I was lucky to interview Luke Mitrani this past Thursday! In 2013, Luke suffered a traumatic injury in the halfpipe when he was training for the Winter Olympics. Luke broke his neck and went through an extensive recovery. But, that didn’t stop him from living his life to the fullest. He decided this pivotal moment was a chance for him to focus on his other passion, music. Luke dropped his first studio Album in March of 2018 and has been working on another project. We decided to get together and talk about his love for music, the ukulele, snowboarding, and living Frendly.
Crazy how we connected – I was on a camping trip last weekend and my friend put on your album in the car and then you followed Uku on instagram. I knew I had to message you!
It’s in the universe. It’s crazy how the stars aligned.
You recently dropped the album “Walk on the Moon.” What was your creative process for the album and how did the project end up happening?
I would travel around snowboarding and I would always have a guitar with me. Music has been an integral part of my life. But, I got injured snowboarding in 2013 and broke my neck. After that – well – music has always been something I’ve wanted to pursue. I just went for it. It’s been a lot harder than I thought to get anywhere with it. I just started writing songs. Started learning music production. I met with another artist/producer named Lynx who has been showing me the ropes and produced my first album with me – Walk on the Moon. I have so many influences so at first it’s been hard to find my own sound. I’m just trying to keep progressing.
What’s the sound that you have been working on for your new project? Can your fans expect something similar to WOTM or is it going to be completely different?
The sound is gonna be somewhere between folk, blues, rock & roll, and trap under beats. I’m trying to create a unique sound with it. Something different than what’s already been done and do it in my own way. Trying to slowly evolve – it’s hard to categorize what I’m working towards. It really reminds me of painting – you just keep layering things and re-recording sounds more properly. It’s a never ending process. I’m producing this album all on my own and I’m gonna tap into myself and get that sound I’ve been wanting to create for awhile. It will be different than WOTM but I think that that’s pretty exciting.
What are some of the hurdles of producing an album on your own?
The hardest thing is tapping into yourself and putting out what your trying to actually say. It took me a long time to get to where I am with my production, I’d spent long days and nights just learning everything I could and then some more. I finally feel at a place where I can just create and not get caught up with “how do I do this” or “how do I make it sound like that”
I’m also really excited to start incorporating other musicians with this project. I just have to get a solid base layer first.
Between dropping your latest album, working on a new project, and trying to find a new sound – Who have been your major influencers?
My brother and Danny Davis started the Frendly Gathering music festival and that has been a huge influence on me. Crazy to say but it was started almost ten freaking years ago. Going to music festivals and playing the guitar – i’ve just fallen in love with everything about it. The message musicians at these festivals speak, the feeling their music gives you, I just love it. I think It’s really important to have that way to express yourself.
Did the injury you sustained from snowboarding push you down a musical career path?
100% yeah. Absolutely. I mean honestly – like what we were saying earlier – Sometimes I like to think everything happens for a reason so you gotta wonder. I believe that was a huge part of why I went fully into music. I also just didn’t know what else to do – I had a lot of recovery time. I knew I didn’t want to go back to competing and I just said “I’m just gonna go for this.” The first couple years it was pretty hard and took a awhile to get anywhere with it. I got injured five years ago and I came out with WOTM earlier this year. It was a really big process, everybody kept saying “Dude what are you gonna do with your life.” People didn’t understand, everybody just thought it was a hobby and that made it really difficult to get support. But, I kept believing in it and I’m still doing it and i’m still trying to do whatever I’m trying to do. At the end of the day though, my music isn’t an end achievement, it’s really just more of a way to express myself and hopefully people can respect that.
Has it been really hard to separate the music aspect of your life from the snowboard industry?
I’ve had this conversation with other athletes. A lot of times as individuals we fall into a box. You’re just a snowboarder etc. There’s a whole lifestyle around snowboarding and music is definitely a part of that. I just want to live my life being fully true to myself..I don’t know. I’m just trying not to fall into a box. I use to feel at times I needed an escape from the Snowboarding Industry because that was sort of all I knew. But after taking my time and having freedom I’ve realized that the snowboard community is the best community.
I know you played a set at the Frendly Gathering this past summer – how was that?
I was really nervous, it was awesome. This is another reason why I’m making more music, because once I finish this album, I want to focus on live performances. I haven’t really dove into that aspect of the music world. There were a couple thousand people at my show when I played at Frendly. I did a set with Lynx – she’s been playing at Frendly for awhile and is really comfortable on stage. She’s been a mentor in that sense with my music. She’s really helped me along the way of just feeling more comfortable and just going for it.
Are you gonna start touring after you drop the next project your working on?
That’s the goal. As of right now I have an hour long set. I really just want to keep creating so I have a two hour show. After this album I just want to only focus on touring. That’s all I want to do is play for people.
Would you say playing live is similar in feeling to dropping in at The Dew Tour or another major snowboard competition.
100% – it is totally the same thing! With music it is a lot more memorizing – you have to remember all these parts, bridges, choruses, and solos. For me, with the halfpipe which was my main thing, it was 6 to 7 hits and that was all I had to visualize. You know? But, a whole show – I think it gets easier. That adrenaline rush is super similar.
How has the ukulele played apart in your new project?
With this album I want it to sound different. Not necessarily sound like anyone. With the Ukulele, there’s a lot of different sounds I can make with it. So having a couple songs with the Uke is a must! For some reason when I play it I swear it sounds like a Chinese instrument! I love it, it’s also a fun instrument to sit around the campfire with your friends. Only the best vibes.
What is living friendly?
The first thing that comes to mind is being friendly with yourself. Just spreading good vibes. If you smile, someone will smile back at you. That’s one way to change the world – if we were all friendly with ourselves and we all were friendly to each other then the world would be a lot better place. There’s so much stuff going on in this world – we gotta spread the good vibes. There are too many people who aren’t happy with themselves and they are putting that out into the world. If you can be friendly to those people and the people who aren’t doing that great then we can spread some positive energy.
When can we expect to hear the new project?
Somewhere between February and March. Maybe even January – who knows! I’ve put a lot of work into it and I just don’t want to rush it.
Spread Happiness, Grab a Ukulele