Interview: Luke Vjay

Luke Vjay, a pastry chef turned country artist.

Hometown: Brookfield, CT

Favorite Artists: Michael Ray, Justin Moore, Dustin Lynch, George Straight

Genre: Country, Rock

Favorite Venue: Tin Roof Nashville

Luke Vjay, 29, has been living in Nashville for two and a half years. Before the music dream, he was a pastry chef who worked in kitchens and bakeries. Vjay started out at the French Culinary Institute, where he graduated a 6 month program and began the cupcake making life. The unusual change of heart still has the underlying creativity skill that both cooking and songwriting have.

“Music has always been the #1 priority.”

When did you discover your love of music?

“At age 5. My mom got me my first drum set and i knew from that point on that I’d want to do music in some fashion. My earliest memory is with country music specifically. I’m old enough to remember record players [laughs]. My mom would always play the record player with Oak Ridge Boys. Like any kid, you want to branch off from what your parents listen to. I started listening to rock music. The earliest stuff I remember is Matchbox Twenty and 90s Rock.”

When did you become a huge country fan?

“Back in 2008, I had an ex girlfriend that wanted to show me a country song. At the time, I told her I didn’t want to hear it and that’s not what I’m into. One day she asked me at her house and I gave in. She showed me Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and up until that point, I had never heard a song like that with a story behind it. Of course I told her I didn’t like it because I didn’t want her to be right [laughs]. I left the house that day and went straight to Walmart. I picked up all the Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw CDs I could find. This was around the time Luke Bryan released his first album so I picked it up because my name was Luke. That day literally changed my life and that’s how I got back into Country.”

Luke Vjay loved the local music scene and Midtown vibe to the point where he started his own songwriter night called Slider’s Writers at Slider House from 7pm to 10pm every Tuesday.

What’s your experience with starting a weekly writers night?

“I was writing with a buddy of mine and we went to Slider House for dinner, watching live music. I asked the server and talked to the booking manager. He told me he was looking for something on Tuesdays. He asked me to come in a couple weeks from then and gave me 4 hours of music. I brought as many writers for the first night and it was a trainwreck. We had a blast but there wasn’t a good turnout and I thought we wouldn’t be able to do it again.”

Do you have any great stories from Slider’s Writers?

“About this time last year during Country Radio Seminar week, I was somehow lucky enough to get Michael Ray to come out and perform at it.  And that was my favorite one to this day. It was a packed house and everything I pictured it to be like. He was even gracious enough to come out and play and meet everybody. He’s one of my favorite artists, so to say that I got to him to play at my writers night was pretty wild.”

How is your music going?

“I have a 3 song EP hardcopy and Soundcloud when we recorded last summer. I am recording 3 songs right now and it will be online (Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes). I’m so excited about what I’m working on now. I think there’s one that’s going to be a single called ‘Trouble’ that I wrote with a friend. It’s about a guy who walks into a bar and he’s not looking for anything. In comes this girl named Trouble. The night goes on from there. He’s down on his luck and she says all the right things.”

Why is Tin Roof your favorite venue?

“I love it, man. The guy that runs Whiskey Jam told me to watch Revival 615. With work, I couldn’t make it for a while. I had such a great time there my first night. When I walked in, I felt like home. It’s a cool spot to hang. And I met Michael Ray there.”



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