BA (Hons) Music Performance and Production
Luka Huidobro-Howe / Music Performance and Production
The making of Play Thing
This blog explores the writing and recording process behind my coming single 'Play Thing' and gives a little background information about who I am as a musician. I have also recently been interviewed by Aesthetica Magazine here.
I started writing ‘Play Thing’ in February 2019. Subconsciously writing the first verse half-awake from a dream. I woke up with the lyrics and melody for the first two lines in my head and wrote them in the notes on my phone. I spent the next day working out the chords and writing the rest of the song on my dad’s, very out of tune, piano. It turned into a song about allowing somebody to have too much control over you and your emotions and deciding it needs to change. This is a theme that I can relate to.
Too often we are unkind to ourselves, allowing people to treat us badly in what we like to call love. I hope hearing these lyrics may feel familiar, something I think lots of other people will be able to relate to as well. Knowing we deserve better and having a little dance to celebrate.
My name is Luka. I am a 22-year-old singer/songwriter from London. Music has been a huge part of my life from an early age. Dancing around our Pink and Orange living room in Streatham. Singing with Camden youth choirs throughout school. A self-taught ukulele player and guitarist , I started writing my own (albeit pretty terrible at first) songs from around age 12.
I decided to come to Leeds Beckett to study Music Production and Performance, as I wanted to learn more about the music industry, gain more performance experience and meet other like-minded
musicians who I could collaborate with. The people who have helped me evolve as a musician and performer, learning from their experiences and skills. The course has really helped to prepare me for life after University, where I’m hoping to continue performing and writing music as part of my career.
Play Thing will be released as a stand-alone single, alongside my EP Stranger Than Fiction. Born in a dreamy haze, over the next couple of months, I worked on Plaything in Garageband, figuring out the structure and instrumentation. I wanted the vocals to be the focus of the song, beginning by layering lots of harmony’s over the melody line, keeping it acapella in the beginning. Some of my favourite songs ‘715 CREEK’ by Bon Iver and ‘When the party’s over’ by Billie Eilish are those that inspired the final sound. I had always loved the simple but effective way both used layered vocals to create emotion. I went away from this song for a while and came back to it a couple months ago, for my final University project.
I had hoped to re-record everything in a studio, to achieve the highest recording quality, however due to COVID-19, the studios were closed. I ended up recording the vocals into logic at home and figured out a way to use my midi keyboard as a vocoder (something I had always wanted to try and do). So, we continued creating despite Covid 19. Creating a soundproof studio in our Uni house with boxes, blankets and tape and sharing as many tools and skills we had learned together over the last 3 years.
At this point I decided to send it my tutor Bob Brazil for some advice. He played around with it, adding synth and string parts to fill it out, starting with the vocals alone and bringing the rest in
gradually which adds some interesting texture. I really enjoyed creating this track, working on it over a long period of time and am happy to finally have a finished version to release and share with
Bob will release ‘Plaything’ with his label ‘Monomyth Records’ and will be promoting it over the coming month. The song will be released in July and I hope people enjoy listening to it as much as I
enjoyed creating it.