VMEN: Quiet Luke

VMEN: Quiet Luke

VMEN: Quiet Luke

The producer discusses merging music and Web3.

The producer discusses merging music and Web3.

Photography: Menelik Puryear

Styling: Brandon Tan

Text: Kristopher Frasier

Quiet Luke, the underground musician, producer, and model, made it out of his Florida hometown thanks to an admission into NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. When he got to New York, he originally had no intention of finishing his degree. “It was a dream come true,” Luke shares. “But I had this romantic artist’s dream that I would drop out in two years, once I started making and producing enough music.”

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Luke—whose real name is Alexander Luke Bahta; the Quiet is from his natural demeanor—found his love of music at an early age. He loved to sing, and he was part of his school’s choir. His parents also set him up with piano lessons. “I had been producing music with software I downloaded off the Internet. That was how I realized I didn’t want to do anything else. At 16 I started taking music seriously.”

Luke eventually released his first album in 2019, which he describes as a sweet spot between pop, rock, and R&B. Or, as he puts it, “a revisionist Motown mixed with Abbey Road.” It was during this time—at peak lockdown with a lot of time on his hands—that Luke started thinking about the intersection of music and technology, and how Web3 (the term for the concept of a decentralized World Wide Web) could start revolutionizing the music industry.

“I wanted to do something that infused music, game theory, and blockchain, but I still have to think about what that will look like,” Luke relates about his digital plans.“One of my friends recently told me that he doesn’t think the medium I would best be able to express myself in has been invented yet. Music will always be part of my life, but Web3’s potential for community-building has really inspired me.”

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Lately, Luke has been loaning his talents to fashion brands like JW Anderson to score their runway shows; he also occasionally models, including with Bode, Converse, and Burberry. And up next, Luke has a folk album he wants to bring to the world. “The plan is to release the more pop album first, get enough notoriety, and then have Jack Antonoff re-record this entire album with me,” he confides to us. “I just want to put that out there into the universe.”

Credits: GROOMING RIAD AZAR (THE WALL GROUP) / PHOTO ASSISTANTS RYAN PETRUS, ETHAN GREENFIELD / STYLIST ASSISTANTS DUNYA KOROBOVA, JULIA WETTREICH / GROOMING ASSISTANT ALEXANDRA DIROMA

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