Interview: Luke Sital-Singh

Luke Sital-Singh is a singer-songwriter and musician who has been making waves in the folk music world for the past few years. He’s recently announced a new album and tour, and as I recently got into his music, I decided it would be great to have a chat and find out a little more about what he’s up to!

By Jane Howkins

You have an album coming out soon titled Dressing Like A Stranger. What can you us about the album?

It’s hands down the best album I’ve made and the most me. I had to make it in a very DIY way because of the pandemic and in all honesty, I’m glad I did. It’s meant I had complete control over every aspect and I ended up with a record that was exactly how I wanted it to be. I am very proud of it.

You released a single in June called Summer Somewhere. What can you tell us about the song and why did you pick that one for a single?

Weirdly I actually have no memory of writing that song. A lot of the writing happened in a blur over a long period of time. Listening back to it, I remember going through some hard times with my wife in our new life in LA and I wanted to remind her and myself that there’s suffering everywhere and joy everywhere – sometimes you find yourself in deep in the suffering and at other times in the joy and neither situation lasts forever.

Truthfully the reason it was a single is that it’s a little more upbeat than most of the record. I’d always choose the most depressing songs for singles if it was up to me

Do you have any more singles planned for release?

There’s been one since Summer Somewhere called Can’t Get High and that was the last single before the album release.

You’ve been on the scene for a while now. How has the writing and recording process changed for you?

Nice way of calling me old. Thanks. I’m definitely less precious now. I used to be pretty obsessed with every song I wrote being totally profound and world changing. Which was obviously impossible and exhausting. Now I just let whatever comes come. Sometimes those are songs that still feel quite profound to me and others are just a string of random words that sound nice to me and evoke a feeling. I’m happy with both.

Did the pandemic hinder your work much?

Not hugely thankfully. I had a tour in Europe booked that had to be cancelled but it was more of a relief at the time. I’ve already mentioned that I was forced to make my album in a low key way which was an advantage in the end. I also started to work with people remotely via Zoom. Working on songs to pitch for tv shows. Something I thought would never work ended up being quite successful and I managed to get a handful of songs placed on TV during the pandemic. So that was a bonus that I’m not sure I would have pursued if not for the pandemic.

Your music is very folky. What/who are you influenced by and what have you been listening to recently

There are a few people here in the LA scene that I’ve been really inspired by. Folks like Ethan Gruska and Blake Mills. Both are artists and producers who make super cool work. I definitely designed my album in their mould.

Lately I’ve been enjoying John Moreland, Bonny Light Horseman, Flyte, Phil Cook and Angel Olso, to name a few.

You’re currently based in LA. What is the local music scene like there at the moment?

I wish I knew more about it. If only I left my house more often!

You’re touring the UK later this year? Are you excited?

I am excited but I’m more anxious than usual. It’s been a long time since I’ve toured properly and I’ve got a couple of big tours back to back. So I’m hoping it’s like riding a bike and I just get right back into it.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why do you think people should come and see you perform?

They can expect an intense emotional ride. Hopefully crying and laughing at the same time. I’ve really missed performing live. The stage is somewhere I feel most alive and in tune with what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Any last words for the fans?

Buy and stream my album. You won’t regret it.