Updated: Feb 10
In this interview, you can find out everything about the up-and-coming musician Luna from Los Angeles, who recently released her debut EP "This Must Be Love". In this in-depth interview, she captivating singer tells us how it came together, who she has been working with so far, and what inspired her work. As big fans of the City of Angels, we naturally also wanted to know how equality is currently handled within the music scene of the City of Angels. The result is a very exciting insight into the emotional world of an up-and-coming pop musician who is just at the beginning of a wonderful and promising career.
From one to three words: What is music to you?
How feelings sound.
When and how did you realize you wanted to be a musician?
I was about 4 or 5 when I decided I wanted to be a musician. I saw how I could tap into all my favorite things - music, creative writing, performing - working as a musician and it became my dream job. It wasn’t until I turned 11 or 12 that I realized my biggest idols were all successful female musicians whose music provided them with opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. Music gave them a platform to use their voices and I wanted to use mine too, to stand for something greater than myself. That’s when I knew music is what I wanted to do with my life too.
Can you tell us something about the start of your career? How did you come to be a singer?
I started singing acoustic covers and performing house music with my friend, DJ Firefly in 2016. We often performed at friends’ parties for fun and started gaining people’s attention. We were inspired to write and perform our own original songs, which we did, and landed gigs playing local events and small festivals. I started making a name for myself that way as the singer from Moonswings.
Do you play any instruments? Is there an instrument which sounded most fascinating to you?
I’m a novice keyboard player. Still learning. I’ve always wanted to play electric guitar though!
How would you describe your musical environment?
I tend to be a product of my environment so it’s really important for me to feel comfortable and free to be myself when I’m in any musical environment. It’s not uncommon for me to take off my shoes or sit on the floor even when there is a perfectly good couch in the room. Dim mood lighting when possible is nice too. Over the years, I’ve learned how sensitive my creative energy can be. I’m a lot more aware and protective of it now so I often burn sage or use crystals to clear negative energy from the environment I’m working in.
What women musicians do you admire or consider to be an influence?
Stevie Nicks and Cher are both major influences. Stevie for her soul bearing songwriting and Cher for her flashy fashion sense. Both icons taught me a lot about the power of developing an image around your music and how your personal aesthetic can influence the music and vice versa. People, like me, love Stevie and Cher for their songs, their styles, their life stories and the people they are behind the music. They are the whole package and that’s what I admire most about them.
What's your biggest musical dream?
I would absolutely love to win a Grammy. To sell out an arena like Madison Square Garden would be a dream come true too. That’s when I think I can say I’ve made it.
What part of being a musician do you like most?
My favorite part is when the music is finished and it’s time to develop the full vision for the project. Deciding on the hair and makeup, the styling, the onstage image, choreography and setlist, storyboarding the scenes of music videos and promo photo shoots. It all makes my heart pound out of its chest with excitement.
"I love how being a musician allows you to tap into so many different forms of creativity. You get to present yourself as a full package when you’re a musician. It’s fun!"
What are the biggest challenges in your daily life?
As an independent artist, I’m fully funding myself. I don’t have the financial support of a record label for loans or the assistance of the employees who often run them. If I don’t have the time or money to get things done… things don’t get done. I’m getting to the point where music opportunities are increasing and I no longer have time to maintain a regular job on top of rehearsals, studio time and other music related commitments. Music requires my full attention now, especially if I plan to win a Grammy. So, the next step is in launching my art as a business and generating consistent income for the music fully funded by the music. It’s puzzling for me right now but I’m figuring things out and I’m grateful this is where my career is headed.
Were you born in LA?
Yes, born and raised in LA. San Fernando is my hometown. It is about 25 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles.
We are a music magazine from Berlin and we love LA. How can you describe the
music scene in Los Angeles today?
The city is usually thriving with music festivals and other events with live music and DJs during this time of year but things are very different in LA these days due to COVID-19. Overall, LA has a huge music scene. There is something for everyone here and that’s what makes it special.
What can you tell us about the music scene in LA in terms of equality for women and people of diverse gender identities?
Fortunately, LA is very progressive compared to other cities. I’m not saying there isn’t more work to be done but I would say times are changing. Things are on a more equal playfield than ever before. Issues around equality aren’t taken as lightly anymore because people, especially women, in LA aren’t afraid to rise up. Barriers from old paradigms are being broken within the music scene here. It’s inspiring.
Are there many opportunities for newcomers in LA to start a career?
LA is full of opportunities. It’s just a matter of making the most out of the ones you get and building upon each one. There are so many people here trying to “make it” but those with focus and resilience really will. A lot of people aren’t willing to put in the money or the time it takes to become an artist and LA is full of intriguing ways to spend money and time.
What can you tell us about empowerment in LAs music scene? Have you received a lot of support from the scene so far?
