Chicago native Luke Frees plays guitar, piano, and bass, among other instruments, and writes original songs.
Beginning as a solo artist in Chicago, Luke eventually enrolled in Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music to study composition.
After graduating from Berklee, Luke moved back to Chicago and teamed up with fellow musician Gary to make music that would leave an indelible mark on listeners.
Luke was a part of the Boston band The Cotones before releasing his 2021 album “Point of You,” and he also spent time polishing his skill in Los Angeles, all of which contributed to the album’s distinctive sound.
Luke has been releasing a new song every month since his return to his hometown in November when he debuted the compelling “Most Of The Time.”
Luke’s ability to put feelings into music is on full display in “Honeycomb Hotel,” a bouncy and lively rock tune inspired by the relief felt after a breakup.
With lines like “You can’t overstep if you’re scared to walk,” it’s clear that the song is about taking back control of one’s life. Luke is eager to test out new musical territory and establish a name for himself.
We hope that our interview with Luke Frees will take you on a trip inside his creative heart, revealing the profound meaning behind his music and his hopes for using art to bring about global peace and freedom.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
It’s a cross between David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Prince, and songwriters like John Prine, Adrianne Lenker, and Jason Isbell.
What inspired you to write your latest album/song?
This song was part of a song-a-week project that I did through the first 6 months of 2022, and it started as a folky ballad actually, before turning into the funk/rock dancy song that it is now.
What message do you hope to convey through your music?
I don’t really have a message or much of a motive here. Every song is different, but my goal has always been to make people feel less lonely. I felt very isolated growing up, and a lot of my music reflects that feeling of alienation.
What was the most challenging aspect of recording your latest album?
Because this one started as a folk song, it was a little challenging figuring out how the arrangement should be. It wasn’t until I visited my friends in L.A. this past January that I made it faster and it all fell into place.
What has been your favourite moment or experience as a musician so far?
Any time when I’m playing with another musician and we both get on the same page and the thing we’re playing takes on a life of its own. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it happens it’s like flying.
How do you balance your personal life with your music career?
I read somewhere once that “there’s no such thing as work/life balance for an artist. Anything compelling always unbalances your life.” So I don’t really know—music is the most important thing to me and I can’t let anyone get in the way of that for me.
How do you handle negative criticism or feedback on your music?
I come from a background where criticism and comments are part of the game. I majored in songwriting at Berklee College of Music, and I was writing up to three songs a week, which would then be brought into different classes and critiqued.
As long as I can understand where the person’s coming from, I can usually check my ego and use their feedback to try and make stronger music. That being said, I’ve also had a fair share of criticism from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. That kind of criticism bothers me.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians trying to make it in the industry?
I don’t know if I’m the right guy to be giving advice, since I’m still figuring it out myself, but maybe just remember to enjoy doing it. Don’t try and make radio hits unless you enjoy doing that.
Don’t try to appeal to a huge audience unless you enjoy doing that. Whatever it is about music that got you doing it in the first place, that should be your M.O. Otherwise, what’s the point?
In sum, Luke Frees is an exceptionally gifted artist who has won over listeners with his stirring originals and passionate live shows. His multi-instrumental prowess and emotionally resonant songs set him apart from other musicians.
We can’t wait to see what comes next in Luke’s already-inspiring career as he continues to release new tracks and share his love for music with the world.