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We Were Made to Love Luke James

Movies, music, turkey bacon... Luke James can do no wrong

Hey Simon Cowell, we get it now, we get this whole “x-factor” thing. We get it ’cause we just witnessed it with Luke James, today’s Male Monday. Soft spoken and a little shy, Luke is unassuming and totally arresting (yes, big words for 10 a.m. on a Monday morning, let’s just say we’re feeling a little ~inspired~)—we’re gonna chalk it all up to pure southern charm. We talk about his current film and music projects, BBQ sauce, and what it was like touring with none other than Mrs. Carter for a year below.

Hi Luke, thanks for having us over for breakfast. Tell the ladies your star sign: Gemini

And hometown: New Orleans

Occupation: Singer

What is the first song you remember? Brian Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” I used to watch the film all the way to the end just to see that scene.

And the first cassette you ever owned?
Cam’ron Horse & Carriage

Harlem, represent!
Yeah, it was like divine intervention! I was always gonna end up here.

How long have you been in the music business for?
Around 11 years now…

Your album Made to Love comes out later this year. Can you give a little something to go on in the meantime?
Yes! I have a little teaser mix up on lukejameswitd.com—I’ve given the interludes to you in full song form. I really love interludes on albums and I think they don’t get listened to enough.

Miseducation of Lauryn Hill interludes, FTW!
Yes!

OK, was there a particular moment when you decided to commit for the long haul?
I watched this man on Showtime at the Apollo and he was singing a song by Donny Hathaway, called “A Song for You.” The way he moved the crowd was phenomenal, I remember sitting there just being in awe. I decided I wanted to move people with music. I was 12 at the time. Donny and other artists like Marvin Gaye had a way of moving peoples’ soul.

So you recently came off tour with Mrs. Carter, which is, needless say, major. How did that come about?
The Destiny’s Child family have always been big supporters of me, Kelly and Michelle. Beyonce liked my music and appreciated my artistry so she asked me to come on tour.

Now we know this interview is all about you, but tell us something about her we wouldn’t know…
She really gives everything she has. When she’s sick you’d never know it. She loves what she does but she doesn’t let it tear her down, she stands her ground. And she’s a homegirl—she has real conversations, whether they ‘re happy or sad, she’s human.

Playing to a huge crowd like that must be insane. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Not really, just silence. Sometimes I’ll listen to a little Michael or some jazz. Actually, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of M83 before I go out.

If you could attend any concert in history, what would it be?
Definitely the Bad tour

Of course! Favorite Michael Jackson song?
“Human Nature”

Interesting choice. And fave video?
“Smooth Criminal”

So I just IMDB’d your latest film project, Black Nativity. This cast is legendary: Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Male Monday icon Tyrese Gibson, Nas, and Mary J. Blige! Tell us about your character:
Yeah, it as great. The film is interesting in that it’s this constant switch between reality and dream. I play a homeless kid called Jo-Jo and later Joseph. In Langston’s (played by Jacob Latermore) dream he and his girlfriend are Mary and Joseph.

Tell me about New Orleans. Where should I go for breakfast?
My mom’s house!

Yessir! And what would she make me?
Well, it really depends on what she cooked the night before. Maybe some catfish, grits, eggs, waffles, and grapefruit with a little sugar on top…

What’s a taste you couldn’t live without?
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that on Sous Style!

Luke! OMG!
OK, OK! I’ll say Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. This stuff could make dirt taste good.

OK last question cause I think that turkey bacon is burning, top five meals ever:
1. Breakfast at my mom’s house
2. Anything from Georgio’s Country Grill on 53rd and Ninth
3. Umami Burger
4. My mom’s gumbo in New Orleans, actually anyone’s gumbo in New Orleans is amazing.
5. And anything my manager, Frank Gatson Jr, makes…. His BBQ is incredible.

Happy Male Monday, girls 😉
pippa@sousstyle.com