It's been a whirlwind few weeks for young musician Dave Luke from Wakefield.
His debut album Stop the World peaked at number eight in the iTunes singer songwriter chart within a couple of days of its release and stayed in the top 20 for five days in among the likes of George Ezra and Tracy Chapman
To add to that he’s’ just returned from London where he was interviewed by Carrie Grant, standing in for Gaby Roslin on her BBC London show: he played a couple of his songs live in the studio.
David, aged 26, has been writing and composing since he was 14 (one of these early-penned songs Why Can’t The World made the final cut of the album) and has been a professional musician pretty much since he left Silcoates School.
While at Silcoates he progressed to a high level of proficiency in piano, guitar, bass and drums and is a classically trained singer. Along with his brother he took part in local musical theatre shows, first as an actor and singer and then as a musician and producer.
His first love though is pop music and encouraged and supported by his parents he was able to pursue a career in music.
A stint in a covers band called The Undecided led to a number of gigs at pubs and clubs around the country but it was around five years ago that his career really took off.
It was then he met his now-fiancee Linzi and the pair headed off to Lanzarote for eight months to work for Thomsons as resident singers in a number of the holiday company's hotels.
Since then he has been kept busy with four or five gigs a week both as a solo performer and with Linzi as the duo Rock and Rose. A typical setlist will include crowd pleasing middle of the road pop covers plus a couple of his own songs.
Over the years David has continued to write songs for other people. It was while he was working with singer Biddy Ronelle on the demo of what became her first single that he made a decision that would change the direction of his career.
He said: “I was sitting there in the studio after she’d gone and I thought, I’ve got all my equipment out so I’m going to put something down of my own and see what happens.”
The result was the original version of Just Me which landed in the top 30 of the iTunes chart and was picked up by producer and fellow musician Stuart Turner. He was impressed but thought it could be improved so sent a short clip to David of his reworked version.
David said: “It was just what I’d done but a lot better and so we decided to do an album together.
“I can’t believe it's finally been released after two years of work and I’m really pleased with the reception its been getting.”
It’s difficult to pigeonhole exactly which genre of music fits best with David’s style.
He said: “It’s a pop album at its heart but both Stuart and I are big country fans, so it’s definitely been produced with that kind of mindset.
“I hope country music fans will like it as well as they will be able to hear that influence behind some of the tracks.”
David admits that most of the tracks on Stop the World are largely autobiographical although some are complete fiction - Life and Soul and Country Girl, two cases in point.
David comes across as a really lovely bloke. He’s warm and friendly and incredibly grateful for all the help and encouragement he’s received from family, friends and fellow musicians.
He reserves special praise for Stuart and for his parents, Linzi and his future in-laws who were all at the album launch, manning the merchandise stall, selling homemade cupcakes and supporting him in any way they could: the event raised around £700 for the Forget-me-Not children’s hospice with more still to come in.
David is currently working through his extensive back catalogue of material with a view to putting together a second album. But until then he’s going to enjoy his newfound fame while continuing to work hard.
Find the album at: iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1472241275?app=itunes
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/album/4oWKAlmVnAPSg8tc4k5l08
And find out more about David and where he is next performing by visiting his Facebook page www.facebook.com/DavidLukeMusic