Light in the Darkness
Luke Mercurio is a recent graduate of Recording Connection with big dreams for his craft and future. I sat down with Luke to talk about art, mission, music, and his career.
When did you get interested in making music?
At a pretty young age I was interested in music. When I was 10 or 12, my older brothers started pressing me to think harder about it. From 12-15, I started thinking about making my own music. At 16 I got my first microphone and haven’t stopped since.
Tell us about the type of music you like to create.
I like to create something that you can feel, that’s authentic. I’d like to expand people’s perception of what hip hop can be. A lot of people have a pretty narrow view of the genre. It can be very positive. I like to bring positivity into my music. If I’m going to be making music, I want it to help people. I want it to give people a fresh outlook on life and maybe even inspire hope.
“I like to create something that you can feel, that’s authentic.”
Do you speak from an experience of needing “hope?” Are you singing about things that have happened to you and providing insight, or are you more trying to turn people’s frowns upside-down in general?
I would say there have definitely been some things in my life that make it into my music. I got into trouble when I was younger. I have had some “adult-like” consequences for what I did. My main thing is like, “Whatever might have happened, you can stay positive.” Bad experiences can help us grow. I went through things that people in my orbit thought were going to put me down in the dumps, but I wanted to switch it. But also, nothing wrong with just helping people through rainy days, everyone has them.
Do you write lyrics that deal with these past traumas directly?
I do have some songs that are personal stories. The two most recent, especially. I’m less interested in telling a story front-to-back, but I drop hints and try to capture the essence of an experience.
“I’m less interested in telling a story front-to-back, but I drop hints and try to capture the essence of an experience.”
Does the process of writing and making music feel therapeutic?
Very much so! If I dont record stuff for a month or two, I feel like I’m going crazy. It’s my way of venting. I don’t like venting to people, it’s not fair to wrap them up in my stuff. So music really is my outlet.
Who are your main influences?
Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Rick Ruben, Kanye West’s old stuff.
How did you discover Recording Connection?
I was looking around online, looking for something that would help me elevate what I had already been working on for a few years. I wanted to understand things on a more technical level. I wanted to understand how things worked, instead of just making things that “sound good,” and thinking “maybe this is right.” I was looking through schools and found Recording Connection, and it seemed like the right fit for me.
I understand you and your mentor are pretty close, tell us about him.
Lance Dean is incredible. He’s really helped me dive into learning about music construction, how to mix, how to master. He’s also great on the business side of things– helping me figure out the best way to release music. Anything and everything having to do with making music, he’s amazing at. He’s helped me build my confidence through his confidence in me. He’s got the talent in himself, and it pushes me.
“[My mentor] helped me build my confidence through his confidence in me. He’s got the talent in himself, and it pushes me.”
Do you have any advice for someone entering the program?
The more you work at it outside of your mentor sessions and homework on your own time, the better. You’ll get more out of it, and it will help your mentor figure out your knowledge level. It will help them guide you and focus you exactly where you need to be.
Are you working on anything now you want us to know about?
I’ve been working on a lot of music this last year, and every once in a while I make something I just have to put out there. My most recent song “2much” just released, and it’s 100% self produced. I plan on releasing one song every month, and you can check all of my music and social media out right here.
What is the next phase in your career?
I just started working at Unlabeled Music Services in Kansas City, as a sound engineer. My career right now is focused on meeting people and gaining experience. I’m perfecting the craft of post-production. I will be releasing about once a month for now, and hope in the next year to really evolve sound-quality-wise. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to start making a living off selling music, instead of selling music services, but we’ll see.
Do you have any thoughts you want to leave us with?
Music is everything to me, and all I want is for this to work out.