Our latest series sees a continuation of Universal Works sharing stories from our global community kingpins. By spotlighting the people living, working and doing good things in the vicinity of our stores and stockists, we reckon it’s all about Good People and Good Places

London’s the next UW. hotspot and the third (and final) stop welcomes legendary DJ and music producer Luke Solomon. A fundamental part of the dance scene for decades, we get into the groove with one of the capital’s most celebrated creatives. Rumour has it, he started his career in 1990 with a residency at Middlesex University. A budding hobbyist, he was buying records from his local vinyl stockists, Stop On By in Barnet, but before long he was gracing the airwaves of a pirate radio station called Girls FM – which led to bookings at clubs around London. He’s a man who loves the capital and explained,

“I have a long history here and a very emotional attachment. I’m constantly inspired by just walking around, meeting people, and absorbing it all.”

 



Luke wears Bakers Chore Jacket In Orange Recycled Nylon Tech, Military Liner Jacket in Cumin Summer CanvasTravail Shirt In Blue Typewriter Chambray, Drop Crotch Fatigue Pant in Shwedish Camo Print, Shoes model's own.  

 

Dance heads will be familiar with his seminal label, Classic Recordings, which he set up with Chicago’s finest music export, Derrick Carter. Others may have some of his Freaks tracks on repeat. The man clearly has talent, so we opened up the convo by asking what character traits you need to be a leading music producer. With a smile he replied, “Ha! Don’t be an arsehole – it’s unnecessary! People often think it’s okay to run around burning bridges because you have huge self-belief and success is achievable at any cost – this is NOT the case. It’s okay to have a clear vision of your future, and it’s okay to be firm about the decisions you make and stick to your guns. It is not okay to do all those things and, in the process, make enemies. Long careers predominantly come from a combination of talent and professionalism.” 





T
hese days Luke spends his time working with global artists. We’re curious to know how the magic happens and what he enjoys most about the process of producing. For anyone on the outside of the industry, what goes on behind a mixing desk looks like pure alchemy. We asked Luke which parts of his job he enjoys the most and he said,
“Getting to know them – that's crucial. You have to make a connection, become their friend, and slowly you begin to learn about their personality. That allows you to get inside their heads. 75% of making music is talking about it. I used to feel like once you were in the studio that’s what you had to do – just be there and create, but the magic comes from going to the store to get supplies, going for a drive, watching YouTube, and just vibing. That’s where the ideas happen. What I learned early on though, was the ‘spark’ is the magical bit you hope for. When Honey Dijon, Chris Penny and I were working on Beyoncé’s Renaissance, it was so easy to imagine her voice on our music, and that made the writing and producing process so much easier. So having a very clear vision from the start is the absolute number one priority.”
Any aspiring music producers out there – take note.