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Daily Inspiration: Meet Luke Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luke Smith.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started playing guitar at the age of 13, and quickly got into songwriting. Songwriting is by far my favorite part about music and my choice form of self-expression. In 2011 I briefly attended McNally Smith College of Music as a Composition major. Although I wasn’t there long, it sparked an interest that has sustained me ever since. Now I’m 30, and this December I’m graduating with a degree in Music Industry from Mankato State University. I teach guitar, write a lot of songs, and I’m working on growing a YouTube channel focused on music production. I’m also interning with the Minnesota Music Coalition where I’ve been assisting with Caravan Du Nord, a touring showcase of Midwest artists. I’m very grateful to be where I am.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
My biggest difficulty has been dealing with self doubt, and trusting the time and effort needed to improve. One big take away from my time at MSU is the amount of songs you need to write in order to be good at songwriting. It’s easy to wait until you feel inspired, but true professionals create regardless of how they feel. Also, not judging the results of what you write. When I’m trying to be creative, my goal is to write as much as I can, and judging myself too harshly impedes this process. Once I have a pile of songs, then I can decide what’s worth releasing and what isn’t. You’re less attached to any one song when you’re writing consistently. It becomes a lot easier to “kill your darlings.”

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’ve been mostly known (or rather unknown) as a singer-songwriter. I’ve released three EPs, and I’ve performed extensively in Southern Minnesota. I also release music under my electronic moniker, Late Night Luke. Ever since 2020, I’ve focused primarily on electronic music. In the last year I’ve released two coffee shop-esque lofi EPs (Beat Station, Finals Week), and a covid-related quarantine collab project (Songs From Home), as well as many singles. In March of 2021, my song “Coffee Shop” started blowing up on Tik Tok. As of today it’s been used in 28,000 videos.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
I listen to the Cymatics Show Podcast for production tips, music industry strategies, and to learn more about my favorite artists. I also recommend Seth Godin’s blog, the Slow Growth Newsletter by Matt D’avella, Sonicbids, and Hypebot for great information you didn’t know you needed. For books, I recommend the Art of War, The Power of Habit, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, and How to Make it in the New Music Industry by Ari Herstrand.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Chasing Ghosts album art by Phillip Lasfroh. Performance photo with guitar shot by Evan Smith.

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