Laidback Luke on Super You and Me, DJ respect and more [Interview]
Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen, or Laidback Luke, is now 37: a living legend in a young man’s game. Despite all his accomplishments, Laidback Luke is always looking ahead at new projects that fascinate and interest him. Right now, one of his passions is helping the next generation by passing on the decades of wisdom he has acquired over the years.
“I love helping people find their way.”
Laidback Luke pauses before elaborating further: “I’m helping 45 kids, and I take them on very young, about 16. I’m looking for people looking to put in hard work, [and] make sacrifices.” The Dutch producer sounds focused and inspired with a million ideas swimming in his head.
“My forum is a breeding ground of talent. I’m a very strict teacher, and I will tell them what I think they need to change, from production to mentality. It’s something I really enjoy, and they have enjoyed success over the years.”
Yet Laidback Luke isn’t only looking to the future as he talks about his early days, even before the days when he first worked with the likes of David Guetta and a trio of lads that became known as Swedish House Mafia. As one of the more respected artists in the business right now, he reveals his youth ambition: “I wanted to have easy contact to people I admired when I was a young DJ. I thought so many of them were arrogant, and I was disappointed at times. It started in Ibiza, when there was a DJ I admired. I tried to go up to him and introduce myself, and he didn’t even look at me, and I was like ‘wow.’ I promised myself I never wanted to be like that. I wanted to be somebody I would love to meet.”
It’s this self-aware side of Luke that explains why he is so accessible to his fans on social (just take a quick peek at his Twitter), why he is so willing to help others, and why his shows are so geared towards his fans with the Super You and Me theme
“I had a 16 year old kid say that my remix was atrocious on Twitter and he was just speaking the truth. He had 23 followers, but I take it seriously. I have devoted my life to it. I take this all to heart, and try to keep learning from life up until the end.”
Luke understands the power of the music; he’s more in tune with his own production than almost any other artist. He is able to trace his personal devotion back to his early days in Amsterdam when he first started running his own parties. This was back in the ’80s, when dance music was first arriving in Europe — a novel concept after the days of disco were numbered. Luke’s connection to this time period is as strong as ever: “Whenever I DJ the music I love, which stems from the 80s, it is an epic feeling. One that you can take on the whole world.”
Away from the decks, when Luke isn’t capturing the old essence of music, he is starting a new personal life with his bride and fellow DJ, Gina Turner. “We are expecting a little girl, and we will need to see how this changes the schedule,” Luke says. Through his voice, you could sense a different happiness towards this topic than before when speaking about music. “It’s nice to be married to a DJ, somebody so understanding. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Two decades into the game, Laidback Luke is taking the time to enjoy himself, personally and professionally. And despite the comfortability, the DJ continues to push himself. Not for fame or fortune, but personal drive. Young pups in the dance music game — Laidback Luke is ready for you. More than ever.
Photos by: Skyler Greene