Innovatively-minded, Luna Aura is a part of a generation of artists who strive for societal change through their creative endeavors in the music industry. Her songs, all self written and co-produced, are filled with hypnotic beats and catchy lyrics. Each track is a singular and organic exploration of Luna’s sound, which makes the EP fascinating and keeps us on our toes. If her music in and of itself didn’t make her cool enough in both her daily life and in her creative work, let me add that she is a serious advocate for gender equality. Luna has a strong and dazzling personality, quirky and self-aware in equal measure. Last week I had the delight of talking to Luna on the phone about her musical career and the path to her forthcoming debut EP.
AF: When did you first get into making music?
LA: I first started singing at a really young age, about 3 or 4 and then I started writing songs when I was about 10 I was a dramatic little one, writing about relationships and all these things that I have never experienced, that I’ve just observed in other people. I learned how to play guitar around the age of 15 and started going out and performing my own music and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 years or so and just over the last year I’ve been producing all of my own music and all of the music that you hear today.
AF: Did you run into any nay-sayers in your family or were you supported?
LA: I was so lucky as a kid because I had loving parents. We weren’t well off by any means you know my dad was a cop and my mom was a stay at home mom and I have four other siblings so it was kind of a packed house. We each have our own individual quirks and talents but no matter what they are our parents always said that they will support us 100 percent in whatever it is that we want to do. For this I think it was difficult for my parents because I didn’t want to go to school and I didn’t want to go to college, I just wanted to focus on this. I’ve always had a pretty entrepreneurial spirit, I’ve never wanted to be the person that waited for someone else to tell her that she was ready to do something, I just wanted to do it. I think once my parents saw this drive in me and saw the success behind it and of course the talent that was leading it they’ve been nothing but supportive. And my whole family has been so loving and supportive throughout the whole journey from when I was so small until now.
AF: You have a very unique sound; how did you develop that?
LA: When I was younger I listened to three things: pop music, hip-hop & rap or country. I was obsessed with all three of those genres growing up so a lot of my influences are from those three genres. I think I just love the shininess of pop and the fact that so many people love it and it’s so infectious. For rap & hip-hop I love the way it feels and the way to made me feel when I was growing up and with country I love the storytelling behind it. I appreciate all the storytelling in country music and all the songs that I have loved. I think today I’m just blending all of that together so with the synths and the beats and all of that, the rhythm comes from my hip hop & rap background, the storytelling comes from my country background and the ultimate big picture of it is very much pop. I’m going with what’s natural to me. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve done that. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to immerse myself in different genres none of them ever worked because I was forcing it. Now with this EP it’s 100 percent natural and from me; it’s everything that makes me feel right.
AF: What is your writing process?
LA: When I’m producing I am always with my buddy Sean and we’re always at his place doing it. I tend to write in my room a lot. I think it is only due to habit though because when I was younger I wasn’t showing people these songs that I was writing. I was just doing it by myself in my room and then hiding my little notebook so I think as a habit being in my room and just kind of being by myself and being in my own space with no distractions just becomes “my home” when it comes to song writing.
AF: You live in Phoenix right? Describe the music scene there.
LA: It’s definitely, because it’s so small, somewhat of a family. When there are artists out there or bands that are really doing a good job and you know kicking butt, I feel like everyone likes to come together and collaborate. This person wants to meet this person and that person wants to meet the next person and do all these ‘collabs’. So I feel like, more than anything, it’s like a small little family.
AF: What is your experience as a female artist?
LA: I don’t want to say it’s difficult but it is kind of difficult. I think that there’s a lot of social pressures when it comes to being a female artist. People expect you to be sexy and they expect you to be sultry and always be beautiful and to never really show any side other then that, especially as a pop artist. For me I have always been obsessed with people like Joan Jett and Gwen Stephani and Janis Joplin and these women that were just owning it. They weren’t being feminine by any means they were just performing and they could hold the stage like any other man. And I feel like for me that’s where I come from, that’s where I’m going and that’s where I am. So when it comes to live performing you can see that side more. When it comes to the promo photos and all of that I am very feminine and brightly colored and all of that, but you’ll really see the tomboy in me while I’m performing. You have to prove yourself definitely as a female artist, more so then a man would have to prove himself.
AF: So what do you do outside of making music, any hobbies?
LA: Just like crime fighting, basic stuff like that. I like working out, kind of but not really, never mind I don’t like working out. There’s not much you can do in Arizona cuz it’s like 110 degrees at all times. I read and write music and I like coloring my hair a lot. Which is why in like every picture you see of me my hair is a different color. So part time crime fighter, part time hairdresser.
AF: Who, dead or alive, would you want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with?
LA: Maya Angelou, for sure, who just recently passed away and which was completely heart-breaking for me because she was somewhat of a mentor for me.
AF: In what way?
LA: With a lot of her writings and she’s just one of the most amazing women to ever exist and I would do anything to have had a cup of coffee with her.
AF: Dream collaboration for a song?
LA: That’s so hard! Right now, you know what I am so in love with Twenty One Pilots right now. So inspired by Twenty One Pilots – I just think that they’re both just so talented and when it comes to the writing and all the elements within it they are just geniuses. I love those guys. You’ll actually see an influence they have on me in the music videos that are coming out this summer too.
AF: Anything else you wanna divulge? State secrets?
LA: I don’t know. I’m eating pizza rolls right now. My EP is going to be released on August 26th of this year. My song “Radio” is available on ITunes, Spotify and Amazon currently. I’m going to be performing at the Summer Ends Music Fest in September with Foster The People, Kittens, Fitz and the Tantrums and bunch of other really cool people. So I guess I’d want people to know that.
Luna Aura’s self-titled debut EP will be released on August 26th and will be followed by her performance at the Summer Ends Music Festival on September 28th. Watch her debut video here via Youtube: