“‘Siren’ is like a collection of sounds that probably most defines me as an artist. I feel like a lot of my material will stray off in different directions depending on the mood I’m in while writing, but this one feels most like home to me.” – Luke James Shaffer
We’re pleased to bring you the premiere of Luke James Shaffer’s new single “Siren” (listen below).
About the artist:
Singer-songwriter Luke James Shaffer’s story is the kind of yarn that packs an anthemic dose of rock n’ roll romanticism. Seven years ago, Luke was toiling away as a server in a restaurant, longing to be a fulltime singer-songwriter. In one moment of fevered enlightenment and hope, he turned to his friend and co-worker and asked if she thought he should pursue his dream. She said yes (by the way, that wouldn’t be the only time she said yes to a crucial question—the two are now married).
Today, Luke is basking in a new era of unbridled creativity and unbounded possibility while enjoying a familial partnership with House Music Group. His exhilarating, Bourbon Street-spiked first single “Pressure,” from his debut EP, also titled Pressure, rocketed to the Top 20 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts in January 2018. Luke has also amassed a robust YouTube audience with his live-looping cover videos and intimate renditions of popular songs, garnering over 1 million views.
The key to his success? “I always strive to create positive vibes because life is beautiful even when things aren’t beautiful,” the Washington, DC-based artist says.
Luke exudes gentlemanly charm and earthy sophistication. His congenial easy-spirited musicality traverses alternative Americana, folk-pop, country, soul, gospel, and the intimate singer-songwriter genre. His warm and soulful singing have garnered him comparisons to Adam Levine, The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Zac Brown, and Mumford & Sons. Currently, he’s backed by an intuitive collective of ace musicians, including Sean Mahon, piano/guitar/backing vocals, Daniel Brown, bass, and Jeremy Thompson, drums.
Recent career highlights include partnering with the Global Mental Health Alliance on his song, “We’re All a Little Crazy,” which reached the Top 50 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts and amassed over 80,000 spins on Spotify in just 3 months. A portion of the proceeds for this track will go to the Foundation. Luke also wrote and recorded the single “Cliff Dive” with bassist Austin Bello (Forever the Sickest Kids) which was picked up by The Travel Channel and featured on the show Expedition Un- known.
Past career highlights include making it to the Top 50 candidates on American Idol two years in a row; being cast on the web-based reality show Take The Stage with music manager Johnny Wright where he placed third, earning him an opportunity to work with LA-based producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga); and playing Madison Square Garden with an agency cover band.
As a singer and songwriter, Luke puts forth sweet and soulful enlightenment with a purity of expression that extends to his decision to never use auto tune. “My music comes from the heart—I say the things in song I can’t say any other way. I love to tell stories through music, and I believe in truth and honesty music and lyrics,” he shares.
Luke grew up in Ohio, and, as a child, was painfully shy—his mother had to indulge his love of singing through gently nudging him to join choir. Even though his father played guitar growing up, Luke didn’t really hear music until he started playing it himself on a guitar he and his two brothers got for Christmas. Isolated from many kids his age through being home schooled, his musical world were the sounds he heard at home. One sound he didn’t like to hear at home was his younger brother growing more proficient on the guitar than he. “I just couldn’t have that,” Luke states. So, as a late bloomer at 18, Luke started playing and writing songs and fell in love with the expressive possibilities of songwriting
In pursuit of his passion, Luke moved to NY until he ran out of money and retreated back to Ohio to work at a restaurant. That is where and when Luke made the fateful decision to give music one more shot. To this end, he moved to DC and signed up with an agency and began making a living singing cover songs. In joining forces with House Music Group in 2018, he found a platform that would nurture his gifts as an artist and support him in the decision to focus on only original music fulltime. “They have faith in me. This is a big step that I don’t take lightly,” he says.
Pressure represents a culmination of a creative partnership with House Music Group producer/songwriter Daniel Straw. The songs on the EP came together, as Luke says “pesticide free,” meaning they were created organically. The pair cherry picked a cohesive five-song collection for the EP’s rousing and redemptive roots rock aesthetic.
The EP’s first single is the invigorating gospel-infused pop-rock title track which boasts spiritual uplift, anthemic hooks, and heaps of soul. “That song is a reminder that there is only so much we can control, and, if things don’t go the way we plan, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just life,” Luke shares. The single will be paired with an animated video that addresses bullying issues in high school in a sharply insightful and entertaining way. Pressure’s second single will be “How Sweet The Sound,” a storyteller romance that glows with vintage soul touches like a Hammond B3 and smoldering grooves.
Luke is on the precipice of fulfilling his dream of doing original music fulltime. Up next, he will tour behind his EP and record its follow-up release. “There is a lot of pressure associated with this,” he acknowledges with a sly pun. “But I have strong faith in everything. I have the attitude that things when you put the hard work in, believe in yourself, and have a team you trust behind you, things work out.”