It’s hard to believe that 26-year-old Luke Combs seriously began pursuing a musical career only five years ago. His muscular and soul-stirring vocals grace the current single “Hurricane” that heralds his debut River House Artists/Columbia Records release This One’s for You. But one does not leap out of the gate fully formed, without a rich
back story. A devotee of artists like Vince Gill and Brooks & Dunn, the Charlotte, NC native began singing in choirs as a child. He was a criminal justice major at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC when he made a life-changing discovery. “I was 21 years old and unhappy in school,” says Combs. “I came home to work a summer job and all my friends stayed at school for the season. There was nobody around, I was bored and there was a guitar sitting in the closet. I just started learning some basic chords and went from there. It wasn’t like I was planning on being a country singer.”
“All the major labels came to us. It wasn’t me knocking on doors or anything.”
But as luck would have it Luke Combs was bitten by the show biz bug and soon progressed from there. “I finally got a show booked when I got back to college that next year. I made $200 on the show and that was more money than I had made working two jobs,” says the singer-songwriter. “I thought I should do this and enjoyed playing, even though I didn’t think I could make a living at it.”
However, for the better part of two years he stuck with it, playing three or four nights a week. He stayed in Boone for six months and then expanded to other regions in North Carolina. He moved to Nashville in September 2014. “I had two EP’s out and wrote more songs for seven or eight months without a publishing deal,” says Combs. “I had enough digital revenue from my songs that were out selling that I was able to survive just as a musician. One of my co-writers, James, said his buddy Scott (Moffatt) should produce the EP I wanted to record. At first, we were complete polar opposites, but it ended up working out.
“It’s all kind of fallen together super organically,” Combs concludes. “After I put out the EP I got my booking deal and signed my independent deal with Lynn (Oliver-Cline) and River House Artists. And then all the major labels came to us. It wasn’t me knocking on doors or anything.”
Luke Combs' debut release, This One’s for You, is out now in all retail and digital platforms.
For more of Music Connection's Signing Stories, click HERE!