Hailing from North Carolina, DJ Luke Nasty is no stranger to the rap game. With his standout single “Might Be” hitting nightclubs and parties around the world, it was clear this man had an ear for the streets. While he switches off between deejaying, producing, or rapping, there’s one thing that remains constant: he’s a music-lover. Read more…
Just earlier this year, Luke unleashed his project titled Cruise Control, which is the exact mood you’ll be in upon first listen. These records were made to listen to in the whip. And if there’s one audience Luke can appease to, it’s the ladies.
For those who don’t know, who is DJ Luke Nasty?
Artist, producer, engineer, writer, songwriter — just that person that can’t be detained by one thing. I want to know how to do everything.
How would you describe your sound?
Highway music. I always tell people music is the most powerful drug. Whenever you’re mad, happy, or whatever, you grab your keys and you go get in a car and put on what fits your mood. I feel like my music is just something good to ride to, no matter what mood you’re in.
Where do you fit in the realm of R&B and Hip Hop?
I think I’m kind of on the fence. I choose to make my music more sexual, just because you know, everybody has sex. That’s just one thing that people do. That’s how you reproduce. So I tend to like to set the mood with my music for that.
You’re from North Carolina. How does that play into your life and music?
Just because North Carolina is a melting pot. It ain’t really like a place of just one thing. You got people from New York, people from Florida, people from Atlanta and the South coming up, I feel like with all these types of people in one place, it allowed me to make a universal sound. So I don’t really sound like I’m from one place. You gotta please everybody.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Very important. This is a milestone. This is a checkpoint. This is a region that makes or breaks an artist. It’s so big. It’s one of those things that once you gain your fanbase, they’re going to ride with you forever. So I think that’s one of the things that artists know. So when you come out here, you gotta have the right music and you’ve just gotta be prepared to work. There’s so many different cities, and there’s so many different vibes in one state. You could be here, and then go to the Bay and it’s a whole other story.
Talk about your new project Cruise Control. How has the fan reception been?
It’s been dope! Like I said, that was just me experimenting in producing, writing, and then doing all of it at the same time. And just trying — not so much a different sound — but kind of falling back from the samples. Just ‘cause you know, the samples are just my thing. I’m an attention grabber. But it’s always about evolving.
What do you want fans to get from your story?
That it’s cool to love music, to critique music. I’m big on like… I studied 2 Chainz a lot, just ‘cause he’s always in the studio. So I’m at this place where music is an outfit. You might like it one day, you might not. Or you might like the outfit I’ve got on one day, you might not.
Yeah, it’s just about how you’re feeling. I used to listen to a beat and if it sounded like an R&B song, I’d make an R&B song. Or if it sounded like a club song, I’d make a club song. But now it’s about just how I feel. I try to not even let the producer be like, “Hey did you listen to that beat?” Like I said, I studied Chainz. I channel his voice and how he get into the zone. ‘Cause you might listen to a beat all day, then get into the studio and don’t want to do it. I’m just vibing.
“Might Be” is at over 17 mil view on YouTube, congrats! How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel good because you know, it was the kicker starter. It was the beginning. I know at the end of the day, no matter what, I can go back and perform that. It was a great start for me.
What did you do with your first advance?
I got a crib. Well not really got a crib — I got evicted, right before all this took off. I told myself and my landlord like, “I’ma be in a penthouse. Watch.” And so when I got my hand on a little bread, first thing I went and just started living in a penthouse.
You’re only 27, what’s your end goal?
Just to evolve and create a legacy. I always tell people, different people have kids at different times. Sometimes it’s by mistake, sometimes it’s planned. I’m one of those people who understand that’s the beginning, and the creation of my legacy. You know, whatever I can leave for them, they’re going to try and double up or triple up and leave for their kids. So the end result is just to make sure my bloodline is strong and gets stronger.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Wake up. Usually smoke, get high. Make a couple beats. I try not to just be stuck on music, so I might go do something else, like play video games. I’m big on video games. Call of Duty, NBA2K and Madden. Then go back to making music. I try to deejay a little bit throughout the day. I pick something random every day to learn on YouTube. I tell people YouTube is one of the greatest creations.
That’s interesting. I interviewed Tyga’s DJ, $B. He said he taught himself how to deejay on Youtube.
That’s how I learned how to work Pro Tools. That’s how I learned to produce. I started out on Fruity Loops, then went to a whole different software just using YouTube. Even when it comes to cooking, you know what I’m saying? Sometimes I might just go watch how to build a mailbox. Just to keep your mind always moving. ‘Cause you know, with everything happening and people’s attention span so short, you gotta just keep it moving.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I honestly think I really would’ve went deep into psychology. I just enjoy the thought process of a person. I think with me traveling, it kind of evolved me as a person. I want to know more why people do or say the things they do. Like I said with music, to me being the most powerful drug, I feel like the next thing is just conversation. The topic of somebody. The study of where are they from, or why they think like that or how they grew up. People be wanting to know a lot of things, and it’s just like your thought process and somebody else’s is totally different. We always hear people say, “Well why would they do that?” Some people are just raised that way. So I think that’s just interesting.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
I think one time… just crying. Somebody just crying and shaking. ‘Cause in my mind, I don’t know what these people go through. Like I said, music is just so powerful. They might be going through something and every time they heard your song, it just makes them feel better. I try to take that into accountability when I make music, just how are you going to change somebody’s life? Some people look at it deep like that. Some people don’t.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Probably between Drake and Wayne. They’re just two people I started.
Wayne, my favorite song would have to be… [sigh] that’s crazy.
I know. My go-to is Carter III.
See, I go to the mixtapes and stuff. We just did this thing that was like, “If you had four CDs you had to choose from, what would they be?” So I chose Wayne, Carter IV. Just ‘cause it was a vibe. Carter III is like lyrics, Carter IV was just like the vibe. Nothing Was the Same by Drake — that album. That was just a dope piece of work. Kanye West, Graduation. And 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin. I can hardly pick songs, because just the mood. But if I got those four CDs, I’ll be straight.
I’m big on old school music, so it ain’t really like a certain person. But I’m big on making an artist relevant again, just to get them… ‘cause they were hot at one point. And I feel like my ability is to make a hit a hit, or classic a classic. I want to work with other artists that kind of fell off, but their voice is still there. And they’re still lit. I know I can make a hit with Ja Rule and Ashanti. You put me in the studio with them two and I know I can make another hit.
Is there anything else you want to let Young California know?
Just be prepared for more music man. I’m always out here so I’m starting to get the flavor. I’m starting to understand it. The weather just gives you a whole perspective. Like I tell people, when you start really doing music every day, you start understanding certain core progressions that make people feel good. Like, I listen to music out here, it makes me feel like, “Oh, I gotta get a car with the top off!”
So just be prepared for new music. Just me evolving as an artist and growing as a brand. I feel like I’m one of those people who care so much about the music, I forgot that you got to be a celebrity. So I feel like at this point, I kind of got my rhythm and my music, so I’m trying to celebrity it.
Highway Music Group. My whole vibe is like I said, me as a DJ, I’m either driving to the club or leaving from the club. So one of my biggest things when I left, I usually rode in silent. ‘Cause you always playing all the hot shit in the club. Or before, you listen to the radios, it’s the same songs. So silence just… in that time of silence, what could I do to fill that void? What music would I want to hear right after the club? And you know, after the club, you want to get some pu**y. People want to have sex, so I made that type of music. [laughs]