Share & Connect
Luke McMichael might be in the process of building a presence on YouTube, but you do not want to miss out on the early steps of his musical journey. He is a twenty year old from Iowa working on earning his college degree while pursuing music. Recently, Toonari Post had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Toonari Post (TP): What do you want others to know about you? What do you want your music and your personality to say to new fans?
Luke McMichael (LM): Well I am a small town Iowa kid that has a strong passion for music. I am currently going to school for meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, but music remains a part of my life daily. If I’m not listening to music, I’m creating it. I don’t have nearly enough time to write as much music as I would like because of schoolwork. At the moment I am looking for new recording equipment to better the sound quality of my covers and my upcoming original songs. As far as what I want others to know about me, it is that I have always believed things will work out if they are truly meant to be, and if I’m meant to play music for people that would be great, and if not I still plan to share what I do with others. Being famous is not what I’m about, for any future fans that may enjoy the music I am currently writing, I would tell them that I could care less if they remember me, I would rather have them remember my messages in my music. I am no different than any other person out there. We all have problems, and we all have coping mechanisms, and my coping mechanism is music.
TP: What made you decide to post videos on YouTube to get started in your music career?
LM: I was very hesitant at first to upload the videos because you never know how people will react. At first I showed a few friends because you can trust them to tell you their honest opinion. I never want to post something that will turn out to be embarrassing. But for anyone posting videos on YouTube you are putting yourself out there and you have to be open to criticism and not get too down about. As far as starting my career, I never imagined being a musician as a career, but I would absolutely love it. Most of the covers I have on YouTube aren’t the greatest sound quality, but I think in a few months I will have the technology to show off my true sound which I hope people enjoy.
TP: How did you get started being a musician? How long ago?
LM: I started playing music in 1st grade. I took formal music lessons and started out playing on a ukulele-sized guitar. I remember sitting in front of my first grade class and playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, one note at a time…It’s always fun to see everyone’s reaction after a performance. My friends thought I was the next Jimi Hendrix. In 9th grade a couple of friends and I started a band called Reaching Out. We started out covering songs and playing local shows. After a while we decided it was time to start writing original songs. We released a couple rough songs we mixed and edited ourselves, and unfortunately never made it to the studio. The band eventually parted ways because we graduated high school and were off to college. One of my good friends and drummer in Reaching Out, Spencer Cole, was an extremely talented drummer and musician all around. I believe if he wanted to he could pursue a career in music very easily, but as many people know the music industry is a risky business and rarely lucrative, so that is why we make sure to make it all about the music and not the money.
TP: What’s your favorite genre of music? Any specific influences?
LM: I started off as a kid listening to country. It’s hard to get away from it in Iowa! I enjoy a lot of music and appreciate every genre for different aspects. I would say my greatest influence has been the rock/metal. I personally believe rock brings something to the table that other genres don’t. With rock music the emotion seems to be palpable and messages seem so clear. Sometimes all a well-written poem needs to make perfect sense is a melody in the background. As for specifics-the first rock bands I started listening to were A Day To Remember, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Alter Bridge, Breaking Benjamin, Bullet For My Valentine, Chevelle, Sleeping With Sirens, and Memphis May Fire are all major influences not only with music but in life.
TP: If you could perform with anyone, who would it be? Why?
LM: I think performing with Matty Mullins (Memphis May Fire) would be insane. He is an extremely talented musician and puts on an awesome live show.
TP: Since you have covers on your YouTube page, what makes a song a good song to cover?
LM: When choosing what songs to cover I try to pick out a song that fits my voice and I can add my own spin to it. With the songs I currently have on my channel they are all very different from each other, but are all songs I have listened to many times.
TP: When it comes to writing your own music, what are your main influences? What themes can listeners be expecting within your music?
LM: My main influence when I write my own music, like many musicians, is life. Every song I write starts out with a single theme that I think is hard to cope with normally. I also really try to make my lyrics different from every other song, which is very hard sometimes with the mass amounts of music that has been written. The topics usually include a death of a loved one, relationships, or any other thing that I have witnessed or experienced in my life. Again, I try to stay away from the quintessential break-up song and go deeper than that. I tend to be a bit philosophical in my lyrics; the meaning is not always obvious at first.
Luke explains, “I have been extremely blessed my entire life. I have a wonderful life and cannot complain one bit. I think music is a way I can give back to others and maybe help them through hard times. If I can help one person get through some type of hardship then it is worth it. I actually had a kid from my hometown start posting YouTube videos and I noticed he was doing every song that I have covered so far, and that was neat to see that I was having an impact, even if it is little, that is fine with me.”