From Greenwich Village, New York, singer-songwriter and alternative recording artist Luka James unleashes a hazy and soulful "Mist" with his latest sincere single.
One can easily recognize Luka James' unique stylings through his hypnotic and emotive vocal layers and vulnerable, cathartic songs stemming from complex internal monologues. Inspired by the likes of evocative vocalists like James Blake, Steve Winwood, Moses Sumney, Jordan Rakei, Janis Joplin, and Kelsey Lu Luka's, Luka James is truly carving his own distinct path down the industry.
Known for creating a cinematic and alternative pop/soul sound, listeners can catch this through James' latest single, "Mist." The New York-based singer-songwriter mentioned that the song is about releasing the need for external validation to find your own truth. Luka James cruises through the funky, composed, and lush instrumental arrangement while offering hints of jazz and neo-soul to refresh the listener.
Jumping into "Mist," we're met with a serene electric guitar melody soaked in reverb alongside samples of birds twittering in the distance. As the poised and warm drums begin to kick in, so do Luka James' soothing and melodic vocals that sing a needed message anyone can learn from. We adore the brightness and emotion this song has to offer, especially through James' animated performance.
Luka James peacefully stresses that external validation is never as important as we may think, and the only source of validation we should feel is from ourselves. This gentle and atmospheric anthem for self-love and acceptance is exactly what we needed, and we couldn't have asked for a more dedicated, experimental, and vulnerable recording artist to tell us what we need to hear.
Keep your head held high and pat yourself on the back with help from Luka James' latest single, "Mist," now available on all digital streaming platforms.
We're truly impressed with the chilling and soulful atmosphere you've brought with your recent hit, "Mist." What inspired you to release a song is about steering away from external validation and looking within?
I find when I seek outside validation it's an unwinnable race. When I'm most at peace, I stop comparing myself to others. In the end, it's about sticking to my own truth, trusting my inner guide, and settling in that place.
What was your songwriting process like for "Mist?"
I wrote the song as I traveled across the country, playing concerts to mobilize voter turnout in 2020. The song is layered with references to that journey, the wild images I saw and felt. It was powerful to mix my internal adventure with this beautiful external adventure I was having.
Was it easy to do some intense introspection and write such vulnerable lyrics?
It's never easy, because you're exploring your shadow, and that's inherently difficult, but in allowing that shadow to breathe, I find catharsis. Overlooked thoughts that bring me down now have a name and feeling that I can dance with.
Did you work solo when creating the production and instrumentals for "Mist?" What was that creative process like?
I wrote "Mist" solo and sent a demo to my friend Tyler Cannata. He immediately started to pitch me on coming out to his makeshift studio in rural New Mexico. I drove about 15 hours from LA, in the thick of winter, and we proceeded to make uninhibited noise with our sonic experimentations for a week. Brian Forbes also helped by making sense of our sonic splatter paint with mixing and extra guitar support.
If there was one lyric in "Mist" that you want listeners to hear the most, what would that be and why?
I like lyrics that aren’t always explicit in their meaning. I had to expand on one, "Caught inflated, I rose naked for my love." It represents the distractions that don't serve me. Outside validation is fuel to my ego's fire. The fire is warm and comforting, but it can also become an addicting source of pain. Starting to share music, I was comparing myself to others online, and sometimes feeling like an imposter. I have to remember that I share music, not for myself, but to inspire others to use art as a tool for mental health.
What's next for you?
I have an incredible video coming out for Mist, directed by the extremely talented Anastasia Antonova. There are stunning allusions to how nature connects to the human body. It will be released on my youtube channel. The visuals are pretty thought-provoking and address the same questions as the song but from a different perspective. I also have two more singles coming out in the spring before a European summer tour which I am really excited about!