Luke McMaster

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Luke McMaster
Luke wiki.png
Background information
Birth name Luke Anthony Mcmaster
Born (1976-03-22) March 22, 1976 (age 38)
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Blue Eyed Soul, Pop, Jazz
Occupations singer, song writer, musician
Instruments vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1994 – present
Labels Universal
Website lukemcmaster.com

Luke McMaster (born March 22, 1976) is a Canadian singer and songwriter.

With his lifelong commitment to music, McMaster experienced early success as half of the music duo McMaster and James originating from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The duo was named after McMaster and his performing partner, Rob James. Despite their initial success, the band dissolved in 2002. Since then, McMaster has worked as a songwriter and producer living in Toronto.

Background and school years[edit]

McMaster was born in Brandon,[1] Manitoba, Canada to a businesswoman mother, named Bev (née Canning) and university professor father, named George. Luke is the second oldest of four sons, with brothers named Jeff, John and Rob. McMaster's first year of primary school took place in Sunnydale, California as his family accompanied his father, George, while he attended a one year sabbatical at Stanford University. Subsequently, the family returned to Brandon where Luke's father headed up the School of Maths and Computer Science at Brandon University.

During his final years of high school, McMaster pursued his passion for music and taught himself to play the guitar. He also learned and developed his skills as a song writer and lyricist. He knew that his family had high expectations for academic achievements for all of their boys so McMaster kept his musical ambitions and interests entirely secret from his family and friends.

In 1994, McMaster enrolled at Brandon University with a planned major in English Literature. Driven by a growing ambition to become a professional musician and performer, he left university after only two weeks. Luke then moved to Winnipeg, registered at the Winnipeg Contemporary Music College and began attending a two year course.

Early musical career[edit]

Through his studies at the Contemporary Music College, McMaster received a formal foundation in music and established a community of friends, musicians and industry professionals who continue to influence him and provide career support to this very day.

Double Vision[edit]

During his tenure at Music College Luke formed the band Double vision, with drummer/vocalist Sean Miller. Double vision performed in Winnipeg at café’s and in public schools. Influenced by the Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkle, the band quickly became known for their tight two part harmonies and catchy songs. In 1994 they decided to book time in a recording studio where they teamed up with local producer Dan Donahue and recorded their first self-titled EP. Following that they toured for several months to promote the recording. In mid 1995 Sean left the band to pursue a career as a church Pastor and Luke continued on in music.

Two Face[edit]

In 1995, during his participation in a Winnipeg Song Writing Workshop, McMaster became acquainted with one of the presenters, (Canadian songwriter,producer and artist manager), Chris Burke-Gaffney,.[2] Impressed with Burke-Gaffney's credentials as a touring musician in his teens and more recently as manager of Juno Award-winning and triple-platinum artist, Chantal Kreviazuk, McMaster contacted Burke-Gaffney about working together. Soon after, Burke-Gaffney and McMaster began their professional relationship.

During a studio recording session in early 1997, while collaborating with Burke-Gaffney on the writing of their song, "Thank You", McMaster met Rob James. Together, McMaster and James wrote a new song named "Shouldn't Love You" and demoed it to a professional acquaintance, a producer named Glen Willows. With Glen's encouragement, McMaster and Rob decided to team up under the name of Two Face, then through Chris Burke-Gaffney's company, CBG Artist Development, retained him as their manager.

McMaster & James[edit]

Inspired by a common interested in pop R&B, McMaster and James rehearsed together to develop a unique sound by which to develop their performing career. Encouraged by both by Chris Burke-Gaffney and Glen Willows, the duo developed, demoed and then recorded a number of new songs, amongst which the group agreed that Thank You seemed to have the most potential. In 1999, Mcmaster and Rob signed a contract with BMG/Sony records under their new name, Mcmaster & James.[3]

The following year, during February 2000, BMG released the first album[4] for McMaster and James, a self-entitled CD that proceeded to go Gold in Canada later that year. Supported by a number of cross Canada tours,[5][6] including an opening spot on Christina Aguilera's Canadian tour that year[7] the Mcmaster and James "Boy Band" experienced success with the hits "Love Wins Everytime", "Thank You",[8] "I Understand" and "Sweet Sensation", all of which were also well received by Canadian radio.[9][10]

In 2001, "Thank You" was awarded the SOCAN award for Top Radio Play, while "I Understand" won the Prairie Music Award (PMA) award for Best Song. In addition, Mcmaster and James won the PMA for Performers of the Year.[11] The album was also released in Ireland and South America.

In 2002, following the success of their first album, McMaster and James were signed for the development of a second album and sent to Philadelphia to work with producers André Harris and Vidal Davies (Dre&Vidal). Subsequently, the project was placed on hold following the bankruptcy of BMG. Later that year, as the music industry continued its rapid decline in the face of Napster and related downloading phenomena, McMaster and Rob James agreed to end their professional relationship and go their separate ways.

