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Emotions and devotion


SOME of the greatest live music of the year can be seen at the annual Alchemy Festival that takes place at Southbank Centre in London.

Like previous years, the action-packed series of events at the 2018 edition in May will give a great platform to some of the best kept secrets in live music, including Luke Sital-Singh.

The talented singer/songwriter will bring his soulful songs to Queen Elizabeth Hall on May 6 in what promises to be a concert powered by plenty of emotions. I caught up with Luke to talk about his song-writing, inspirations and more…

When did you first get connected with music?

I first began writing songs in a way that mattered to me at 15. I formed a band with some friends and played a few gigs. I’ve pretty much been doing the same thing ever since.

What led you towards your emotionally-charged musical sound?

That’s a good question and one that I don’t have the precise answer to. But one reason I keep writ­ing is because I believe emotionally-charged songs have the ability to make us feel less alone in the darkness we all go through.

How would you describe your songs?

Pensive, wistful, melancholy, lamenting, hopeful and catchy!

Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating your songs?

Anything I can. I don’t find it easy writing songs. I hate writing the same song twice, so I am often flailing around searching desperately for some­thing new to inspire me. Nothing is off limits. Beg­gars can’t be choosers. I will write whatever the muse suggests to me.

Which of your songs is closest to your heart?

Killing Me is quite a meaningful song because it’s the first time I wrote from the perspective of some­one else, specifically my grandma as she continues to live her life without her soul mate, my late grandfather. I was blown away by all those who reached out after the release of that song to say how much it resonated with them.

Your songs are lyrically very strong; how impor­tant is that for you?

I appreciate that. Lyrics are super-important to me. Especially for the kind of songs I’m writing. The way they are presented. The lyrics are so exposed. There’s really not much to it other than lyrics, so they kind of have to be good enough. Also I have to sing them over and over, so it helps my sanity if I’m singing something that means something.

Do any of the songs affect you emotionally?

They all have the potential to affect me emotional­ly, but only as I’m singing them live and only if I’m in a very specific headspace. It doesn’t happen of­ten. Usually it’s the newest songs that affect me as they haven’t grown as old with repetition yet.

You are wonderful live, but how important is performing live for you?

Thanks! It’s very important. It’s what I love to do. I feel very at ease on stage, maybe more so than any­where else in life. I can often get disillusioned with music and my career etc, but all I need to do is get back on stage and realise why I really love doing what I do.

What has been your most memorable show?

Probably my bigger headline shows. The show I did at the Scala in London a few years ago was very spe­cial, as was my own show at Union Chapel. Both venues felt like real landmarks in my career and re­minded me how far I had come.

How much are you looking for­ward to performing at Alchemy and what can we expect?

I am really excited because it’s my first show for a while, and as I said I get lost a bit when I haven’t played for a while. I’ve also always wanted to play at Southbank Cen­tre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Musically, what can we expect next from you?

I’m writing my third album, which is proving diffi­cult. But I’m happy with a few of the songs. It ain’t gonna be a dance album, that’s for sure!

What music dominates your own playlist?

Currently I’m listening to Courtney Marie Andrews alongside a healthy dose of the greats like Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Dylan.

Who is your musical hero?

Tough question. But probably David Bazan, who is not a household name, but his songwriting is so brutally honest to all of life’s strug­gles that it never fails to inspire me. I wish I could move someone in the way he moves me.

What is the secret to writing and composing a great song?

Oh man, I wish I knew. I’m just looking for something that con­nects with people. If it doesn’t con­nect, it’s not a great song.

  • Luke Sital-Singh will perform at Southbank Cen­tre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on May 6, 2018 as part of Alchemy. Tickets are available at www.south