Touring the world as Beyonce‘s hand-picked opening act would be a career leg-up gig for any singer, never mind one who has yet to release his first, full-length official album. But for Luke James it’s also been a chance to learn that he has to rely on himself in his career.
As Luke gets set to release his upcoming album, Made to Love, this fall, he tells ABC News Radio that being part of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour has shown him the importance of remaining true to his own musical vision.
“You just have to put your foot down, you know, and just truly stand on what it is that makes you, and what you believe in,” he says.
“That is one great thing that I have learned being on tour with Beyonce and meeting her family, you know and having those kinds of talks with Jay-Z,” Luke adds. “Just standing my ground and giving what it is that I have, because no one else has it and no one else has seen it.”
That’s one reason the “Oh God” singer isn’t planning to rely on guest features on Made to Love. It’s not that he doesn’t hope to work with folks like Kanye West and Drake on the project, it’s just that if he does work with people, he wants to do it for creative reasons, not just to pack his album with high-profile names.
“I don’t want features, I want to collaborate with people. I want to create art. I’m not looking for them to help me,” he says. “I am looking to do music, that’s what it is I want to do. So I have some producers that I have in mind that I would love to get in the studio and brainstorm with and create something great.”
Meanwhile, like everyone else, Luke has an opinion on Beyonce’s recent hairstyle changes — from blonde pixie cut to bob — and it’s almost like he saw it coming.
“Loved it. I always knew she would look amazing with her haircut,” says Luke. “I knew it. There was a particular performance that she did overseas and she wore this particular hair and the angle that I was watching her at it, looked like she had a bob. I mean, there’s nothing she can’t do. She’s a beautiful, beautiful woman. Shouts out to Jay-Z.”
So would the New Orleans native ever do anything funky or bold with his hair? The singer smiles and says he may experiment in the future.
“I don’t know about dying it but I’ll cut my hair, grow my hair,” he explains. “For me, I mean, it’s a feeling for me. I’m a Gemini so you just never know what will happen.”
Made to Love is slated for a fall release and will be distributed via N.A.R.S. Records and Island Def Jam.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio