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EXCLUSIVE: Marco Luka Talks New Single “pretty little lies”

Rising experimental pop artist Marco Luka blends Latin, trap, and indie alternative to create earworms like his latest single “pretty little lies.”  

The bass driven track radiates California vibes with its glistening melody and lavish music video directed by Nick Jandora. 

We talked with the self-taught singer, songwriter and producer about “pretty little lies,” what fans can look forward to next, and more!

What first got you interested in pursuing music? 

I always had an appreciation for music, but never dreamed I would be making it. I grew up in a household where my mom would play any Latin music you could move to, and once I was a bit older, my sister started playing piano all the time. But somehow I actually didn’t start making music until 2018. I was a photographer at the time, taking pictures of my friends and their new band Weston Estate. I always liked to freestyle for fun, so they convinced me to get on one of their tracks just for kicks and they ended up loving it. My bandmates were really that initial push of support that made me enjoy writing songs, and I quickly got addicted and started learning how to mix and produce. It’s still so crazy to me that people consider me a singer, because I feel like I really had to grow into my voice and I had no idea where it would take me.

Who did you listen to growing up and do they have an influence on your music today? 

I grew up listening to more artists than I can count, and I think that’s why my music is all over the place genre-wise. When I was really tiny I only really heard the Latin music my mom would play, but as I got older and discovered YouTube and Pandora, I started listening to bands like Coldplay and Linkin Park. In middle school, I discovered the local rap station in Raleigh, right around when Young Thug first came out, and it changed everything for me. I started listening to Thug, Chief Keef, and Migos and I quickly fell in love with trap music. Once I got to high school though, I discovered a lot of the artists that I really feel shaped my music. I started listening to King Krule, teen suicide, Brent Faiyaz, and eventually Juice WRLD. I think even today that’s where a lot of my root inspiration comes from.

What inspired you to write “pretty little lies”?

It was my first real music trip to LA and I was feeling the magic. It came from the rush of being in a new, amazingly inspiring place after a terrible dry spell during quarantine, and really I just wanted it to give off a youthful energy. I wanted it to embody making mistakes, living through pain and doubt while you’re figuring your life out.

What was the writing and production process like? 

It was so seamless even though it was my first time working with Roy Lenzo. He had the beat ready and I did a melody run on my voice memos then built the start of the song out from there. I was really feeling it so eventually Roy started to punch me in section by section so all the cadences flowed, and I’d quickly write the lines and keep going as he tweaked and added small production elements in the background. I fell in love with the song more and more as we were making it.

You mentioned on instagram that “pretty little lies” is  “the best song I’ve released yet by MILES.” What do you think makes a great song?  

I don’t believe you can really “think” at what makes a good song. It’s art, it’s all about the feeling it gives you when you listen to it. So I guess what makes the best songs for me is the genuine energy an artist puts into it. If you can hear the artist’s and producers’ true mood, intention, or maybe just how they see the world by simply listening to a song, then they killed it.

How did you get connected with Nick Jandora and what was it like filming your music video with him? 

I was actually a huge fan of Nick’s work for years before I met him. I used to edit gaming montages so I would watch music videos for inspiration and funny enough a lot of his were like godly to me. I met him completely on accident when I went to Neek’s house for a session and he was just introduced to me as “this chill dude who makes fire videos.” Honestly, once I realized who he was I had a minor fanboy moment. He’s a real genius though, and the chillest, most genuine dude. Any concept that he or I think of that excites us, he’s able to bring to life in the coolest way. 

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to your music, what do you imagine it looking like? 

I honestly have no idea what it would look like, but as long as it’s dimly lit and a pretty vibey it’ll work. I think it should have abstract art covering all the walls and enough space to turn the fuck up but also have a comfy couch to cry on. 

What can fans look forward to next? 

I can’t wait to give my listeners the full picture. I’ve been dying to start quickly turning pages and show off all the different kinds of music I can make, but to be honest I’m still figuring it out. My next single is something my fans haven’t ever heard from me before, and my hope is that people love that side of me and want to stick around with me through my journey. My goal with these next songs and really my career is to create a beautiful musical world that any listener could live in.

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