Luke Whittingham (known as Whitt) is one part of Manchester duo Paryah. As a vocalist and instrumentalist, he usually lends his airy style to this collaborative project. However, he has recently released his solo project 'Own Sake', a mature and elegant track that implores your head to bob and your mind to relax. We recently spoke to Whitt to find out more about his inner process and inspirations:
For people who haven’t heard of you, how would you explain your sound?
I always find it tough to pin point my own personal sound. I would definitely say the music I have been producing is pretty chilled but it can also carry some groovier elements. Id probably describe it as a singer songwriter style with electronic influences.
The sound of this project is more calm and less rhythmic than your tracks as Paryah. What would you say that your ‘Whitt’ moniker has enabled you to do?
I feel that producing music in this style has enabled me to incorporate my song writing skills much more. With Paryah, the development of tracks is much more production orientated although through this project I will write a complete song sat at the piano and then move onto crafting the production elements around that.
Who are some of the artists that have influenced your style?
I find influences from quite a vast selection of artists. Its almost like I make a cocktail out of tiny elements of different musicians from many genres. For example, King Krule is some one who I admire massively for several reasons. The lyrics that he writes are quite dark and heavily emotionally centred and I feel this is something that I have crafted into my lyric writing over time. Another element of his music that I admire his use of production within his songs. He seems to use quite qwerky samples and textures which is something I have been trying to incorporate within my music. One artist that really gave me the desire to try and develop my piano skills was Tom Waits. His album ‘Closing time’ is one that I revisited earlier this year and it’s a true piece of art. I probably wouldn’t say he is everyone’s cup of tea but he certainly drove me to push myself further on the piano and to produce much more piano oriented music.
Whilst lockdown currently prevents this, is this project something you intend to take into a live setting, or are you planning to keep it as a recorded project?
I would love to eventually take things to a live set up. It’s a real shame that the music industry is suffering at the moment. Hopefully when things are back up and run again I can try and get a few bookings, even if I its just me and the piano.
What does your creative process look like? Does a track usually begin with the lyrics or the instrumental?
It changes with every song really. Sometimes I will be out at work and a melody line will some how find its way into my head so ill record it in my phone then add some lyrics to it later on or visa versa; a lyric may just come into my head so I note that down and take it away to the piano and build a song from there. I feel like this benefits the final product that is produced. I enjoy being able to start a song in places other then the typical creative environment, I think it gives some songs a much more natural feel and it also enables me to draw inspiration from more sources.
How has lockdown affected you. Would you say it has slowed things down creatively, or inspired you to get more down?
Its been tough really. There are weeks where I have been constantly non stop with writing and producing for both my own project and Paryah but then there has been times where the creativity hasn’t been there at all. I feel that the lack of gigs and events is definitely something that can hinder my creativity as there isn’t much better then performing live really.
What can we expect form you over the coming months?
Well im currently working on a release with a good friend of mine 2b.Frank which will be out very soon. Other then that just more music from myself and Paryah. Me and Sam have some very exciting things planned for our next few releases so make sure you keep tabs on our pages.
Photo from Amie Fretter