INTERVIEW: Luke James Shaffer

Hi Luke, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Never been better! Thanks for having me!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Pressure”?

Pressure is a song about how easy it is to get caught up in the stresses of every day life but no matter how many things pile up or how hard things can seem it’s important to remember that there is only so much we can control. When we keep that in mind maybe the stuff stressing us out won’t feel quite as bad and instead of freaking out we will just realize when things don’t go the way we planned it’s not the end it’s just life.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

“Pressure” isn’t about a particular event but had been brewing as a concept for awhile. It’s relatable in that everyone has to go through stresses and pressures of every day. The song just lent itself to that and came to life when the moment presented itself.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

YES! We have been working on a very cool and unique video for this song that I am very excited about! Think… School House Rock.

How was the recording and writing process?

This song was basically written in a two hour songwriting session with my co-writer Daniel Strauch. There was a musical idea that developed very rapidly and just turned into this really cool tune. We recorded the scratch track for it that day and started plans on the actual recording.

We recorded the majority of it in DC at House Studios then did the horns, choir and main vocals down in Richmond, VA. It was a truly amazing experience to see this song sort of grow up from this acoustic/piano idea into this huge sounding fully produced tune. That’s the stuff I live for.

What was it like to work with Michael Brauer and how did that relationship develop?

So after we had the song recorded and basically put together we wanted to make sure it sounded as clean and as big as possible. There is a lot going on in the song so we needed someone who could make that happen. We did a little research and Michael Brauer kept popping up with the similar artists we were looking at! He has mixed some real legends over the decades and his story is very inspiring. We contacted his team and they were totally down after hearing the song! We drove to NYC and met with him to chat about the song at Electric Lady Studios and he was such a cool guy. After he mixed the tune we came back and listened and it is crazy what a good mix can do to a song, it just exploded with sound. It was a really great experience and we have plans to work with Brauer in future!

How much did he influence your music?

Well, the song that he mixed over the years (Coldplay, John Mayer, James Bay, Zac Brown…) have definitely influenced me and getting that sound right makes all the difference in the musical industry. He really opened up “Pressure” and made it sound like the huge anthem that we were hoping for.

How has your time on music competitions shaped the artist you are today?

Music competitions are fickle beasts. They can truly launch a career and they can undoubtedly kill one as well. Looking back on my experiences with them I’d say they helped me gain a confidence that I might not have had otherwise. When you audition for things and you are literally standing in front of people asking them to judge you it can be crazy nerve wracking. When you do it a bunch of times you get comfortable in your own skin and comfortable with the talents you have. There is something about doing well in them too… I don’t aim for affirmations but if you end up doing well in a competition you can’t help but feel you are heading down the right path even if you don’t win. That helps build a confidence that I personally haven’t always had. They are learning moments that I have tried to take and help me develop as an artist.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Heck yes! I have an EP ready to go and a ton of new songs are being developed! I am working with House Music Group in DC and we are literally recording new material every week. I can’t wait to get it out there!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Yes! We have a single called “How Sweet The Sound” off the EP to be released on May 18th!

Any plans to hit the road?

There are always plans to hit the road haha… We have some smaller shows set up right now near DC and plans to be on the road this summer/fall.

What else is happening next in Luke James Shaffer’s world?

Just signed a partnership with House Music Group and we are constantly working on new material. Working on a music video concept for the new song “How Sweet The Sound” and planning the EP release date! Thank you so much for having me on VENTS!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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