Upcoming singer songwriter Luke Sital-Singh talks us through his influences…
HIUT Denim Co.
That’s right. I’m inspired by Jeans. Well, not exactly. David and Claire Hieatt set up HIUT Denim Co. after selling their first clothing company Howies. HIUT Denim are more than just a jeans brand – they are a company with a really inspiring story and ethos. The company motto is ‘Do one thing well’, and boy, do they just? HIUT make awesome ethically produced high quality jeans. They are all about bringing manufacturing back to the UK and all the jeans are made by ‘The Grandmasters’ in Cardigan, Wales.
Everyone these days talks about musicians being brands, but if there’s a brand I aspire to be like it’s HIUT Denim Co.
Mr Adams has been something of a mentor over the years. I think he is a phenomenal songwriter. I went to see him for the first time last year during his recent solo tour and it blew me away. Two hours, one guitar, one guy: flawless. It really raised the bar for me. It was the time when things were starting to get serious – I was playing all my shows solo and people were taking a bit more notice. I came away from that show with a renewed drive to just be better.
The video is of probably my favourite song, sung with Laura Marling who is also pretty darn good.
The Do Lectures
TED talks are pretty good, but Do Lectures are better. Run by the same guys that do HIUT Denim, The Do Lectures is an event based in a forest in Wales. Their idea is pretty simple: ‘That people who do things can inspire the rest of us to go and do things, too.’ And that is exactly what it does for me. There are talks on anything and everything, all available online, but apparently the real experience is attending. All the speakers camp with the attendees and inspiration is free flowing. I’ve never been, but they do invite artists to come play for everyone. If you’re reading this, Do, I’m available!
The video is of one of my favourite talks by Alistair Mcintosh.
When I started getting serious about writing I asked every writer I could for advice on getting better at lyrics. One of the most common pieces was read more. Sounds a bit obvious I guess, but since then I’ve tried to fill my life with words. My favourite kind of words structure is poetry. As a songwriter I can often hide bad words behind a nice melody, but with poetry there is no hiding. I read these amazingly crafted pieces and see the skill it takes to transport the reader somewhere without the relatively easy tool of using music. Reading poetry has really improved what I do and I’ve even got a small collection of my own poetry growing slowly.
David Bazan – Curse Your Branches
This is one of my all time favourite records. David Bazan is one hell of an incredible writer. A professing evangelical Christian most of his life, Curse Your Branches is his break up record with God and it’s just amazing. It ruthlessly documents his turn to atheism and all his problems with religion.
A good singer songwriter should help an audience purge their own pain. They sing of personal heartache, but somehow include everyone. I always go away from a good singer songwriter gig feeling drained and refreshed at the same time. This record has helped me purge a lot of things from my own life and faith.
Josh Ritter – Temptation of Adam
This is one of my favourite love songs. Another example of a genius songwriter. Josh Ritter’s narratives are such an inspiration to me (when they aren’t making me consider giving up!). This is a story about two people falling in love in a missile silo. I think my favourite lyric is “We’ll pretend this giant missile is an old oak tree instead, / And carve our name in hearts into the warhead”. Genius.
For some reason I find it a strange thing to state that Sigur Rós are my favourite band. I think it just sounds an odd thing to say, but it’s true. More than any other band, Sigur Rós have the ability to take me somewhere else whatever mood I’m in; I could be in the middle of a war zone and if I heard Sigur Rós I’d be gone. I find their music so effortlessly powerful and moving. I’m yet to see them live but I’m reliably informed that a little bit of heaven touches earth.
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
There are no words to describe this record.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Fri 31st LONDON, St. Luke’s Church, Islington
Tue 4th LONDON, Servant’s Jazz Quarters
November w/The Staves
Thu 8th BRISTOL, Thekla
Mon 19th LONDON, Village Underground
Tue 20th BRIGHTON, Komedia
Weds 21st LEEDS, The Wardrobe
Fri 23rd EDINBURGH, Pleasance Theatre
Sat 24th BELFAST, Limelight
Sun 25th DUBLIN, Whelans
Tue 27th MANCHESTER, The Ruby Lounge
Wed 28th BIRMINGHAM, Hare & Hounds
Thu 29th NOTTINGHAM, The Bodega