Congrats on recently releasing your sophomore studio EP, Illuminations. It is fantastic! For fans that are just now hearing about it, can you talk a little about the EP? Thank you so much! This EP is very special to me. Warren Huart produced the entire project, and he exceeded all of my expectations. It was a real honor to get to work with him on something that means so much to me. It was my first crack at writing about more personal things, since I never really wrote about myself before. So it was a very different change of pace.
You have already proven to be a talented songwriter, so how was it choosing the songs for this EP? I knew I had to challenge myself. I didn’t want to use any songs that I had written previously, because I only wanted to focus on whatever it was I was feeling at the time. So after I finally wrote enough to give us a lot of options, picking the songs was pretty easy to me. I knew I had to have “Long Way Home” as the opening song, and “Katie’s Song” as the closer. “Yet Again” almost didn’t make it. But after a rewrite, we all agreed it needed to be a part of this EP.
Where there any songs that did not make the EP that you wish had? I wrote a song called “How He Tried” that I was really hoping would make the cut. But I have a very specific vision as to how I want it to sound, and I didn’t think it would have fit in well with the rest of the songs on the EP.
Where does your lyrical content comes from, is it mainly personal experience? For the longest time, I hated writing about myself. I wrote about anything else. But something clicked one day, and I decided to focus solely on personal experience to see how it works. So all the songs you hear on Illuminations is pulled from personal experience. I’m very happy with how it all turned out.
What are your hobbies/talents outside of music? I grew up on three main things; comics, baseball, and the X games. MY grandpa got me into comics and my dad got me into all things baseball. I grew up a Cubs fan just like every other person born and raised in Chicago. BMX and everything else the X games has to offer is just something that has always drawn me in. It’s truly my favorite sport to watch.
Tell us about growing up in Chicago. What was your favorite home cooked meal growing up? I grew up in a small town about 50 miles west of Chicago called Yorkville. I’ve made lifelong friends there. Even though I moved away, I’ll always love coming back home. I think my favorite home cooked meal is a tie between my dad’s pancakes and my mom’s rice and beans. I grew up with good food being in a Puerto Rican household!
Was there music playing around the house? Oh yes, lots. My dad would only listen to Bruce Springsteen and my mom would blast Puerto Rican music and Billy Joel. That’s why I loved driving with anywhere with my parents; I knew we would get to blast music and jam out.
We hear you cook a mean steak. What’s the secret to cooking a good piece of beef? Haha! Oh yeah, I love to cook. I believe the secret is in the seasoning. I only flip my steak once, and let it rest for a couple minutes after I take it off the heat. Also, butter. I like to spread butter over the top of mine while it rests.
Now that you have been in Nashville awhile, if you designed your own food tour, which restaurants/bars would be on your list of places to visit? I absolutely adore Printers Alley. Fleet Street Pub is my usual go-to. There’s a draught beer bar in the Gulch called Hops & Crafts that always has great options. And my manager and I always hit up Beyond The Edge in East Nashville because their wings are amazing.
As an independent artist you have quite the following, how do you stay connected with your fans? Of course social media is the most important thing to do as an independent artist. But I have never been good with social media so I’ve had to learn a lot. I also like meeting my fans if they come out to see me live. It’s always sweet meeting the people that listen to my music.
What else is coming up for you for the remainder of the year? A lot is coming up! I have a Midwest tour coming up, along with working on new music that I’m really excited for everyone to hear!
Favorite summer drink? Guinness. It’s my favorite summer drink, and of course it’s my favorite drink every other season. Nothing will ever beat Guinness.
Summer picnic essentials? Baseball mitt, baseball, goldfish, and some ice cold water. If you want to bring anything else, that’s great. But I can’t forget my mitt.
Favorite summer activity? Catching a Cub game at Wrigley Field. There is no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark.
Best summer songs? Oh man, I’m very bad at this. I listen to the same music year round. But if I had to choose a couple songs to listen to with the windows down, I’d say “Thundercrack” by Bruce Springsteen, “Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs, and “Gotta Get It Right Now” by Telekinesis.
Best summer family vacation? When I was twelve years old we got to take a trip to Cooperstown, NY for a tournament my baseball team was in. It was awesome being able to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. I’m dying to go back there.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? What a great question. I’d have to say Guinness. It’s my drink of choice, and my fridge is already full of it! I’d love to be one of those lucky people to attend different events for Guinness and talk about the company. Being sponsored by them would be amazing.
About Luke Underhill
With diverse influences ranging from Gavin DeGraw and Bruce Springsteen to Ed Sheeran and Ben Folds, the multi-talented 23-year-old singer/songwriter, Luke Underhill, is making his mark in the format. Earning a reputation as the contemporary ‘piano man,’ the Chicago native’s emotional renditions of his songs have already earned him comparisons to a young John Mayer – while some more upbeat arrangements inspire exciting flashes of early Bryan Adams. Since the release of his debut studio EP The Left Side in 2017, Underhill has worked diligently to hone his skills as a songwriter, musician and artist.
Combining his mystically old soul and unique take at songwriting, Underhill is celebrating the release his sophomore studio EP “Illuminations” with hit producer Warren Huart (The Fray, Marc Broussard, Korn, Aerosmith, Better Than Ezra) at the helm. The 5-song EP embodies Underhill’s vision for his music and portrays how much the versatile artist has come into his own in the past year. His debut radio single “Long Way Home” has received rave reviews with Parade.com calling it a “spirited and triumphant song” and the EP has quickly accumulated more than 17K streams on Spotify.
As an independent artist, Underhill’s fanbase has grown significantly since his debut. With more than 130K streams on Spotify, 816K YouTube views and more than 20K followers on social media, the singer-songwriter has certainly struck a chord with his story telling ability and unique sound.
“When I first heard Luke Underhill’s voice and read his lyrics I knew I had to work with him,” said producer Warren Huart. “Lukeis the artist I’ve been waiting for ever since I first heard The Fray’s demo of “Cable Car” sitting in a Studio Car Park in a Ford F150 Truck. Luke reminds me of everything we want in an Artist. I’m so excited for people to hear his music.”
The future proves to be bright for this budding star as he splits his time between Chicago, LA and Nashville writing, recording and playing shows. His new project Illuminations was released on April 12th and features 5 tracks all penned by Underhill.