SB: The video reminds me of the parties you would hear about in Louisiana in the ’60s and ’70s. What was the concept behind it?
Luke James: With the song being a slow mid and a sensual song, I didn’t want to do a typical visual, me and a girl in the bed, because the songs says, “Make love to me.” But I wanted the visual to insinuate movement that you can groove to and that you can dance to, and that you can do other sensual things besides the physical act of s-x. So we were inspired by the Ernie Barnes painting, The Sugar Shack, which is the actual painting that Marvin Gaye used for his I Want You album, and also the intro to the sitcom Good Times from the ’70s. It’s the painting that they show every time the show comes on. And we just wanted to bring that to life. We wanted that magical feeling that you got when you watch Michael Jackson‘s “Smooth Criminal.” When the lights went out and it felt like everybody was catching the holy ghost together and everybody was in one voice, you know screaming “Annie, are you OK?” I had my manager, Frank Gatson direct it. He’s been doing so much for other people, and he had such a great vision. There was no one else better to do it. “Smooth Criminal” was the first video he was in. He was there for that feeling and he knew exactly what the video it took to capture that kind of moment. So that was the inspiration to create the video. And we had amazing dancers. They brought it to life. [Kelly Rowland] came and I was just thrilled. She brought her beautiful self in there [laughs].
SB: Destiny’s Child member, Beyonce, has said that you’re her favorite singer. You opened her comeback shows, and you appeared in “Run The World.” What’s it like getting such great accolades from one of our biggest superstars?
Luke James: It’s amazing. It’s everyone’s dream. You want to be acknowledged by people that you respect, that you looked up to coming up and that I learned from as an aspiring performer. A couple of months ago I did a show in L.A. and Stevie Wonder introduced me. Like he got the crowd riled up for me, and that was just an amazing accomplishment. He didn’t hear them screaming or nothing and he wouldn’t let me come on until they got it going. To have the respect of greats, iconic people. It’s an awesome feeling. It was a confirmation.
Click to learn about Luke’s fashion style muses, and what he finds beautiful in a woman.
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