Luttrell on Exploring the Space Outside of His Comfort Zone
Mar 20, 2023
7 min read
A man with beats and performance skills that melt you into an unworldly universe who also maintains an exquisite rollie fingers mustache—his name is Luttrell, and he has been spanking the melodic techno and progressive house scene sideways. The melodic mustachioed maestro had a splendid first two years when he debuted as an individual artist in 2016.
Just look at the receipts. After years as part of the M Machine, he signed his “Need You” EP to Anjunadeep in 2016. Two years later, his track “Contract” was featured on Mark Knight’s This is Toolroom 2018, a curated EP of the stalwart label’s most noteworthy tracks and up-and-coming artists. Additionally, he toured North America with Above & Beyond in 2017 and 2018. Then he accompanied Lane 8 for his Little by Little album tour. He topped things off with his first Tomorrowland and Coachella in 2018. Moreover, the melodic techno talent opened up for Rüfüs du Sol, received massive support from BBC Radio 1, Pete Tong, Joris Voorn, and remixed Moby’s “This Wild Darkness.”
In 2019 he hit his first solo tour and released his debut album Into Clouds, via Anjunadeep Records. It became a prime example that showed his immense progress in creative range and ability to craft expressive, mesmerizing sounds amongst 13 tracks - earning him even more recognition and a fevered fanbase.
In 2020 he released his second album, Lucky Ones, enriched with music that spoke to a crowd and evoked a feeling of beauty and bliss. A year later, he released his album “Music For My Memories” and the companion EP “Music For My Memories Pt.II” his dedication to his craft was evident in the ethereal melodies, fearless rhythms, and lush soundscapes that characterize his music. Whether blasting through your headphones or on a massive sound system, Luttrell has a pure talent for drawing listeners in and taking them on a journey of the senses. His sound and presence made for the big stage.
The artist, who is about to become a father, had his most recent release via Anjunadeep, “More Than Human.” Listening to it is a serene experience that transports you to the mesmerizing atmosphere of the playa at Burning Man. The track’s poignant chords and deep house-rooted basslines stir the mood to dance as the sun sets over the desert landscape, and a stunning golden glow envelops you and your loved ones.
We caught up with Luttrell and discussed his life, career, and what we can forward to. He shared with us some candid and insightful responses that bring him and his expansion on music to life.
You recently mentioned you have been working on new music, some outside your comfort zone. What does working out of your comfort zone look like?
I’ve had so much time to write music recently, being off the road for a bit. It’s been super fun to bring out my guitar and ukulele and play along with something I’m writing that’s more dance-ey or house-ey. Sometimes blending those two worlds brings about some interesting results. I’ve also been experimenting with pitching my vocals around more—getting more experimental with it, while still keeping it within the ‘Luttrell’ sound.
After having such a memorable year with your music, life, and performances, what do you owe yourself?
A back massage. But honestly, I’d say I owe myself the time and space to focus, be inspired, and make the best possible music I can. Life is short, and I already feel time speeding up. It’s wild.
The best part of Gray Area is exposing a new audience to a new artist and vice versa. What would you say is the best part of your career, living in a time where you’re constantly being exposed to new listeners and people?
That’s basically it. The people I come in contact with are the best part. Connecting with people through the love of a moment of music is one of the absolute best feelings in life, and I’m lucky I get to experience that feeling often.
Luttrell at Superior Ingredients
How did your personal relationship influence the creative process and final product of “Around you”?
[My wife] Sara would come hang out downstairs in the studio while I would work a lot of nights. On that track we had the idea of trying a duet-style vocal, so we ended up spending the entire rainy night in the Seattle studio singing and arranging the parts [and] finished working on the song as the sun was coming up. It was a special time.
How did your collaboration with Mat Zo and his introduction to Above & Beyond lead to
your partnership with Anjunadeep?
In 2016, I happened to be in LA at Mat Zo’s house going over final mix decisions on the last M Machine record. We were taking an ear break from what we were listening to all afternoon and sharing any other random bits of music or works in progress. I showed him a couple of early versions of the first Luttrell songs, like “Need You” and “Stormwatcher.” Mat said, “Hey, I think Anjunadeep might be into this.” So he sent it over to them, and the rest is history. A very fortuitous moment in my career, so big thanks to Mat Zo on that one.
Can you speak to the evolution of your sound and style, particularly as it relates to your
releases with Anjunadeep?
My main focus has always been to write music that makes me feel feelings, and I think that’s why I have found a place at Anjunadeep. They are very focused on chords, music, and emotions while staying true to their deep house roots. Personally, I try to make sure my music is pretty, whether it’s more of a chill track or a peak-time banger. It always has to evoke some kind of emotion.
Luttrell at Superior Ingredients
What is the first thing you think of when you say “I Love”?
Spicy Chicken Sandwich (it’s my vice these days)
What are some things you forget but feel better when reminded about?
Nobody has all the answers, and that’s ok! Also, there are almost certainly some pretty neat civilizations out there in the galaxy and beyond that have their own art, music, architecture, food, and who knows what else. Maybe some inventions we can’t comprehend yet. Just super fascinating, and it makes me happy to daydream about the possibilities.
What are some things normal to you that other people find weird?
Being in airports and on airplanes is relaxing to me. I am really good at fasting diets. The sound of styrofoam squeaking together makes me want to puke. It’s like nails on a chalkboard x10 (to me).
Is there any upcoming exciting news from you that we should be looking forward to?
We recently moved to Long Beach, CA, and Sara and I have a baby daughter on the way! Our first baby, so we’re very excited. I’m experimenting and having a ton of fun writing and taking in my new surroundings. Inspired by all the changes and new beginnings.