Interview: Luke Sital-Singh

Image credits: Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/lukesitalsinghmusic/

Image credits: Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/lukesitalsinghmusic/

 

The singer and songwriter Luke Sital-Singh returns with his sophomore album Time Is A Riddle which is set to be released on 12th May and he is also on tour around the UK starting tonight. Although York is not on the list, you can see Luke in Leeds at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen on 18th May. 

Luke has amazed his fans with his powerful music ever since the release of his first EP Fail For You in 2012, followed by his first album, The Fire Inside, in 2014. He is now back with Time Is A Riddle, his second album, which is a collection of beautiful songs that were recorded in Donegal over the course of ten days. Ahead of the release of the album, Luke answered to a few of our questions about his new music, career and life in an email interview.

 

 

1. Time Is A Riddle is your second album set to be released on 12th May. How is it different from The Fire Inside – your debut album?

I think it’s a little more comfortable. A little more bedded in. I was out to prove so many points on that first album and I’m a lot more relaxed this time around, I think you can hear that in the songs and the performances.

2. I know that ‘Time Is A Riddle’, the title track, is the first one that you wrote for this album. Is it also your favourite one or do you have another favourite from the track list?

I don’t really have a favourite track on this album. One of the things I’m proud of is how the whole album holds together. Even though most of us listen to single tracks on playlists now, there’s still something special about a whole album that feels like a single, consistent body of work. That was what I was going for.

3. Two months ago, you released the music video for ‘Killing Me’, which is one of the songs from Time Is A Riddle. I read that you did the editing of the video, putting the bits of old footage together. Does that mean that you have an interest in video-making?

I’m such a control freak that I take an interest in all aspects of my career, but especially all the creative elements. I do all the design and art direction work. But I’m no video editor really. I was a simple job to make that video. In fact, the cut I made was just a rough to show people on my team what it could look like, but everyone liked it so much that we just ended up using the rough.

4. ‘Killing Me’ is a beautifully evocative song that you wrote for your grandmother and after listening to it you can easily tell that your grandmother means a lot to you. What is the best memory you have with her from your childhood?

The song is actually written from the perspective of my grandmother, singing to my late grandfather. The inspiration was the trauma of losing someone you love, whilst living on and experiencing new and wonderful things without them. I see my grandmother going through this and it breaks my heart. That’s what that song is about.

 

 

5. Your wife is the one who made the cover of the album. As I see, you are an artistic couple. Would you want your kids to pursue a career in any type of art?

NO! Haha! One of the things I’m grateful for about my parents is that I never felt they ‘wanted’ me to do anything other than being happy. And so I hope that is how I’ll be with my children.

6. You were in Donegal while recording the album and the cover of the album started from an image of a tree in Donegal. You probably connected to this place while you were there. Which is your favourite thing about that place?

Bizarrely I enjoyed the weather, which was horrible. Windy, wet, grey, bleak. I wouldn’t necessarily choose that kind of weather for a holiday but I found it spoke to my headspace when making the album. I would be woken every morning by the wind battering the little cottage I was staying in. There was something about that that resonated with the themes of the album.

7. You’ll also be on tour supporting your album for the next weeks around the UK. What’s the most exciting part about touring?

It’s all about the performances. I couldn’t live without that. I’m a performer first and a songwriter/musician second. There is nowhere I feel more at home than on stage. The other aspects, the driving, the hotels, the late nights and early mornings, I can live without those but the gigs make it all worthwhile.

8. Is there a city where you’d love to perform but haven’t got the chance yet?

New York City probably. No real reason other than I love it there.

9. Your first album – The Fire Inside– was released in 2014 and after three years you’re releasing the second one. I read that you were in a writing slump and this is the reason for the three-year gap between the two albums. Do you think you can control this writing slump now?

There were tons of reasons for the gap.The writing wasn’t really one of them. It was more due to the frustrating music industry than anything else. I don’t mind writing slumps. Getting stressed out about them just tends to make it worse. I’ve never been a prolific songwriter. I write when I have something to say. Sometimes it takes a while to gather up your thoughts before you’re ready to express them to the world.

10. Are there any musicians you’d love to collaborate with in the future?

Blake Mills, Justin Vernon, Aaron Dessner, David Bazan to name a few.

11. A few years ago, you talked in an interview about your origins – Welsh, Indian and Jamaican. You said that you’d like to know more about where your family comes from in India. Have you made any progress on that?

Not really, but I have been to India since then to play some festivals and it was a great trip. Fairly confusing as I really don’t relate to any of the culture at all, but it’s an amazing place and I’d love to go back again.

12. I read that you like the Slow Movement. I’m pretty sure the lifestyle of today’s society doesn’t allow anyone to do everything at a slow pace. So, are there any activities in particular that you take your time with?

Coffee is a big one for me. I got into it in a geeky way a few years ago and now it’s part of my daily routine and something I have to bring out on tour to feel at home. Grinding and weighing beans etc. It’s a ceremony more than anything.

13. Finally, do you think you’ll come to York to perform any time soon?

Hope so. I go where I’m wanted!

 

Time Is A Riddle is out on 12th May. As part of his tour, Luke will play in Leeds at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen on 18th May. 

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Miruna Radu

Music Editor, Experience Editor and Deputy Arts Editor 2017/18

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