Lukas Nelson’s career was more than just being the legendary Willie Nelson’s son. Ever since he started his band in 2008, Promise of the Real, he has created a name for himself that is no longer overshadowed by his father.
There are so many interesting things to find out about Willie Nelson’s son.
1. Lukas Nelson Was Born in Texas but raised far away from the Lone Star State
Lukas was born in the great state of Austin, Texas, but he didn’t really grow up there. Instead, he was raised at his family’s home in Hawaii, but kind of went back and forth because his mom thought it’d be good for him to get both experiences.
“Because here in Austin, dad’s got this — people think he’s just the king, and she didn’t want me growing up thinking I was a prince. I really appreciate that,” Lukas said.
2. Lukas Nelson knew what he wanted to be when he was 6.
At a very young age, Nelson already knew what he wanted to be. The revelation arrived like a vision, in his dreams
“Dad used to have my brother and I both on stage, even when we were little tykes playing percussion. I remember I had a dream when I was six years old, and I was on stage, and I was terrified. I wanted to sing but I was terrified of singing,” Lukas said.
“And something told me to shrink all of my conscious awareness into my chest. And I started singing from that place, and the crowd went wild. After that dream, I was never afraid to be on stage and sing, and I didn’t realize until way later in life that that dream was kind of a vision, and it was like a metaphor: If you’re ever fearful, go into your heart and come from that place, and that will alleviate the fear.”
3. Lukas Nelson wanted to be an athlete at first
“I was actually an athlete. My first real dream was I wanted to be a pro skateboarder. And then I wanted to be a pro swimmer. I was on the swim team, and I was really inspired by the Olympics. And I was pretty good. And I played soccer, and I thought maybe I could do that. Soccer didn’t really have an option back then. I was a great soccer player, but the MLS had just been started. There was no future in it at all, and I didn’t love it enough to go to Europe and do that whole thing. I was on the golf team, too. I love playing golf,” Nelson shared.
“I always figured that my greatest challenge was myself. Rather than competing against other people, I felt like competing against myself was gonna be more beneficial because then it could be a constant cycle of self-improvement. So I moved toward music because, with music, it’s just you and the guitar.”
4. Just like his father, Lukas Nelson was a songwriter too
Lukas was a noted songwriter by then, too. He landed a few songs on his dad’s albums in the early 2000s, including the surprisingly heartbroken “You Were It,” written at age 11.
“Songwriting is just something I always knew I could do,” young Nelson said. “I knew I needed to get better as a guitar player and a singer, and I hope I have improved as a songwriter, too. But I just felt like songwriting was something I always understood, and it’s still my greatest strength.”
5. His dad’s number one rule at home, while Lukas was growing up, was: “Don’t be an asshole.”
And indeed, Lukas Nelson grew up to be just fine. He respects and looks up to his dad.
“My dad and I are alike in a lot of ways,” he says. “I’ve always looked up to him, and I’ve always wanted to be like him, in terms of being a human being, and also in terms of being a musician. I’m lucky to have such a great example.”
6. Georgia in Promise of the Real’s song Forget About Georgia really exist
“Forget About Georgia,” tells a doomed love affair with a woman named Georgia whom Lukas met in San Francisco. And she knew about the song and she loved it.
“Yeah. I met this girl named Georgia in San Francisco. I fell in love with her and we were never really together, but it was kind of this romantic back-and-forth for a while. It was a heartbreak and I learned a lot and I grew a lot from this relationship,” Lukas Nelson said.
“I was singing this song live at a festival and I hadn’t spoken to her in months and years… All of a sudden, as I’m playing, like a dream, I see her walking up. We lock eyes… I mean, I’m getting chills just thinking about it, because she just appeared out of nowhere. And I sang the whole song to her, just right there onstage. And then I didn’t see her afterwards. She was just this vision. And then I ended up reaching out and we talked. It was quite an event; that was just a few months ago.”
7. Despite his success, Lukas Nelson does not have any desire to be famous like his dad
During an interview, Nelson was asked if he wants to be as famous as his dad. He said:
“No, I don’t. The only thing that fame brings is that it reaches a lot of people. So in that sense, yeah, I want to reach a lot of people because I feel like I play a type of music that makes people happy, and I want more people to be happy in the world. I’m happy, so when I play, I feel like that goes out to other people. I just feel like my band, The Promise of the Real, is a way of bringing people together and feeling good in a time when there’s a lot of negativity around,” Lukas said.
8. Lukas Nelson and His Brother Are on One of Their Dad’s Albums
Lukas and his brother Micah joined forces on their dad’s 2012 record Heroes along with other iconic singers like Snoop Dogg. Kris Kristofferson. Jamey Johnson and even Merle Haggard.
Lukas Nelson is definitely a real deal and we are so lucky to have him in this generation.