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Luke Royalty

Musician — Darlington

Photograph by Ryan Jones

Name, where are you from?
My name is Luke Paul Taylor aka Luke Royalty, and I’m from Darlington in the North East of England.

Describe your style in three words?
Lanky, scruffy, trousers.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I saw Slowthai on the BBC introducing stage at Big Weekend in Middlesbrough. Was one of the few times big acts came to the North East. Not many people had heard of Slowthai then and there were about 40 people in the crowd, but he did most of his set jumping about with the audience and got to meet him after which even though I was messy and embarrassed myself by telling him I love him 40+ times was still sick.

If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
Bill Withers and Amy Winehouse on some kind of stripped back acoustic show, daym. I’ve watched Bill Withers Live at the BBC 1973 a hundred times and shed a tear probably 99 out of a 100 times.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Hearing stories from my best mate's dad about the northern soul scene and then him playing me old records was one of the main things that led to me making the music I make. I try to write catchy stuff and sing it with soul, which is essential stuff for a classic northern soul record.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Even though he’d probably rip the piss out of me and my music, Mark E. Smith would be funny.

Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
A venue in Darlington called Hole in the Wall holds a special place in my heart. Mainly because once when we played there, my old bassist fell off the stage into a tray of gourmet scotch eggs which had been put out for a wedding reception after our show.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Norah Jones, a true all-rounder. She sings with such passion and yet technically amazing, she can play piano, play guitar and most of all write beautiful songs that span across many different genres. As well known as she is, she’s still underrated.

The first track you played on repeat?
'If I Could Only Be Sure' by Nolan Porter. The first northern soul record I ever heard.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Motor City' by Lausse The Cat.

One record you would keep forever?
'Baduizm' by Erykah Badu every day of the week.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"One of these old days, it’ll all be over and we won't have to cry no more"

From 'It’ll All Be Over' by Supreme Jubilees. No prizes for guessing why haha.

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
'Erotic City' by Prince. The only song getting me on the dance floor, a rare occurrence.

A song you wished you had written?
'Watermelon Man' by Herbie Hancock. Imagine being like, "Yeah, I wrote all that."

Best song to turn up loud?
'Drug Song' by Janko Nilovic.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Amor Sem Adeus [Love Without Goodbye]' by Luiz Bonfá. Proper pretty.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'Too Late To Turn Back Now' by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose.

Any new music you are listening to right now?
'Ashtray Cowboy' by Sweets.
'Like We Used To' by The Silhouettes Project, Kofi Stone.

Photograph by Ryan Jones

Name, where are you from?
My name is Luke Paul Taylor aka Luke Royalty, and I’m from Darlington in the North East of England.

Describe your style in three words?
Lanky, scruffy, trousers.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I saw Slowthai on the BBC introducing stage at Big Weekend in Middlesbrough. Was one of the few times big acts came to the North East. Not many people had heard of Slowthai then and there were about 40 people in the crowd, but he did most of his set jumping about with the audience and got to meet him after which even though I was messy and embarrassed myself by telling him I love him 40+ times was still sick.

If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
Bill Withers and Amy Winehouse on some kind of stripped back acoustic show, daym. I’ve watched Bill Withers Live at the BBC 1973 a hundred times and shed a tear probably 99 out of a 100 times.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Hearing stories from my best mate's dad about the northern soul scene and then him playing me old records was one of the main things that led to me making the music I make. I try to write catchy stuff and sing it with soul, which is essential stuff for a classic northern soul record.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Even though he’d probably rip the piss out of me and my music, Mark E. Smith would be funny.

Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
A venue in Darlington called Hole in the Wall holds a special place in my heart. Mainly because once when we played there, my old bassist fell off the stage into a tray of gourmet scotch eggs which had been put out for a wedding reception after our show.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Norah Jones, a true all-rounder. She sings with such passion and yet technically amazing, she can play piano, play guitar and most of all write beautiful songs that span across many different genres. As well known as she is, she’s still underrated.

The first track you played on repeat?
'If I Could Only Be Sure' by Nolan Porter. The first northern soul record I ever heard.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Motor City' by Lausse The Cat.

One record you would keep forever?
'Baduizm' by Erykah Badu every day of the week.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"One of these old days, it’ll all be over and we won't have to cry no more"

From 'It’ll All Be Over' by Supreme Jubilees. No prizes for guessing why haha.

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
'Erotic City' by Prince. The only song getting me on the dance floor, a rare occurrence.

A song you wished you had written?
'Watermelon Man' by Herbie Hancock. Imagine being like, "Yeah, I wrote all that."

Best song to turn up loud?
'Drug Song' by Janko Nilovic.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Amor Sem Adeus [Love Without Goodbye]' by Luiz Bonfá. Proper pretty.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'Too Late To Turn Back Now' by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose.

Any new music you are listening to right now?
'Ashtray Cowboy' by Sweets.
'Like We Used To' by The Silhouettes Project, Kofi Stone.

Luke Royalty | I Do (2021)