Songwriting and production[edit]

In 2003, McMaster decided to take time off from performing to become a full-time song writer and producer, with a view to writing both for artists as well as TV and movies. That same year, Mcmaster received an invitation to attend the Canadian Idol Song Writing Camp[12] in Toronto.

Canadian Idol Song Writing Camp[edit]

Out of 110 songs written during the 2003 Canadian Idol Writing Camp, only 13 songs made the final cut,[13] of which Mcmaster was a principal collaborator in six of them. One of them, "October Skies", written with Bobby Cameron[14] and Jenna Gawne, was selected for inclusion on a debut CD release by the Canadian Idol competition winner, Ryan Malcolm. Following, Mcmaster and Cameron were signed by BMG Canada Inc. to produce the song for Ryan, which was recorded at Phase One Studios in Toronto prior to its release in December.

At the Canadian idol Song Writing Camp, Mcmaster found opportunity to collaborate with many songwriters, including Randy Bachman, Xandy Barry, Rob Wells, as well as Francis and Lepoint from Sweden, best known for their work writing for the Backstreet Boys. Subsequently, Mcmaster partnered with Christopher Ward, Rob Wells and Chris Anderson to write material for Nick Carter's (Backstreet Boys) solo album.[15] Luke also worked on writing and production for subsequent Canadian Idols Eva Avila (co-wrote the single “Damned”), Theo Tams, and Rex Goudie.

Instant Star[edit]

Instant Star was a Canadian television program which aired from September 2004 to June 2008, chronicling the recording industry experiences of a character named Jude Harrison, the adolescent winner of a music competition. Over a four-year period, McMaster was contracted as song writer, composer and producer to the Instant Star production company,[16] providing input to the creation of over 60 original compositions. In the process, Mcmaster was not only reunited with a number of previous collaborators including Chris Burke Gaffney, but also developed working relationships with such notable artists and composers as Marc Jordan, Christopher Ward, Damhnait Doyle, Rob Wells and Greg Johnston.

Song For Africa[edit]

In the spring of 2006, McMaster joined with Rob Wells, Simon Wilcox and producer Darcy Ataman to record a music single and a video, created with an objective to inspire change and to raise awareness about humanitarian issues in Africa. On August 13, 2006, the single and video premiered at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, ON in front of 30,000 delegates. Subsequently, the music video single placed No. 2 on the Canadian Music Charts, attracting media attention from all of Canada's radio and TV networks to significantly further awareness of the AIDS pandemic in Africa. That fall, the Song For Africa organization was formalized as an international non profit organization.

In 2010, McMaster collaborated with Brett Rosenberg and Christopher Ward on the song "Carry You" (as single from James Blunt's album, "All The Lost Souls") that was part of a new album produced by the Song for Africa organization, named "Song for Africa - Rwanda: Rises Up!"

Universal Records[edit]

Since being signed by Universal Records as a songwriter in 2004, McMaster has achieved recognition as a successful songwriter and producer, whose songs have become multi-platinum and gold sales for many of his collaborators such as Rihanna, Nick Lachey, Kyle Riabko, Bret Ryan, Rex Goudie, Kalan Porter, and Marc Jordan.

In early 2008, in collaboration with Vincent Degiorgio and Damhnait Doyle, Mcmaster wrote a song named "Start From Here" for Joanna Wang, an American born, Taiwanese singer/songwriter. "Start From Here", the featured single from her debut, double disc album released in both English and Chinese reached # 1 in Taiwan[17] and has been popular throughout the Southeast Asian region, including a release in Japan in June 2008.

Film and television[edit]

From 2005 to 2008, McMaster contributed music to the popular Canadian television show named Degrassi, The Next generation. Three of McMaster's songs were featured in the new feature film "Paradise City: Degrassi Goes Hollywood". A sequel film named Degrassi Takes Manhattan featured 4 more songs co-written by McMaster including the single Life is a Show,[18] which achieved wide replay on radio.

Performing / Singing / Touring[edit]

Coincident with songwriting and production responsibilities, McMaster has maintained a strong performing persona through tours, concerts, media initiatives and release of an EP.

EP Release "Time"[edit]

In January 2008, with producer and long-time friend Greg Johnston, McMaster released an EP on which he sings five original songs, including "All I'm Missing Is You"; "Time"; "Running"; Can't Get Enough Of You" and "I'm At Your Mercy". The songs were chosen to reflect the strong influence of the Blue Eyed Soul music genre, by which McMaster was most influenced at the time.

