Luke Thompson grew up on the white-sand beaches of Mount Maunganui... surfing, swimming and perfecting his guitar playing... while soaking up the summer sun. Lucky boy.
The idyllic Bay of Plenty seems the perfect beginning for the vividly blue-eyed 22-year-old, whose stunning debut single 'Morning Light' was released to radio and music television late 2005, enjoying 11 sunny weeks in the NZ Radio Top 40 chart. The 'Morning Light' music video placed in the Juice TV Top 30 chart for 6 weeks, as well as receiving several Top 5 ratings on C4's Select. The clip was also finalist for Best Solo Artist at the 2006 Juice TV Awards, having been directed by the award-winning Adam Jones (Elemeno P, Steriogram, Pluto) of Zoomslide.
Luke picked up the guitar at the age of seven and started writing songs at his home in Tauranga.
"I used to hold concerts for my family in the lounge or on the front lawn," he laughs. "The funny thing is that it was always the same two songs."
There is something refreshing about this young talented artist - his melodies and arrangements somehow manage to reflect the beautifully serene environment of his childhood.
After completing high school, Luke took himself to Hamilton on a RockQuest scholarship where he studied music and song-writing at the Waikato Institute of Technology, graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of Media Arts. Towards the end of his studies, Luke entered a local music demo competition with a recording of 'Morning Light' made in his bedroom. He didn't win, but his music did turn the heads of NZ on Air taste-makers who awarded funding for both his debut and follow-up single and music video clip.
On first listen, Luke's follow-up single 'Perfect Drive' suggests recent influences like Dashboard Confessional and Bernard Fanning. But as you escape into the song, you begin to appreciate Luke's own developing style, which is grounded in the masters... Don McLean, James Taylor and Johnny Cash... all of whom have inspired Luke and his music.
'Perfect Drive' has been skilfully produced and engineered by Nic Manders (Brooke Fraser, Goldenhorse, Elemeno P) whose pursuit of sonic excellence saw 'Perfect Drive' recorded, mixed and mastered twice over! This process included pre-production sessions with legendary US drummer Brady Blade (Emmylou Harris, Jewel, Brooke Fraser, Dave Matthews) and the 'Swedes' Johan Carlberg and Joacim Bachman (Nathan King, Dean Chandler). Performances on the recording show-off the home-grown talents of Patrick Khutze (Carly Binding, Feijoa Jam) on drums and Dan Irvine (Brooke Fraser, Nathan King, Eight) on bass, as well as Nic Manders, Regan McKinnon and of course Luke.
'Perfect Drive' was mixed twice, and was also mastered both at Sydney's Studios 301 and at Auckland's premiere York Street Studios.
"Perfect Drive is just one of those songs that you have to get right," says Luke. "We decided to pull out all the stops to make this recording, well, perfect! I'm very proud of the results."
The 'Perfect Drive' radio single is to be released on the November 2006 NZ on Air 'Kiwi Hit Disc', in conjunction with a music video clip and a physical CD single for retail. Luke can regularly be found performing at intimate venues in the upper North Island of New Zealand. He also appears - often with his band - at large-scale events such as Mount Maunganui's New Year's in the Domain; the Hamilton Christmas in the Park alongside Spacifix, Katchafire and Steriogram; Juice TV's NZown; the Juice TV 'Live at the Winter Garden' sessions for New Zealand Music Month 2006 performing alongside Don McGlashan, Stellar*, Nesian Mystik; and TV2's Top of the Pops with Carly Binding.
Luke is currently working on writing and recording his debut album, to be released mid-2007.
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