Luke Powers, Class of 2020
Trinity Grad Releases EP
On April 9, University of Virginia first-year student and 2020 Trinity graduate Luke Powers released his EP album “I Wishing World,” which is now available on Spotify and Apple Music. Featuring five original songs, the folk album is an introduction to who Luke is as a singer and songwriter.
“This EP was me just trying to get myself out there,” Luke said. “It’s pretty broad within its genre. Each song is pretty different, so I try to show my range in the album. It’s more ‘this is me’ than ‘this is what I’m trying to say’.”
While there is no evangelical agenda behind his music, Luke believes in authentic songwriting, which means that his Christian worldview is inevitably reflected in the music that he writes. A good example of this concept is the title track on his EP “I Wishing World.” The song doesn’t have an exclusively Christian message, but a message that comes from a Christian perspective.
“I don’t want to say it’s necessarily a commentary on consumerism because that oversimplifies it,” he explained. “But more a critique of people’s constant need for something else and our habit of just jumping from one thing to the next, which we often see in society, especially when you remove God from society.”
Luke believes that a problem in the Christian music industry is that it often presents its artists as perfect people. Popular secular music, on the other hand, takes the opposite extreme of condoning transgression through a “you do you,” philosophy. Luke hopes that his music joins the ranks of musicians like Bono and the Avett Brothers to offer a refreshing third option to the false dichotomy: artists who are truthful about their lives, mistakes, and brokenness, while still upholding a Biblical worldview.
“It’s not about excusing mistakes, but simply being able to admit them,” he said. “I think it’s good to present yourself as you, and that means also as a broken person.”
Luke has been singing since middle school and began playing guitar in high school when a medical condition forced him out of sports. Music and songwriting quickly became an outlet for the emotions that came with his health challenges. While the emotional outlet was a blessing, his health condition often challenged him further by making it physically difficult to sing. Nevertheless, he continued to pursue music, and now, four and a half years after he first picked up a guitar, this EP signifies so much more to him than just a completed goal.
“When I look at this finished EP, what I really see is the Lord’s provision,” he said. “I feel like I’m at a point now where I know God is going to provide. Every once in a while, I’ll have a bad day health-wise, but now I respond with trust, whereas in high school it was like ‘oh no, when is my voice going to come back’.”
When he’s not recording music, Luke’s double major in Music and Economics keeps him busy. He is also an Echols Scholar in UVA’s honors program, which allows him to skip over the general education classes that first-year students would normally be required to take. This means his class load is effectively that of a second-year student. But Luke feels that his twelve years at Trinity prepared him well for the academic challenge.
“I think a lot of Trinity alumni say this, but you really are just prepared to write so much better than your peers,” he said. “I have a few friends at UVA from Trinity and I think they’d all say that in some ways, UVA is actually a bit easier than Trinity was.”
Trinity not only prepared Luke on an academic level, but on a spiritual one as well. Luke credits his Christian Studies classes like Apologetics, Christian Doctrine, and Christian Ethics for helping him gain a sense of confidence in his faith.
“I think Trinity, especially the last two years of Christian Studies classes, gave me the confidence to be able to answer questions and challenges, which can be daunting,” he said. “But also, when I have my own doubts, I have something to hold on to because of what I’ve been taught at Trinity.”