Aspiring pop singer Luke Mock has made his debut with “Universe”. Inspired by the forces that disrupt relationships, this young singer-songwriter has taken all of his pop influences to craft a relatable sound that is all his own. Atlas spoke with Mock about this brand new track, getting his start with Perform 4 Purpose and the summer camp that changed his life.
How did you get started in music and how did you go about finding your sound?
I started in music….I say ever since I was little, I was that annoying kid that would sing all the time- no matter what. When I was around 12, my voice was changing [and] it was hard for me to find songs that matched my vocal range so I decided to do guitar lessons. After I got guitar lessons, after a year so I was getting a little better at guitar, through my guitar lessons I got introduced to an organization called Perform 4 Purpose where I got to play for crowds and charity events and with other kids that were also in the same position that I was.
Then I started writing songs with my guitar teacher originally. That’s how I learned how to write songs and I got to play those songs at the Perform 4 Purpose shows and that made me really love performing and writing songs, so that’s why I pursued it.
When you’re thinking about your inspirations and influences, what names come to mind?
So there’s a few names- Shawn Mendes, John Mayer, Billie Eilish recently and Charlie Puth. I’m also a really big fan of singers like Brendon Urie. Not a lot of people know Max Schneider but he was a big influence around me when I was younger.
Do you find that your home state influences your sound in any way?
Perhaps! I live in upstate New York, or central New York, so not the city. Perform 4 Purpose is where I had my music background and my public theaters where I would always perform. There’s a lot of singer-songwriter artists or folk songwriters and not as many pop artists. I think I get a singer-songwriter edge from where I’m from and I get the pop from my influences like the artists I mentioned before.
What’s the story behind your new single?
It’s inspired by a relationship that’s interrupted by something or someone else. It could be thought of metaphorically as anything that could get in between a relationship or specifically a person. It symbolizes those forces you can’t always control, just like the universe I would think and space and all the things we don’t have answers for.
Since getting your start with Perform 4 Purpose, do you have a standout memory or performance from your time with them?
It’s hard to pick one but there’s just certain songs that you play where every kid knows the song. A classic would be “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Every kid gets onstage and it’s so much fun because everyone gets to feel included and everyone is enjoying it so that’s something special to me.
Are you planning on taking this show on tour when it’s safe to head out on the road?
I would love to. Everything’s so uncertain right now with how everything’s going to roll out safety-wise but I’m dying to play my music for people in the real world.
If you could put together your dream tour, who would be on the lineup?
There’s a difference between who would be fun to play with and who would be fun to live with for a few months. I’ve always wanted to tour with Charlie Puth because I think his knowledge is really incredible. I feel like I would not just get to play shows with him but he’s so smart when it comes to theory- he’s just a true musician that I really appreciate.
Are there any topics or themes that you’d love to explore in future songs?
I want to write more songs about specifically the world and what life is and that’s inspired by John Mayer. Love songs are my bread and butter, but I really want to write a song about life and what certain things mean to me. I feel like my time will definitely come for that- maybe I just need to experience a little more before I can really take it from my heart and put it onto paper.
How have you been staying creative and productive during this quarantine period and do you have any advice to people trying to do the same?
My biggest thing has been setting goals for myself. Mine are pertaining to music, personally, or just getting outside and taking walks. I set certain goals like I’m trying to learn how to play the piano a little better, so learning a song on piano would be a goal. For anyone who’s looking to get more motivated and make themselves more productive during this, I would just say set goals for yourself and make a schedule. The toughest thing for me so far has been the sleep schedule but I’ve been working it out. I’ve noticed that my days are getting later and later so I guess what I need to do a little better is set a schedule rather than just my goals.
What else is coming up for you this year- more music maybe?
That’s the hope. I have songs ready and all written, it’s just about recording them. I do have songs that I’m very ready and very excited to show people.
Is there anything else that you want people to know about you or is there anything you wish you could talk about more that you may not get asked?
I guess something that I’ve always wished I could talk about was my experience at a summer camp that I’ve gone to for 11 years because it pertains to me as a musician. At this summer camp, I feel like I’m with a family and you learn that it doesn’t matter what other people think. This camp has had a really big impact on my life but it doesn’t really come up that often.
It’s a lot of things over the past 11 summers. I’ve gone there and I’ve met most of my friends there and I’ve had a lot of experiences. I think that was the first time I really got to open up and be a singer. They really helped me open up to wanting to do it…and then over the years it was other life lessons with these people and the counselors reminding me that you can be whoever you want to be and it shouldn’t matter what other people think [and] you should just be yourself.
Luke Mock’s debut single is out now!
Story by Olivia Khiel
Photos courtesy of Luke Mock