guess it’s obvious when you think about it. I try to ingest a lot of words and ideas so I have a healthy toolbox when it comes to lyrics. I don’t think it really matters what words they are really. Although the more poetic it is, the easier it is to transfer into a lyric. Having said that, I tend to get more ideas from non-fiction books than I do from novels. I wrote a song about having kids on my last album and wondered if having a family smell was an actual thing. I found a scientific journal article about it, which helped me finish the song!
I’m perhaps twisting the question here but hear me out.
Too often I’m influenced by other people’s opinions. I think I like to please and keep other people happy to my own detriment at times. I’d say this was worse early on in my life and career but I feel like I’m getting more single minded as I grow, in a good way. But it’s still an ongoing struggle to balance putting my own vision first and also being open to others. I guess influences can be a bad thing too right?
I’m something of a homebody, a hermit, an indoorsman. But I don’t think it’s my natural state. I have a little too much fear of the world and it tends to push me into safe places. Thank god I have a wife that loves exploring the world. When we moved to Los Angeles the beach was a big draw (for her). But actually whenever I’ve plucked up the energy to go I have found it so affecting. Just standing and staring at the waves. It’s always had a mesmeric effect on me.
Luke Sital-Singh’s new collaborative EP New Haze, is set for release on April 3rd via The Orchard. Luke will follow the EP release with a European tour, including a London show at the Union Chapel on May 5th.
Recently, Luke unveiled the first single to be released from the EP, in the form of ‘Almost Home’. Luke co-wrote the track with his friend, fellow songwriter Steve Aeillo (Lana Del Ray, Mumford & Sons, Thirty Seconds To Mars).
Explains Luke: “We made this during the first ever session I did after moving out to LA last year. I was opening my world to a whole new set of collaborators in a whole new place, whilst always questioning what it means to be at home.”
Take a listen below…
Earlier this month, Sital-Singh’s 2017 single ‘Killing Me’ was used in the BBC1 drama series ‘Silent Witness’. Written for his grieving Grandmother, ‘Killing Me’ is the South-West London born singer-songwriter’s most streamed song and he performed it during his recent TED Talk, where Luke spoke about the cathartic effect of writing and performing ‘sad’ songs.
“I’ve never been one for chasing fame and success, or for frantically following the musical trends of the day. I’ve just been drawn, for as long as I can remember, to the beauty of melancholy. To those wistful songs that serenade me through my pain. And to have this song, a slow ballad of hope and grief, a song I once thought too personal and introspective to release, to see it connect with so many of you. Well there’s not much more I can ask for.
“It’s a little bewildering to read so many of your stories of loss and I feel heartbroken and encouraged all at the same time. I do what I do in the quiet hope that I’m throwing something of meaning into the world and not just adding to the noise.”
Sital-Singh’s upcoming European tour includes his second ever headline show at the Union Chapel, and he has recently been appointed as a Cultural Ambassador for the famous London venue. He comments: “The Union Chapel has been a very important place to me one of those venues that brings its own unique magic to every performance. As one of the Union Chapel’s first cultural ambassadors I want to spread the word about this magnificent place and the work they do for the arts and social justice. That I once used to work here as a steward makes it only more special.”
April 19 – Milla Club, Munich (Germany)
April 21 – Taunchenthal, Leipzig (Germany)
April 22 – Bärenzwinger, Dresden (Germany)
April 23 – Privatclub, Berlin (Germany)
April 27 – Cafe Haerverk, Oslo (Norway)
April 30 – De Kapel, Eindhoven (Netherlands)
May 1 – Ekko, Utrecht (Netherlands)
May 2 – Rotown, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
May 3 – Jaki, Cologne (Germany)
May 5 – Union Chapel, London