Lukas Nelson, son of Maui’s favorite rock star resident, Willie Nelson, was born on Christmas day of 1988. Surrounded by some of music’s greatest influences from a young age, it’s no wonder that Lukas developed the same passion for music as his father.
At just 6 years old, Lukas recalls being on tour with the Highwaymen, Willie’s first group with members Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. At 10, Willie asked him to learn to play guitar, and at 11, he wrote the song “You Were It”, featured on Willie’s album It Always Will Be.
Drawing musical inspiration from musicians like Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp, Lukas learned the art of performing, along with his siblings, by singing and playing on stage with his father’s band. After experiencing a taste of the traveling musician life throughout his childhood, Lukas realized that he also wanted music to be his life, not just a hobby, and was determined to make that dream come true.
It’s true that to leave a place like Maui, you really have to want to go explore and find other possibilities, and that’s just what he did. After dropping out of Loyola Marymount University, Lukas paved the way to his own success and music career despite the established success his father brought to the Nelson name.
Today, Lukas writes songs, tours and makes albums with his band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. He even collaborates with his father, playing guitar and singing in several songs on Willie’s 2012 album, Heroes, as well as performing at events throughout the country. Keep an eye out for this local Maui musician, and we can’t wait to hear more in the years to come!