Team Canada 2010[edit]

During February 2010, McMaster participated in Team Canada 2010, a troupe of performers, musicians and NHL hockey stars sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan, to entertain the Canadian troops. Alongside Canadian Bands, The Carpet Frogs and Default, and performers such as Alan Frew and Sam Reid from Glass Tiger, Mcmaster performed and sang in a variety of concerts and events organized for the troops,[19] over a week long period.[20]

Canada's Walk Of Fame Festival 2010[edit]

During October, 2010, McMaster performed at the annual Toronto based festival held to commemorate the annual induction of Canadian celebrities into the Canadian Walk Of Fame. Along with a select showcase of Canadian musicians and icons, McMaster performed[21] and sang on the Dundas Square stage in a concert that was televised and broadcast across Canada the following night.

Tourism Ontario 2010[edit]

As part of the Province of Ontario's initiative to celebrate and promote the Winter Olympics held in British Columbia, The Ontario Government, Department of Tourism, commissioned Mcmaster to participate in national 60 second TV commercial called "Come Together", also featuring Ryan Isojima, Lisa Boudreau, Annick Obonsawin, and God Made Me Funky's Phatt Al.

Bluebird North 2010[edit]

Bluebird North[22] is a series of concerts sponsored by and held Koener Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music in downtown Toronto, Ontario, where some of Canada 's most inspiring singers and songwriter share their songs and stories round-robin style. In October 2010, Mcmaster was featured as the Mcmaster opening act at Royal Conservatory for the American country-indie-folk singer Brandi Carlile.

Crucifix In Dreamland, Marc Jordan[edit]

During 2010, McMaster collaborated with American singer Marc Jordan in the development of Jordan's latest album, Crucifix In Dreamland.[23] McMaster co-wrote the album's current, top 40 hit single,[24] Falling Man.

Launching A New Solo performing Career[edit]

Recording All Roads Album[edit]

Building upon several years as a full-time writer/producer, during 2011 McMaster began work on a project to relaunch his performing career with the planned release of a new album on February 14, Valentine's Day, 2013. Recording of the new album, to be named ALL ROADS, occurred during January 2012 at the new Revolution Studios in Toronto, including eight covers songs and four original tracks, produced by Greg Johnston. The lead featured single from the album was selected as "Good Morning Beautiful", co-written with American song writer and pianist, Jim Brickman.

During post production of ALL ROADS, McMaster enlisted Pavlo, famed Canadian guitarist to perform featured overtracks to one of the album original songs named Tuscan Skies. As a result of that collaboration, Pavlo invited Luke to accompany him on the western swing of his Canadian Tour involving 12 venues, during April. In turn, McMaster developed a limited edition, five track EP named after the feature track, Tuscan Skies and included four select covers tracks for the upcoming ALL Roads CD album, which was exclusively sold off stage during the Pavlo tour.

Sound Of Freedom Project[edit]

During June, a song previously written by McMaster named "Diamonds From Drops Of Rain" was selected as a lead single for a special project called the Sound Of Freedom Project, released on May 29, 2012 (Willow Music / EMI Music Canada). Proceeds from the album have been assigned to the Support Our Troops Fund and features a unique collaboration between musician members of the Canadian Forces, and civilian singers featuring Alexandria Beck, Alan Frew, Mark Masri, Luke McMaster and Annie Villeneuve. The band is appropriately titled, MARCH ON. Produced by Glass Tiger's Sam Reid, Sound of Freedom was recorded largely at the Canadian Forces Central Band Studio in Ottawa and at Newmarket, Ontario's SlipOne Digital in 2010 and 2011.[25]

Bell Media Emerging Artist Award[edit]

During September, McMaster was named by BellMedia as their "Emerging Artist",[26] in conjunction with "Good Morning Beautiful" which was released to radio the previous month.

Billboard Charting[edit]

In October, "Good Morning Beautiful debued on US Billboard AC Radio charts at position #32. By the second week of December, it was charting at #3 and remained there for two weeks. While a Christmas version of the track named "Merry Christmas Beautiful" charted #6 over the Christmas season, the original track is currently charting #16.

Billboard Charting[edit]

On January 22, Mcmaster will release his first solo album named "All Roads", distributed in North America by Green Hill Productions an EMI.

Musical influences[edit]

Although McMaster has embraced an eclectic range of musical styles and genres throughout his career, his greatest musical influences have remained Blue-Eyed Soul and Jazz. Specific artists who have exemplified McMaster's musical preferences and provided the strongest influence to both his song writing and performing are Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Hall & Oates, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, The Beatles, Ray Lamontagne, The Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra.

