Woodinville — With an easy air of confidence and swagger, it is wildly apparent how Jaeden Luke — who’s not yet 20 years old — has brought his acoustic pop to Seattle staples like The Triple Door.
Outdoing himself before he reaches his 21st birthday Jaeden most recently had the opportunity to open for Chis Isaak at Woodinville’s Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.
It turns out, wineries are offering the perfect backdrop to compliment his sweet, emotional music.
Jaeden's summer has been absolutely stocked. His debut album, Free of Me, dropped on July 19. Luke wrote and produced the entire full-length album himself.
Drawing comparisons to the likes of Ed Sheeran, the young singer knows how to swoon a room. Jaeden has been in Bothell his whole life and has a tremendous tie to his family. His inspiration through The Beatles began when was 9 years old and he immediately started playing music. He was given a guitar and lessons and took off from there.
“How much can a 9-year-old really know about life and love?” asked Jaeden, laughing, “Yeah, well I tried.” He wrote his first song when he was 10 and then progressed to teach himself piano and drums. He got his singing start from the choir at his family’s church.
Jaeden becomes most animated when he’s talking about his music and his experiences. He laughs a lot when he talks, bringing one of his hands to his mouth and looking away from a little.
He uses his sly sincerity as if his acting sentimental was something he needed to sneak into conversations or, furthermore, his music. His lyrics resound off the familiar emotions of love and loss. Where some artists might sound trite, Jaeden's vocal range lends itself allowing the listener to feel the delicate, but deliberate, tugs on their heartstrings.
Many of the songs on Free of Me possess the duality that makes them seem to be directly sung to their listener while commanding the attention of a packed room. This is where his music finds its cozy home; nuzzled in the nest behind the breastbone.
Jaeden sings, on Swing Away, “Sit by myself and no one else to fantasize with. Pretend I swing so high my problems seem to vanish / Just swing away from love.”
The words act as the advice we give ourselves that seems at once relatable and, yet, unique. His sincerity is evident. Rather than playing massive stages for thousands of people, Jaeden gets the most satisfaction by playing smaller, more intimate shows.
“I was playing Willows Lodge in Woodinville just recently and this lady came up to me and explained how her husband had just passed away and that I had played all of his favorite songs that evening," Jaeden said. "She told me how much happiness and joy I brought her and her family. Striking those emotions in people and being able to give some of myself to people through my songs is the most rewarding part. It’s just the coolest thing in the world.”
Jaeden's success wasn’t instantaneous. He attributes where he is now to his determination.
“When I first started gigging, I probably emailed 100 people and maybe got 10 replies. Maybe four of those even told me to come play. But you have to start somewhere and keep building.”
The beginning of his building really began with his family. His father, mother, and sister have all been incredibly supportive of him as a musician and artist.
“I’m terribly blessed. My dad’s at every one of my gigs… we call him the roadie because he’s always there for me. He doesn’t get paid well… well, he doesn’t get paid at all… he’s just always there supporting me,” Jaeden said with a bit of light-hearted laughter.
Even suspecting the answer I was going to get, I still offered the question of where his inspiration lies and what gives his music its particular emotional rhythm.
Smiling and looking slightly way, Jaeden said, "Probably getting dumped so many times. You can’t do much about it but you can write songs about it.
"It’s taking something negative… and then turning it into something cool that people can enjoy. I turn that experience into something positive… it’s too easy to get down on life. I’m always looking for a way to stay positive.”
You can find Jaeden’s new album on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Amazon.
Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram @JaedenLukeMusic
Jaeden will be playing at Willows Lodge Oct. 11 and 31; at Castillo De Feliciana Winery on Oct. 25, and at the Goose Ridge Winery Oct 27.