Christian with attitude

Local artist finds passion and voice through music


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Story by Jessica Emerson, online co-editor-in-chief

Luke Smith

Nine years old. As per usual on Sunday mornings, senior Luke Smith trudges into church, clad in khaki pants and a polo button down. Groggy eyed and slightly distracted, he sits leisurely in the pew, unexpectant. 

Like a jolt of electricity, Smith sits erect, pressing his dress shoes softly into the carpet, and listens intently as the sound of rhythmic beats and rhymes begin to churn out of the muffled church speakers. From that point on, Smith has had a deep passion for rap music.

“I’ve always liked music,” Smith said. “I heard my first rap song in church, it was called “Joyful Noise,” by Flame, when I was 9 years old. Once I heard that, I was hooked.”

Thirteen years old. Smith blasts Lil Wayne into his Apple headphones, attempting to rap along to the steady hum and rhythm. 

“When I got older, I would listen to guys like Eminem and Lil Wayne, and I’d try to imitate their styles,” Smith said. “They were my two favorites at the time, and then it expanded to guys like Ace Hood, Rich Homie Quan and Chief Keef.”

Slowly, Smith started to lose the desire he had. He couldn’t find the missing variable that would foster his passion. As he found Christ, Smith’s love for rap began to grow and shape into a potential career. 

“Once Christ came into my life, I thought I’d have to give up rap,” Smith said. “until I heard guys like Lecrae and Flame. Later me and my best friend were like, ‘let’s start rapping,’ so we did.” 

His fervor grew, and he released his debut single on September 2 after an intense and strenuous recording process. 

“The recording process was really cool,” Smith said. “What I originally wanted to do was try to build my own beat, but since that would take a lot of time and money that I didn’t have, the guy at S.M.A.R.T. Productions recommended that I find a beat online that fit the song. Once I found one, we put it in the computer and we started recording the verses. We made some adjustments like adding certain noises, getting a friend of mine to come in and record his voice as the hype guy, and we put it on a CD.”

“Trust Issues” highlights his personal struggles in his faith and what he aspires to become.

“It’s about trusting in God no matter what the circumstances are,” Smith said. “In the song, I talk about how I’d like to become a big name rapper, but I have to trust in God to take me as far as he wants me to.”

Although his first single has just been released, Smith already has future projects and a potential tour in the works. September 3, Smith went back into the studio to record an EP, “This Is A Test.” While juggling new tracks, performing at Tiger’s Got Talent is also on the new artist’s agenda. 

“We plan to release it [This Is A Test] around Christmas break,” Smith said. “The EP will feature Collin Runnels on one of the tracks and also a friend of mine named Zierre Spencer who used to go to Texas High. I would also like if I was given the opportunity to perform at  different churches in Texarkana and like a church tour, where I perform at a different youth group each Wednesday. Whether I win [Tiger’s Got Talent] or not wouldn’t matter; I just love performing.”

Success doesn’t matter to Smith. He’s after self expression and diving deeper into his faith, utilizing his passion. 

“Music lets me feel like I can express myself better than I can any other way,” Smith said. “I’ve always liked writing, but a song is like poetry to music; just like how in poetry they try to send a message through their work, music allows me to do the same thing. Honestly, sometimes when I pray I even rap the prayer because I’m talking to God anyway. I’m just doing it using one of the gifts I feel He gave me.”