Awards[edit]

  • Rihanna, Double Platinum Album 'Girl Like Me"[27]
  • 6 times Platinum album (songwriter) - Nick Lachey ' What's Left Of Me '[28]
  • 2 times Platinum album (songwriter/producer)- Kalan Porter '219 days'[29]
  • Platinum (songwriter) - Rex Goudie "Under the Lights"[30]
  • Platinum album (songwriter/producer) - Ryan Malcolm 'Home'[31]
  • Gold album (artist) - McMaster and James: "Eponymous"[32]
  • SOCAN award for Top Radio Play: "Thank You"[33]
  • PMA award for Best Song: "I Understand"

Discography[edit]

All Roads (2013)

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ City of Brandon, Manitoba
  2. ^ [[Chris Burke-Gaffney|]]
  3. ^ ALL POP NEWS - McMaster&James to conquer pop world - By STEPHANIE McGRATH - Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - Accessed May 6, 2011 [1]
  4. ^ ALL POP NEWS - McMaster & James provide funky pop - By STEPHANIE McGRATH - Wednesday, February 23, 2000 [2]
  5. ^ DESPITE CONSTANT WARNINGS, MCMASTER AND ROB MADE IGNORING "WET PAINT" SIGNS A HABIT. Winnipeg pop duo McMaster & James take the stage tonight at Centennial Hall., Article from the UWO Gazette, promoting Mcmaster and James appearance in London, Ontario; written by Tara Dermastja, Gazette Staff, March 2000 [3]
  6. ^ ALL POP NEWS - Socked by celebrity... but McMaster & James can roll with it - By LISA WILTON - Calgary Sun - News Thursday, February 24, 2000 - Accessed May 6, 2011 [4]
  7. ^ "Two For The Road", Article from JAM Showbiz/Music, written by Pat St. Germain, published July 11, 2000, accessed April 19, 2011 [5]
  8. ^ Video of Mcmaster and James performing "Thank You" as part of the Psychblast Tour, 2001 [6]
  9. ^ ALL POP News - New Canadian pop act on the scene - Thursday, January 6, 2000 - Accessed May 6, 2011 [7]
  10. ^ ALL POP NEWS - McMaster & James chat with AllPop readers; Interview with All Pop.com, March 25, 2000, accessed April 19, 2011 [8]
  11. ^ Open Directory Regional: North America: Canada: Arts and Entertainment: Music - Accessed may 6, 2011 [9]
  12. ^ Bachman, Hill attend idol CD writing camp - Canadian Press - Updated: Fri Oct. 03 2003 2:06:13 PM - accessed May 4, 2011{http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20031003/idol_songwriting_camp_031003?hub=OttawaSpecial2}
  13. ^ Bobby Cameron website - Accessed may 4, 2011
  14. ^ Accessed in May, 2011
  15. ^ Producer lends his talents to Carter solo album, accessed April 19, 2011 [10]
  16. ^ Toronto Star article; Writing music for Instant Star, written by Tim Lai, Entertainment Reporter, Toronto Star, August 28, 2007, accessed April 19, 2011 [11]
  17. ^ Joanna Wang page on Jpop.com
  18. ^ The Internet Movie database - Soundtrack for DeGrassi Goes Hollywood, accessed April 27, 2010 [12]
  19. ^ Video; Mcmaster sings Canada's National Anthem in Kandahar
  20. ^ Mcmaster back from Afghanistan; Brandon Sun, March 30, 2010, accessed April 19, 2011 [13]
  21. ^ Luke McMaster page on Canada's Walk of Fame website, accessed April 27, 2010 [14]
  22. ^ Bluebird north webpage on Songwriter Association of Canada website - accessed may 5, 2011 [15]
  23. ^ Marc Jordan scores with Crucifix In Dreamland - Acclaimed songsmith delivers fine new album - By Kerry Doole - Tandem News - Originally Published: 2010-10-31 - accessed May 5, 2011 [16]
  24. ^ "Falling Man achieves No. 31 as of May 6, 2011". America's Music Charts. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Sound of Freedom release - Unique Canadian Support Our Troops Fundraising Album" (Press release). CNW - Canada NewsWire. May 24, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  26. ^ "KooL 101.5 Emerging Artist of the Month" (Press release). Bell Media. September 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ Mcmaster collaborated with Curtis Richardson and Charlene Gilliam in writing "Final Goodbye"A Girl like Me (Rihanna album)- CRIA Certification [17]
  28. ^ Mcmaster collaborated with Wally Gogel and Xandy Barry in writing "On Your Own", featured on Lachey's album "What's Left of Me"
  29. ^ Mcmaster collaborated with Season No. 2, Canadian Idol winner, Kalan Porter, in writing "How Many Roads"; CRIA Certification [18]
  30. ^ CRIA Certification
  31. ^ CRIA Certification
  32. ^ CRIA Certification
  33. ^ Socan Recognizes Mclauchlan, Klees, Bachman, And Cummings - By LARRY LeBLANC - Publication: Billboard - Date: Saturday, December 8, 2001 - Accessed May 5, 2011 [19]

External links[edit]

  • Luke Mcmaster Website [20]