Luke Underhill is:
With diverse influences ranging from Gavin DeGraw and Bruce Springsteen to Ed Sheeran and Ben Folds, the multi-talented 21-year-old singer/songwriter, Luke Underhill, is preparing to make his mark in the format. The Chicago area performer’s emotional renditions of his songs have already earned him comparisons to a young John Mayer – while some more upbeat arrangements inspire exciting flashes of early Bryan Adams. After beginning 2017 in the studio with Mikal Blue (Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz), the young talent is ready to take his growing fan base deeper into the heart of his music with the upcoming Revolver Recordings EP, The Left Side.
While The Left Side is slated for release August 18th, Fans can enjoy a taste of Underhill’s sound with the newly released single and first track off the upcoming project, “I’ll Be Waiting.” Underhill explains the natural choice for his debut: “Something always stuck out about this song since the day I wrote it; the beat, the chorus, something. I still can't nail it, but it is by far my favorite track. And I think most of the listeners would love the drive and feel of this song.”
Variety was the goal for the upcoming EP and his choice of producer Mikal Blue proved to be an easy one. Underhill says: “Mikal Blue has produced and worked with my some of my favorite artists; Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Five for Fighting etc... So, when I found out he wanted to work with me, I was honored. I knew that he could give me the sound I wanted and more. He was amazing.” The new release follows two self-released projects in 2015, “Atlas” and “Atlas Unplugged” along with a self-produced single in 2016, “Too Good for Me”.
Producer Mikal Blue says: "Luke's ability to tell a story with an infectious melody make his songs stand out. His voice pulls you in and his catchy piano melodies and guitar hooks seal the deal."
Underhill grew up in the suburbs of Chicago with his adoring parents and a younger sister. Music was a common thread between the family and they frequently listened to the likes of Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and the Beatles. To Underhill, those were just the sounds in his mom and dad’s car as he drove to and from school. He never really gave music a serious thought until an unexpected encounter in 3rd grade. He explains: “This really popular kid brought his guitar to class, and the girls just started flocking to him. He looked so cool being able to play, and all the girls melted around him. So that's when I knew that I needed to pick up a guitar and impress the ladies. But ever since then, it turned into a passion. I taught myself guitar and I haven't gone a day without playing music since. “
Fans may be surprised to learn that this skilled guitarist and pianist may have pursued a career in professional Baseball if it had not been for a friendship he struck up with his high school choir teacher. Underhill explains, “When I entered my freshman year of high school, I didn't know anyone or have any friends because I transferred schools. So, at lunch, I didn't have anywhere to sit. I've never been a social butterfly, so naturally I wanted to hide away and make myself comfortable in a private setting. I asked the schools choir teacher, Mrs. T, if I could hang in the choir room and eat my lunch. She was the sweetest woman on the planet, and she let this random weirdo hang out in silence. But eventually I warmed up to everything and made my way to her piano, and she taught me where middle C was and how to form a chord. That was it. I went into that room every day at lunch and practiced making different chords and working both of my hands at the same time. I owe Mrs. T a lot. She taught me how to do my favorite thing. And she never kicked me out. “
While Underhill describes his sound as ‘mellow music with a loud voice,’ there’s no denying his skills as a songwriter. Whether making a happy point or a sad undertone, Underhill, who has written the bulk of his material, has a no-nonsense approach to songwriting that he chalks up to one of his musical idols. He explains: “I never really thought about how I wrote before. I would just write. It wasn't till recently that someone pointed out that I don't "beat around the bush" with my writing. I feel like that stems from listening to a lot of Ben Folds. His style of writing is very unique and doesn't follow the typical structure of a song, and I've always liked that. So, I guess I take a little bit from him. “
“My songs are ways for people to know how I was feeling when I wrote them, even on those songs where I’m playing piano but wrote the original riffs and chords on guitar,” he says. “It’s important for my fans to get a sense of how I originally created these, and I think I’m more passionate about my music when I’m playing a song that I wrote from a personal experience. In other words, the idea behind my songs is to record these tunes as a reflection of who I am, since they are all sharing my feelings at a given time. What I hope you hear on my songs is a connection to a similar feeling or life experience.”
A proud supporter of local and national charities, Underhill has a special place for The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. He explains: “I was adopted at a young age, and have struggled with dealing with the unanswered questions behind it. This foundation answered a lot of those questions for me. And it made me realize how lucky I am, and how important it is to consider adoption. “
The future proves to be bright for this budding star with his August 18th release of Revolver Recordings EP, The Left Side.
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