An Interview with Luke Boyd; Classified
WUEH Sits Down with Local Rapper Luke Boyd; Classified
WUEH: How does it feel living in the community where it all began?
LB: It would feel strange living anywhere else! Laughing he said, “during Covid I sometimes wished I was somewhere else, just to get away for a bit”, but most of us felt that way during lockdown over the past year and half.
WUEH: How do You think your music has changed over the years?
LB: To a certain degree yes, my music has changed, life changes and you just must keep trying to keep it real. 90’s hip hop is the foundation of my music, and that sound has carried along over the years.
Luke emphasized working hard to keep the sound, spirit, and drums the same but the topic changes as the stages of life changes.
WUEH: Why acoustic?
LB: Originally me and David Myles did a couple of shows with them together with just playing a guitar. I have been doing shows now for 20-25 years and we would always go until 1 – 2 am in the morning, enjoying the party. Now, I love doing those shows, but with these acoustic shows, broken down where its just two of us you can really hear the music and connect. See people in the crowd laughing and crying and getting emotional that feedback is so much different than the regular feedback, a whole new feeling for me and made me think, ‘I didn’t realize it could work like this’.
WUEH: How do you keep things fresh?
LB: Well just a few weeks ago I took some songs from a while ago and stripped them down to drums and piano. I have different guests come in and cover the chorus so Mat Maze, Joel Plasket and Jordan did over the inner ninja, Jann Arden did over good news. Jully black is on it. Brett Matthews is a brand-new artist from Cape Breton, he doesn’t have any music out yet, but he is working on it, so it is a nice way to showcase some new artists. I need that musical interest as much as they do. It is as important to me as it is to them to showcase them and learn from them as much as they are learning from me. Brett, for example, has his own sound and does his own thing and I can learn from that.
WUEH: What did you find challenging during covid?
LB: I always did at least 1 show a month. But when that stopped, I was just realizing how much I love being on stage sharing with people. I had a down time and when I got back at music, I got better I got less anxious about covid, and it made me realize how much I need music in my life, and I need to be at it.
WUEH: What’s it like being a recognized hip hop Artist in East Hants?
LB: Well, you know I been living here for 40 years and its like most people respect that and respect me and my family. That is one of my favorite things about living in Enfield, that is being able to run to the grocery store and not have to bring a crew or bodyguard. Its nice to be able to do that.
WUEH: Who are the most influential people in your life?
Without hesitation Luke responds with, “definitely my parents!” He continued to explain that is father, Mike Boyd, was in a band, Mostly Harmony, back in the 90’s, here in East Hants. He told us the band would be playing in the neighborhood at night and the kids could hear the music through their bedroom windows. He notes that it was a totally different genre than his but music is music and music was always in our home.
LB: We had access to all the musical equipment in the basement and we would practice with real microphones, and it made it so real we wanted to do it more. It felt like we were doing something. Set up for success thanks to his dad. Gave me an identity and confidence. Walking alone with your headphones on when you are a teenager just soaking in the beats, it’s the best way to really get into the music and feel the beats in your head. Hitchhiking to Halifax all the time. Rapping about drugs and guns, not that I knew about any of those things, so this guy from Halifax encouraged us to rap about what we knew not what we thought we were supposed to rap about. Rap music is about families and rebelling and life not just love songs like so many other genres. Some of the acoustic work, we were around the backyard with a fire going and Brett Matthews had his guitar, and I was rapping my parts in and my brother Mike Boyd was taping the video and it all just comes together like that.
His Dad is on every album in some way. Producing music was made easier by having my dad around too. Whenever I had a thought or wanted a certain sound, I could call up my dad, and get him to come play guitar or piano.
When it comes to celebrity Luke is quick to recall his work with Snoop Dogg and many other artists he has worked and toured with over the years. But none as dear to him as his family, parents, wife, kids, and hometown.
WUEH: How did you come up with ‘CLASSIFIED’?
LB: Classified came from a search through the Newspaper. Halflife, the production Company in a similar way, showing just how down to earth Luke remains despite his success.
WUEH: What is the process to keeping the music fresh?
Hip Hop is so based on sampling. Go through records and find cool sounds. It is a cool way to make music. Some sounds can just hit you and you are like, YES! I have spent many years pouring over records to find sounds and inspirations. Can be a lot of work to use these sounds as you must get permissions from people to use it but, worth it. I see a million people have listened to a song or played a song a million times you know someone appreciated this music, so it does mean a lot when you sit back and think about it.
WUEH: What advice would you give to young artists?
Don’t get in it because you want to be cool, or you think its cool. You must really want to do it, make music. Don’t Just live on the internet. Get out there and play and people will probably make fun of you but don’t take that for anything.
The first video of the acoustic album will be coming out in April. Then one song per week after that until the album drops in May and he begins touring.