Luke Million – music and collaboration in South Australia

21 August 2023

The buzzing South Australian arts scene is the ideal environment for music producer Luke Millions to continue making his unique synth-infused music.

Photo by Ryan Cantwell

The buzzing South Australian arts scene has provided the ideal environment for music producer Luke Million to continue making his unique disco/funk-infused music from his home town of Adelaide.

Known as “The Synth Lord”, Luke Million is an artist and producer who turned his love of vintage synthesisers and drum machines into crafting his distinct Disco-Pop style of music.

In 2011, his single Arnold became a runaway dance floor hit, and he reached new heights with his remix of the theme for cult TV show, Stranger Things.

Despite the allure of running his career from several international cities, he has chosen to continue his journey from his Adelaide studio

Growing up in Vale Park, music has always been an integral part of Luke’s life. As the son of a piano teacher, he learned classical piano at a young age before forming bands with friends during his teenage years.

It was during this time that Luke discovered the disco-fusion sounds that would influence his unique musical style.

“I started discovering all these amazing sounds from the 70s and 80s,” Luke said.

“My friends and I were really into the kind of jazz, fusion, funk and acid jazz that was happening back in the late 90s.

“We played stuff like Jamiroqui and the Brand New Heavies, and it just progressed to the point where I thought, I need to have these sounds.”

Collaborating with other artists has been a defining feature of Luke’s career.

After an award-winning run at the Melbourne Fringe, he made his Adelaide Fringe debut in 2023, partnering with lighting creative David Musch and multi-disciplinary artist Dave Court to create a sensory-stimulating show which blended light, sound and live music from his funk-infused concept album, Gina the Synth Cat.

“I called it the South Australian Dream Team,” Luke said.

“There’s so many talented artists in Adelaide and I wanted to involve as many artists (in the show) as I could.

“I’ve mentored people from time to time and run master classes. It just seems like everyone here is giving each other a leg up to get to the next level.

“You don’t have to look too far and you’ll see someone doing amazing things.”

“Every venue, you’ll find people performing and there are a lot of really cool little bars where you get your up and coming producers.

“Right now, the whole city is alive.”

In addition to producing his own music, Luke collaborates with clients worldwide on various projects, including documentary soundtracks, intro loops, and partnerships with other artists seeking his signature style.

“My work is global, and I can do it all from Adelaide,” Luke said.

“I’ve been doing a lot of random work for people all over the world that’s really helped boost my kind of reach I have and can have a global career from Adelaide.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit, but every time I’ve returned home, I stop and appreciate how good it is here.”

“It’s very rare to be able to live close to the city and then have a music studio near the city as well.

“I just feel like we’re very lucky here.”

For Luke, the most appealing part of living in South Australia is the balance.

“Adelaide can be peaceful, relaxing, but also on the other end, it can be vibrant.

“You don’t want a city that’s just going to be like, go, go, go, or not progressing in any way.

“We have the hills 20 minutes that way, beach 20 minutes that way, plus amazing food and wine – all these things that you’d find all around the world in different places, but here, it’s all in one location.

“There’s things happening. It feels alive.”

And when we asked Luke to choose one work for how living and working in South Australia makes him feel?

“Complete,” Luke said, smiling.