Not Pitch Perfect-On Purpose

Former American Idol contestant, Gedeon Luke, finds his own identity in his debut album.

by Teresa Palagano
eTalent Spotlight

A quick glance at musician Gedeon Luke might give you a case of can't-place-the face. You know, it's the nagging feeling that you recognize a person but can't remember where you've seen him before. Here's how you know Luke: He was a semi-finalist on season five of American Idol. (That was the one with Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks.) But if Luke can help it, few will remember him for his playful quips with Simon Cowell. They'll know him for his debut album, "Perfect Ain't Perfect"

The album, says Luke, "defies the trend of the moment." While much of the music at the top of the iTunes chart is more machine than man, Luke's sound is live and raw-celebrating imperfection rather than having studio sound engineers stitch together various takes to make the vocals flawless.

"This album is more than music," says Luke. "It is a message. Within every song lies the power to share, understand, and celebrate the ups and downs of life. My hope is that people listen to this record in its entirety and allow themselves the space to soak it all in. Each word. Each beat. Each breath. My aim is to bring back music with no boundaries." The album-featuring a full band that included, Jack Daley (Lenny Kravitz), James Poyser (The Roots), and Bobby Sparks (Prince) and two-time Grammy winning producer Marc Swersky-was done in less than a week because that's the way Luke wanted it. "I wanted it to be old school, because old school is soul school. It's music that comes from the heart."

Inspired by the Gospel infused sounds that spearheaded a cultural movement (Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Ike and Tina Turner), Gedeon's aim is to bring back music with no boundaries. Love, Peace, and Soul for all. Gedeon is no stranger to life's hardships. In his 23 years he has seen it all. "I grew up in the projects in Memphis, Tennessee...literally on the streets where I was surrounded by gang violence and drug abuse. It deeply affected my family and our ability to think." Music and faith were two things that were always available in his household. Through them, Gedeon found refuge and transcendence.

As for his time on Idol and its lingering affects on his music career, the 23-year old says he's grateful for the experience. "Let's just say I went from being a boy to a man. It allowed me to realize who I wanted to become. I'm now more comfortable in my ownskin. A lot of people tried to push me in directions that were cliched and predictable. I just couldn't do it. I needed to feel authentic. At the end of the day, I truly believe if you can stand the pain, you can play the game."

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