LUI is an emerging independent singer-songwriter who made his solo professional recording debut in 2018 with the single “360”. That track introduced a multi-talented, bilingual latin hip-hop artist from New Jersey with a genre-fluid sound. He is making waves in the music world with his unique mix of deeply personal lyrics and multicultural grooves.
Since his debut, the prolific recording artist has released three dozen singles. He has connected with fans around the world with popular tracks like 2022’s “No Problems” and “PERU”. This month LUI dropped his debut EP, an autobiographical six-song set that tells the story of a young man rising above the pain and hardships of his past.
Graduation: The American Dream is the brand new EP from LUI, released worldwide via all major streaming services on September 2, 2023. The record opens on the soca-infused beat and funky pizzicato guitar party vibes of “It’s a Mood”. The singer sets the scene as he slides smoothly between rapping and singing in both English and Spanish.
The psychedelic effects and hard rap bars of “Rich Made” follow, as LUI rhymes about his dedication to make it on his own terms, in honor of his family. The eclectic artist spins numerous styles into his beats on tracks like “Friends into Strangers”, in which a Spanish guitar sample rides a slow and low trap groove, while the singer takes a wistful look back, and a hopeful look forward.
“Mota” is a cool experimental track that mixes elements of dubstep, glitch, and reggaeton, while “This Ain’t for the Basics” is a no-nonsense hard drill-rap over a slow and low trap beat. The EP closes with “Love Understand Inspire” (L-U-I), a melancholy piano ballad that ultimately builds to an inspiring anthem.
The song sums up the theme of the record. It’s the story of a talented and ambitious young artist who has seen more than his share of pain, yet remains unwaveringly dedicated to a brighter future. LUI drives this point home as the singer closes the album soulfully chanting his mantra, “This is what I stand for, this what I’ll die for.”
Check out LUI’s moving documentary about his new record and the story it tells, below. Listen to Graduation: The American Dream on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the tracks “Mota” and “Love Understand Inspire” on the Deep Dive : Hip-hop and R&B playlist. We had the chance to chat with LUI, you can read his answers to our 8 questions below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist.
8 Questions with LUI
Where are you from?
How long have you been making music?
The music made me ( since I was born)
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
– main artist : LUI
– producer – Svgarbeats
– mixing and mastering : Mikey Rivers
Who are your biggest musical influences?
– Arcangel, bob marley, Eminem, Michael Jackson, 50 cent
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
What inspired you to create this project?
– the American dream
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
– we drop a song every month and expect the music and projects to get better . I’m already working on upcoming EP ‘Yin-Yang’ and some duo projects
Is there anything else you would like to say?
This is just the beginning