Sep 1, 2021
5 min read
One listen to Luke Andy’s discography reveals a thread that runs throughout. An affinity for b-more kicks, growling basses, and stark minimalism. It’s the space that he leaves between the notes that gets your feet moving. He gravitates towards the wonky weird and always manages to inject plenty of organic funk and soul into his unique slant on house music.
“You got to either be different or you're going to be basic,” he explains. "And for me, I gotta’ do something to keep it interesting.”
The LA-based artist was born in Baltimore and says that his brother was considered the artistic one in his family. Luke was an outdoorsy kid, and while his brother obsessed over the clarinet, he never felt he had the patience to master an instrument.
He wanted to try percussion in the third grade unfortunately for him, those spots were reserved for kids with more experience.
His mom made him try violin and trombone. Nothing stuck until a friend introduced him to Apple’s entry-level production software, GarageBand. He eventually picked up Logic—with relative ease—and as he delved deeper into making his own music, he found his musical footing.
“It was so much more fun for me because I was the teacher,” he explains. Experimentation was far more compelling to him than the rigor of an academic setting. “The other part was when I started wanting to produce music it was because I went to my first music festival.”
When he graduated from high school, he opted out of going into debt in college. Enlisting in the Marines was the (relatively) safe and financially responsible bet. However, his boot camp date kept getting pushed back because of an iron deficiency. He started a regimen of supplements and weekly tests to assess his progress. By the time his friends returned from boot camp, he was no closer to leaving and incredibly frustrated with the experience. He wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, so his friends invited him to Moonrise Music Festival in Baltimore in 2016.
“This is the first time I did a lot of things, [it] was the first time that I really got a chance to be immersed in that music scene,” he remembers. “There were some influences that made it much more spiritual.”
Watching Tchami perform altered the course of his life. He decided then and there that the military was a no-go. “I just, like locked myself in my basement, and I just kept on producing until I made something that was good.”
Luke is uncertain what force steered his course away from boot camp that summer. He is confident he made the right choice.
“There was a reason that I couldn't go into the Marines, whether it be an iron deficiency or whatever it is like, you know, God. It had something else in plan for me. And it really took me the ability to step out of my comfort zone and try something that I had no idea was gonna work.”
His risk began to pay off handsomely. He quickly made a name for himself in the DC area and soon played on the stages of the area's most lauded clubs. However, as he progressed, something was missing. He soon felt he needed to reap the possible rewards of risk again.
“My parents were moving out of the house. We had a death of a friend and family and there's just a lot of things. I got out of a relationship. I really felt like Maryland was holding me back.” He explains. “And I don't know, I just felt like I had maxed out DC and I was ready for something more.”
He decided to pack up a Prius and drive across the country to Southern California. He decided on San Diego. Close enough to LA to experience the benefit of being at the epicenter of the US dance music scene. But far enough away that he would stay focused on his work.
“[I] fell asleep on my buddy's couch [when] we landed in San Diego. And when I woke up, I got an email from dirtybird accepting that song for birdfeed that I signed up for three weeks prior.”
“Shake It Girl” was released on Dirtybird’s sub-label birdfeed on January 6, 2019. His release output since has been an avalanche of unique records on a laundry list of lauded labels. His releases on Dirtybird, Psycho Disco, In/Rotation, Dumbfat, Medium Rare, and Space Yacht continue to extend his sonic reach to house heads across the globe.
His move also allowed him to spread the same feeling he got from watching Tchami perform. Now a regular at Dirtybird, Insomniac, and Space Yacht events, there’s a visceral feeling he gets from sparking joy on the dancefloor.
“It’s a beautiful takeaway to be able to play or have the option to play your music in front of a crowd. It's a rare moment to be able to control people's emotions from something that you made in your basement and in your room. You know, I think that's what makes it so special.”