Luke Friend finished third place on The X Factor 2013 and won legions of fans with his Unique sound and style.
The 19-year-old signed a record deal with RCA in 2014 and has been working hard on his debut album. The first fruits of his labour is debut single Hole in My Heart, a song he co-wrote, which is released on Sunday.
We caught up with Luke to find out more about the single, talk about his forthcoming album and to discuss the patchy reputation that The X Factor has for producing stars.
Hi Luke. How are you? Where does this Q&A find you?
Funny enough I’m sat backstage after coming just performing at Wembley Arena. It was a great night with the Janoskians and I even tried out a few new songs.
You’re releasing your debut single Hole in My Heart. Tell us about the track and the inspiration behind it.
It’s about unrequited love, a communication lost between two people in a relationship. It shows love can be amazing, yet destructive at the same time.
How is the album coming along? Would you say that Hole in My Heart is indicative of the overall sound?
No, not at all. I actually go down a high energy soul/funk route,. There is something for all tastes there. I also have the odd ballad here and there that is totally stripped back. I actually feel naked doing it.
Following The X Factor you chose to take your time over your music rather than rush something our straightaway. Why did you decide to do that?
I think to make something worth it for my wonderful Frendies, I wanted to take care in what I sounded like and what I wanted to do. I wanted to make sure everybody took something away from this album and found out a bit more about me.
The X Factor has a patchy reputation when it comes to launching stars with longevity. Are you worried about how your music will do in terms of the charts?
Not at all. Of course I would worry where it charts, everyone does. It will be the worst and best week of my life, but I have a wonderful fanbase who will fully support me and I’m so thankful for that.
You’ve been heavily involved with the writing for your album. What would you say have been your biggest challenges as a songwriter?
I think one of the biggest challenges has been whether to write something that is too personal. I’m worried it may actually become awkward to the listener, but I feel I have got as close as I can get. I know the album will take you through a lot of emotions as will the first single.
In what ways would you say you’ve grown as an artist since appearing on The X Factor?
I think I have definitely gained a lot more confidence. I can now sing even a whole song acapella and have them sing it back to me, that makes me happy that I have a closer relationship with the fans .
When can your fans see you playing live?
I have my first solo tour starting 18th April going out in the UK. It’s going to be a magical time for me, having everyone there just to see me. It even starts near my hometown. Apart from that, I have a few festivals I’m playing at over the summer and of course another tour with my four best friends The Vamps.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
It’s difficult to describe. High energy, strong elements of Soul/Funk entwined with folk melodies… how’s that?
What else do you have coming up this year?
We all as I say I have a lot of live shows coming up… Looking forward to them and more music to share with you all. It’s going to be an exciting year.
Luke’s debut single Hole in My Heart is released on 29th March 2015. Watch the video for the track below: