INTERVIEW: Luke Royalty | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Darlington’s Luke Royalty burst onto the scene back in 2020 with divine, laid-back R&B tunes that expressed a confidence beyond his relative youth. A lot has changed in the short period since; forthcoming EP, 9INE, is his most innovative work to date, and arrives at a time when he’s considering plans for the future and reflecting on what he’s achieved so far.

Exactly like his music, Luke is engaging, articulate and doesn’t put a word out of place. He spoke about the music that’s been influencing him recently, and the how that’s inspired him to push against the edges of a typical Luke Royalty record. He’s recently moved to Manchester, but not because he’s forgotten his roots. “It was more to be surrounded by other writers and artists. It was less for the live scene, I’ve never really been a big gig guy. A lot of artists get into music so they can perform, but for me it was always just something that came with it. I enjoy gigs, but I prefer the writing and the creative process.”

While Luke may not have a complete affinity for the stage at this point in his young career, it hasn’t held him back. “I have started to enjoy it more, as the gigs have been getting bigger and better, I suppose. I supported Jake Bugg last year on tour, playing in front of 3,000 people every night. I used to get on stage and couldn’t wait for it to be over, but I’ve learned to love the whole experience of the gig. But I definitely prefer the writing and the self-expression instead of having all eyes on me.”

I definitely prefer the writing and the self-expression instead of having all eyes on me

With all that said, as we’re speaking Luke is preparing for a London gig, which will be only his second in the nation’s capital. “It’s alongside some great artists and I’ve not done a full band gig in about nine months. So it felt like the right time. I’m playing with Ethan Carter, who is smashing it, with Mike and Josh. I always look at my band members and see them as such proper performers; real musicianship.”

Despite switching up his home town, as well as his listening and performing habits, the composition of his band has remained a constant. “I’ve been listening to a lot of James Blake and Dean Blunt. I think when people hear the new tunes that they’ll recognise that, without it being too drastic. There is some consistency, and the music still reflects who I am as a person.”

The lead single from the EP, Up!, captures this new sound brilliantly. “It’s probably the least weird track from the new EP. I’m proud that I’m not making the same music as I was two years ago; I’m not struggling for inspiration.” It’s a tune which marries a lo-fi instrumental with typically laid-back, affirmative lyricism. It’s unmistakably Luke Royalty, but is a fine example of his new musical direction.

The new record leans more heavily into sampling and production, instead of being geared toward the live experience. It features the likes of fellow North Eastern pop artist L Devine, and was produced in collaboration with Julien Flew. “I’ve learned a lot in terms of production, and it’s come full circle now. I definitely see myself more as a producer, and the next step is being able to inspire other artists in the same way.”

Whether from the stage or in the studio, Luke Royalty continues to be one of the region’s most fascinating emerging artists, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.

Luke Royalty releases 9INE EP on 6th October via Soul Kitchen Records.



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