In Conversation With Actor And Grammy-Nominated Artist Luke James On His Highly Anticipated Album, “to feel love/d”

Luke James Has Finally Released His Highly-Anticipated R&B Album. Speaking on the new release, Luke says, “This album is a body of work that is a culmination of experiences and ideas… [it’s] music that I’ve lived with for a while. I like to think of this album as more of a bridge into my new endeavors being an independent artist.”

“To feel love/d” marks Luke’s much-awaited return to his widely successful music career following a two-year hiatus to focus on his work in acting.  The three singles from the album, entitled “go girl” ft. BJ The Chicago Kid and Ro James, “all of your love,” and “blow” took the music streaming platforms by force, including features on massive playlists such as Spotify’s New Music Friday, Are & Be, and rotation on Amazon’s Global R&B platform.

Lukes’ credits are as vast as they are impressive. Throughout his career, he has written songs for the likes of Justin Bieber, Snoh Aalegra, and Chris Brown, to name a few.  He has also performed alongside the late Prince and is one of the very few artists to ever open for Beyoncé, during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.  Luke received his first Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance for his hit song “I Want You” (from his first mixtape “#Luke”) and received his second Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song for “Options” ft. Rick Ross (from his self-titled debut album “Luke James”).

On the television front, it was announced that Luke is set to star in the third season of the hit Showtime drama series, “The Chi.”  Created by Lena Waithe, the series follows the lives of a group of people in the South Side neighborhood of Chicago after a fateful turn of events sends shock waves through the community but also connects them in unexpected ways.  Luke also recently starred in the smash hit Universal Pictures’ comedy “Little,” opposite Issa Rae, Regina Hall, and Marsai Martin and is well-known for his starring role in the musical drama series “Star” on FOX, created and helmed by Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels.  Additional acting credits for Luke include recurring arcs on HBO’s “Insecure,” USA’s “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.,” and his role as R&B singer Johnny Gill on BET’s “The Bobby Brown Story.” Luke recently spoke to GLARE to discuss his biggest adrenaline rush, his philosophy on life, and the plans he has in store…

Who is Luke James in five words?
Loving, Honorable, Nasty, Happy, Sad…. Okay, let’s see what else is there?

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I guess a check, diagnostic check, you know, self-diagnostics. I just feel my body, fill my mind, my spirit and I project gratitude for waking up another day. Thank you, God!

What’s your philosophy on life?
Don’t worry be happy. Yeah, not to be cliche. My mother used to always say, don’t worry. I think I’m at a place where I want to be. So yeah, don’t worry, be happy because everything’s gonna work out for sure.

Photography by Ben Abarbanel

What do people always misunderstand about you?
I think I’m finding that people think that I am somewhat of an extrovert, I guess. Maybe I act the part well, sometimes. I think my career kind of helps me out of my introverted ways because I want to enjoy life and all the different aspects of it and sometimes my innate ways don’t allow that pleasure. My career helps me get out. It helps me meet people. It helps me get into new ideas, you know, keeps my mind open.

What gives you the biggest adrenaline rush?
My biggest adrenaline rush, I’d say has been on the stage. It’s a rush like no other. I can come off stage and have cut myself and not even realize I did until the next day, you know, my adrenaline took over…

What do you think about when you’re by yourself?
A lot of things rather personal… I think about work, you know, in the sense of like work, as everyone else may think of work. I find pleasure in what I do so when I’m talking about work, I’m talking about my passions which happen to make me money which turns into work. It is something that I must do to continue making a living. I enjoy it so I guess to answer your question I think about creativity. I think about God, I think about love, I think about the world. I try my best to think about happy things…

What qualities do you admire about yourself?
One of the qualities I admire about myself is my really strong willpower. I am constantly reminded of my willpower. So yeah, I truly admire that about myself. If there’s something I want, truly want, I work my ass off to get it, to have it. It seems like everything around me just conform to enable me to have whatever it is I’m in search of. I’m not sitting here saying or acting like I’m a guru. I’m still figuring that thing out too.

What is the weirdest thing you would consider about yourself?
The weirdest thing about me, I don’t know. I think maybe someone else may have to say what that is. I don’t particularly find anything I do weird. I’m interesting (lol).

What are the three things you value most about a person?
A person’s empathy, the person’s intellect, and their spirituality, you know something in that realm. There are so many things fucking three is just not enough…

Tell us about any struggle you’ve overcome.
Seeing myself for who I am, acknowledging it, adhering to it, and strengthening it. Being happy with the process of becoming better, a better me. Falling in love with that process. It’s a constant. I believe it to be a struggle that just about everyone goes through.

If you could tell your former self one thing, what would it be?
Wake up early, create, create, create, stay open, be a sponge. Don’t worry. Leave negative people and things alone. Let them go. You may love them but you can love them from afar. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the moment, and don’t listen to anyone but yourself. Stay centered. There’s going to be a lot of trying things that will come your way. Be still and push forward. Everything will be alright. Yep, that’s that. I hope that all made sense.

Photography by Ben Abarbanel Styling by Guvanch Agajumayev
Grooming by Travis Lester Casting by Andre’ Adkins