It’s really interesting because there is a major disconnect between the LA music scene that comes from the true culture of the city and the elite Hollywood music scene you see on TV. Don’t get me wrong, the elite are definitely out there, but from my experience, most artists are super humble, which is extremely empowering, especially when you’re just starting out. I’ve been very lucky so far though. The music community I am a part of is extremely supportive. Overall the scene here is diverse. There is a lot you can take away from immersing yourself in it. At the end of the day, I believe the opportunity to empower yourself lies within you and what you’re willing to make out of the scene while you’re here.
Is being a woman in the music industry in Los Angeles a challenge?
There are a lot of artist support groups and creative communities forming for women in LA now. It’s amazing. Women in LA are not tolerating inequality anymore. Many are paving new roads and are here to make a difference. The result being a lot more women supporting other women. These are revolutionary times to be an independent female artist. We are a force to be reckoned with.
What does gender equality mean for you?
As a female, gender equality is everything. It’s the difference between me and my fellow females securing opportunities that we clearly earned, or are best qualified for, or not. Without the fight for gender equality, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today to live my life as a female musician. It’s important to honor the movement and pay it forward.
"I feel it’s important to shine a light on the progress that women in music have made over the recent years."
How equally do you perceive the whole music world at the moment?
It’s sad to see how corrupt and male-dominated the music world can be. I don’t like to see female artists pinned against each other the way we so often are in the media. However, I feel it’s important to shine a light on the progress that women in music have made over the recent years. We are waking up and not allowing men to control every aspect of the music industry anymore or the entertainment industry or any industry for that matter. Let’s keep that conversation going and feeding the next generation of female identifying musicians with equal opportunities. I’m hopeful that major shifts in equality are in store for the music industry and I’m excited to be a part of the movement.
How is it for you to start your career as a young good-looking woman, do you have
the feeling to have been reduced to your beautiful looks?
If you walk into a room and let everyone in there know you mean business, most people will respect your energy and will treat you as such. Don’t be afraid to correct people when you feel like you’re being reduced to being a girl. I’m not perfect, I don’t always take my own advice and there are still situations that come up where I don’t do or say the right thing at the right time but I’ve learned that setting the tone from day one has a lot to do with how you are treated in this industry, especially as a female. Beyond looks, you are a talented, passionate human being with your own feelings and ideas. If that’s not what the people around you are focusing on at the beginning, or at any stage, of your career, then start over with new people ASAP.
We love your special, colorful and sparkling style very much. What inspires you to
style yourself this way?
Wow! Thank you. I’ve always had a thrifty disposition and the inherent desire to stand out. I like to find, and lately have even worked with designers to design, edgy, one-of-kind pieces that leave a statement. I’m easily attracted to glitter and sparkles, and I love holographic, neon and metallic fabrics. I pull inspiration from vintage pop culture, festival fashion and urban street styles to create my own one-of-kind looks. I hope to have my own haus of designers one day to create more of these looks.
How would you describe the connection between music and fashion in your life?
Fashion is how I visually express the music I create. For me, the two go hand in hand. Each is a part of who I am and contributes to the overall image, which I like to change often from project to project.
Your debut EP “This must be love” is presented as self-actualization of love. In this
case for the process of composition or creation, do you focus on the good that a bad experience left in you or the opposite?
TMBL starts off dwelling on the bad. There seems to be a lot of angst and negative feelings but as the EP goes on, the heart softens and it becomes the opposite. You start to realize the lessons to be learned and the good reveals itself. By the end you see beauty in the breakdown and find faith in love again.
How was “This must be love” produced? Who were you working with?
TMBL is a collaboration with LA based music producer, engineer and songwriter, Ethan Ziemba aka Deadfriend. We wrote the EP in 5 months. It was recorded at Garnish Music Production School and Recording Studio in Hollywood, CA.
How can you describe the collaborations you made to produce this EP?
All 5 songs on the EP were produced, mixed, mastered and co-written by Deadfriend, who is a breeze to work with. He arranges all the pieces that bring my visions to life. I’m very fortunate to have him as a collaborator.
What are you working on at the moment? What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m working on a lyric book and further developing my brand. I’m in the process of shooting a music video for one of the tracks off TMBL (be on the lookout for that soon :)) and writing new songs too. I’m eager to start performing again. Hopefully, you’ll see me on a music festival lineup later this year. In the meantime, check out my livestream performances on Instagram!
How can you as an artist make the best of these times of social distancing?
I’m really using this time to develop new ideas and plan my next moves. This time has been good for me to be honest. I’m on a routine fast includes reading, writing and meditating daily. I’m back into my yoga practice and exercise regularly. I work on music everyday. I feel good having the time to do all the little things that soothe my soul. If I can keep this up, I’d say I’ve made the most of this time of social distancing.
How can we best support you?
Liking, sharing, streaming and/or purchasing “This Must Be Love” is deeply appreciated. Following me on social media and signing you for my newsletter is helpful too!