While most know Luke Pell from his stint on ABC’s The Bachelorette, the Texan Nashville-transplant was in town pursuing music long before he was on television screens pursuing the heart of JoJo Fletcher. We had a chance to catch up with Luke and chat about his time on The Bachelorette, almost being The Bachelor, his music and one of his favorite charities.
Like most good stories do, Luke’s story of the Bachelorette begins in the hair salon. He admits that Kim, his hairstylist in Texas, was the first to suggest he appear on the ABC reality show, submitting his name and information. It turns out that Kim wasn’t alone in her quest to find Pell love, as his name was also submitted by a friend’s wife. While Pell suspected nothing would come if it, an unexpected phone call changed all that.
I was driving down the road and got a call from a 310 number, which is the LA area code, and it was The Bachelor casting team…they flew to Nashville and met with me there and a month later I flew to LA to meet with the producers,” Pell recalls. “Before you knew it, we were filming The Bachelorette. It was crazy how it all happened.”
Although Pell was hesitant to put his life and burgeoning songwriting career on hold, he says it was a chance he had to take. “I’m in a phase of my life where I just kind of say ‘Why not?’ and so it was one of those things. It was a ‘Why not?’ for me and it ended up being a really good experience overall. I’m glad that it worked out like it did.”
As a fan favorite on the reality show, Pell immediately became a clear front-runner for the role of The Bachelor, but was unscrupulously dumped at the last minute in favor of franchise regular, Nick Viall. “It couldn’t have been more forward and headed in that direction from the context of the conversations we were having and the plans we were making,” Pell admits.
I kind of let the pessimism go in the last couple weeks and I took care of all my personal and business affairs and got everything lined up, cleared my calendar for the rest of the year, stayed out of relationships… There’s all this happening that’s changing the trajectory of my personal life at their request and the day of, the only thing different is that they could’ve had me come out and brought me on stage and then told me ‘no’. That would’ve been the most dramatic Bachelor announcement of all time.”
Pell says the fallout from that definitely rattled his trust. “I think everything happens for a reason and although it wasn’t expected and there was a lot of a fallout for me…with having trust issues, with going through that process… it’s not even a relationship or a person, I can’t even trust an organization to tell me what their intentions are and then follow through.” However, it’s not all bad for Pell, who has received a ton of support since the Bachelor announcement. “There’s a silver lining in everything and I’m completely happy with the direction everything is moving in. I’m feeling good… I’m feeling great about the future.”
That future includes making more music in Nashville, which is where Pell’s passion lies.
I was in the military for several years and songwriting was always a hobby of mine. It re-centered me and brought me back to my roots. No matter where I was traveling, I could always have my guitar with me. I had my guitar with me in Afghanistan.”
After serving his duty in the military, Pell moved to Nashville to turn his hobby into a career, crossing paths with hit songwriter Brandon Kinney, who is producing his forthcoming project. “He’s helping this dream become a reality for me a songwriter. I’m so excited for what’s to come in this facet of my life.” In addition to Kinney, Pell is writing with other writing superstars including Cole Swindell, Jaron Boyer and Ash Bowers.
Pell hopes to release music by the end of the year and promises that the project will tell his personal story.
There will be some in there that will speak to the roller coaster of what I’ve been through in the past year in being on the Bachelorette and transitioning from corporate America into being a full-time songwriter and artist in Nashville and some will reach into where I was raised, like a lot of country music does.”
In addition to writing music for his own projects, Pell has partnered with CreatiVets, a charity whose “mission is to provide combat disabled veterans with the opportunity to use art, music, and creative writing to address the psychological and emotional needs that arise from combat-related trauma.” Pell admits that the charity was a natural fit for him as both a songwriter and a veteran. “It kind of completes the circle of who I am as a person. I can relate to the other veterans on different levels as both a songwriter and with our time serving in the military. I really love the charity and it’s one I plan on being very involved with for a long time.”
While Luke Pell may not have gotten the final rose on The Bachelorette or scored the leading role on The Bachelor, his passion, drive and talent are bound to make him a leading man in the Nashville music community for years to come.