I interviewed musician Luke Justin Roberts for the first time in 2018 (here). Lots has happened in Luke’s world since then, so I figured it was time for an update interview.
Catch up with Luke Justin Roberts!
1. Introduce yourself to our readers.
Luke Justin Roberts: I’m LJR, an indie pop artist from MD blending Peter Gabriel, Coldplay, and Hillsong with modern pop vibes. I also run a video production company and am about to launch a new crowdfunding app for nonprofits.
2. Since our first interview at the end of 2018, you have created two Facebook Groups, relaunched your website, and are offering merchandise. Describe these newer platforms and how they are aiding your brand.
Facebook groups allow you to create a community around a particular topic, and you can make them private so they are more exclusive. Facebook also ranks their content as more relevant to its users, so it shows my content and updates to more people than a traditional Facebook page. You can also use them to gate content so it’s only accessible by fans who take certain actions to support your music or subscribe to your Patreon. Make sure to join the free one, the LJR Fam! You’ll get lots of behind the scenes content and access to exclusive live videos. If you want more content and VIP access and free merch/merch discounts, jump in my Inner Circle through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. If you can’t get your content to your fans, you’re dead in the water as an artist. Merch has helped as well; I don’t sell a lot yet but it’s all automated fulfillment-wise and I have lots of options for things to have on there so I can give my fans the things they want. Relaunching my website has helped me present more professionally online, with everything all in one place.
3. Talk about the importance and impact of regularly-scheduled live streams and online concerts.
Regularly-scheduled livestreams are key to keeping engagement with fans. Without these, it’s easy to fall out of people’s minds. I do them weekly, and it really helps to build relationships with fans so they feel connected to you, and you don’t get discouraged as you try to launch your artist career. Online concerts help bring in revenue, but are tricky to do well. You don’t want to do them too often or people will lose interest if it’s the same show, but you don’t want to do them too sparsely either or they will lose interest. Regular concerts will also help you make some income online, as you can offer merch discounts with ticket sales and VIP Zoom call access after shows.
4. How has your worldwide reach impacted what you do?
Right now I market in the US, so it hasn’t much (yet).
5. Discuss your upcoming album. What style of music is the focus of the album? Do you have a particular message to convey in your music? Will there be any duets or group performances? Will there be any music videos?
My upcoming album spans a range of styles, from pop ballads to 80’s Toto/Steve Winwood grooves to meditation heavy almost Hillsong United driving anthemic sounds. I’m not trying to give people a certain message with my album or tell people a higher truth, I’m simply trying to tell my story in the way that feels most true to me. If there were a message I’d attach with the album, I’d say it is that. Own your own story, and remember that YOU are the one who tells it. No one else can define it for you. There is one track where I brought on one of my close friends and former American Idol contestant; you’ll have to listen to the fourth track of the album to find out who! It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. There will be lots of music videos! I haven’t decided how many. I wanted to make one for each song, but I have to figure out exactly how practical that is, or if I film them all myself I’ll have to figure out how to do that in a way that is still true to my vision when I can’t really have moving camera angles. But I very much want to include what I’ve learned video-wise over the past few years and direct the videos. We will see how they turn out!
6. Tell us about the development of your process you are using to bring your album to fruition, marketing strategy for the album, and in general getting your name out there and increasing your reach and audience.
This has been an ever changing process. It started about three years ago, when I first decided on the song combination. Since then I added a song or two in there. Probably the hardest part of the album was not the music itself, but my own emotional blocks I didn’t know were there. Through a lot of self-reflection, conversations with my family and friends, therapy, and facing the fears I had surrounding my artistry, I was able to get through it and record the album. Part of me feels it shouldn’t have taken so long, and part of me feels that this was simply the journey I needed to take to get here. It’s definitely created a much more fulfilling and meaningful experience developing this piece.
Marketing wise, I’m using an automated funnel I built using an online course that teaches how to find new fans for your music. You put a FB [Facebook]/IG [Instagram] ad up telling people about yourself and your new song, inviting them to message you if they want to hear it. Then you have a messenger bot setup to talk with them and send them the song, then give them access to your private FB fan group if they want to get more involved. They join with their email, so you simultaneously build your email list. My plan is to put a lot of money towards that, and also towards Spotify promotion and hopeful playlist placements. I’ll also do an IG ad to specifically promote my Spotify using another course I took online. This will be in connection with blog submissions and networking, hopefully some podcast conversations too. We will see what falls out.
7. How has COVID-19 impacted your music career?
It didn’t do a whole lot honestly, I was focused online anyway and wasn’t playing out when it first happened. I did want to transition to playing more live shows earlier, but I was okay with keeping everything online for a while longer. Now though, I’m ready to get out there and really starting to feel the itch.
8. Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
My album is finally almost done [February 2021]! We’ve finished tracking everything, now we are in the mixing phase. The first song is officially in the hands of my mixing engineer, so I’m excited to see how it turns out! Time to start focusing on making the music videos. Keep an eye out for my album!
9. How can people get in touch with you?
Though Facebook, IG, or texting me directly! I have a texting list I use to connect with fans. You can text me and I’ll text back when I can, and I also send out links to new content through it too, in order to bypass social media relevance algorithms that often filter brand content really low.
Facebook Fan Group with exclusive content: https://facebook.com/groups/ljrfam
Patreon (VIP access, hear songs first, more content): https://patreon.com/lukejustinroberts
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/lukejustinroberts
Texting list signup (20% off merch as a thank you!): https://my.community.com/6a46e568-8f21-4952-8a38-cd35c35f577f
Here’s a music video Luke would like you to see.
Had an absolute BLAST doing this Kings of Leon Use Somebody cover with Andrew and Felix from my new band. Tried some fun vocal and guitar overdubs to add ambience too. Hope you guys like it!Luke, from YouTube
It was great revisiting Luke to get an update on all the great things happening.
We have learned more about the musical life of Luke Justin Roberts, including how he is taking advantage of various platforms to increase his reach, and all about the creation of his new album. We should all be looking forward to that!! Please consider joining Luke’s Facebook groups and his Patreon. And check out his merch!
Creatives out there, if you want me to interview you, please contact me. This will give you exposure to an audience in my “circle,” that you may not have reached before.
To my readers, please provide feedback or questions in the Comments. I would really enjoy hearing from you. And let me know if there are any topics you would like me to cover.
Disclaimer: The author is not being financially compensated by anyone associated with any project mentioned, for this post.
The interview was edited for readability and formatting.
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