Luke Million tours nationally August-September 2019.
When every kid and his dog can sit in their bedroom with a laptop and create sounds, you have to wonder what Australian producer Luke Million (yes, he of 'Arnold' fame) feels he’s doing right that makes his music as popular as it is.
“It’s something that’s very personal,” he says, “based on my experiences and my inspirations, taken from other music and things in life.
“I have a lot of old equipment, but it’s matched with a lot of new [equipment] – I guess it’s unique, you can hear that in my production. It’s a sound that doesn’t sound like everyone else, but I guess that’s because of all the ingredients that make me who I am and who I am musically.”
For those who aren’t familiar with Luke and can’t draw similarities between his character and what’s in his music, particularly in his latest single ‘Heard It On The Radio’, it’s interesting to hear Luke analyse himself and explain what elements are present in his sound that come from the heart.
“The song itself was written over a few stages,” Luke explains. “It first came together when I had a jam with my good friend, Touch Sensitive.
“I jumped on a synth, a Yamaha DX7, and picked a random touch – I played three notes and was like, ‘This is a bit of a mood!’. We kind of looked at each other and went, in that moment, that yeah it’s very interesting.
“It came together quickly after that, feeling natural where we were going. We weren’t trying to make it a house track or disco, we went with the tension of the sound because that’s where it was taking us.”
It was a moment where an internal light switched on inside him, Luke says. He was moved by emotions he’d not experienced previously in the studio; then bringing in vocalist Asta to collaborate on the single, provided Luke with the amazing contrast of light he didn’t realise would complement the brooding nature of what he’d already created.
“It was effortless in a way – that’s the best things in life, the things that come naturally – and with the music I’m putting out now, I want to put out things I feel proud of, and this is music I’d want to listen to myself.
“The song touches [on] things that are accessible to most people – we’ve all been loved, we’ve all had heartbreak and that’s a story most people would definitely take something from... with the lyrics, it’s important not to just put something on a page, but get something real.”
By referring to his music as a reflection of what makes him who he is, like labelling that “touch” he found on his Yamaha DX7 “a mood”, Luke has ultimately, though seemingly unwittingly, by working with people who are on the same plane as him, managed to discover a subliminal side to his character.
“The interesting thing about collaborating with people is you’re bringing different parts to the table. When you put it all together, you end up with something completely new, you’ve entered unchartered territory, that’s what’s so special about it.
“I love writing music by myself but also with other people, you go somewhere else, and that is quite amazing.”
And you’d imagine that would extend to the live stage – Luke is not only performing with an audience present who can readily embrace the emotions and experiences he chooses to share through music, but it’s also in the people he chooses to take on tour with him.
The support acts for his national tour, Reija Lee and Juno Disco, were handpicked by Luke because he felt their brand of music not only resonated with his, but he’s adamant he wants to help up and coming artists by providing them with a platform.
“It’s about trying to present a whole night that sits well with a bit of synth-pop and synth-wave. I wanted to make it more cohesive as opposed to crossing all genres – everyone’s different, but we’re all kind of tied-in together.
“Those bands are the new wave of upcoming talent, and I wanted new people, fresh blood. I feel like people who are fans of me could be fans of them because of the connection.”
He’s not wrong. There are similarities in the vocal nuances of Reija Lee and what Luke’s done with Asta. While the sonic soundscape that Juno Disco explores could certainly match up with the skill of Luke. “That’s why I chose them,” Luke agrees.
“It’s not just about putting on a show, but we get to hang out, share real experiences and be real people.”
Luke Million 2019 Tour Dates
Fri 30 Aug - Fat Controller (Adelaide) Sat 31 Aug - Civic Underground (Sydney) Sat 7 Sep - Jack Rabbit Slim's (Perth) Sat 14 Sep - The Gasometer (Melbourne) Fri 20 Sep - The TBC Club (Brisbane) Sat 21 Sep - Sweet Dreams Festival (Canberra)