Luna Aura is the charismatic and high-energized pop star with a bubbly personality that all future female artists aspire to someday be. The Arizona native now calls Los Angeles her home and is constantly working with fellow musicians she finds a kindred spark with. Her latest release, Madhouse, is a climactic wave EDM pop mixed with a soulful flare that keeps the dance floor moving. Her sound varies from sensual pop mixed with feel-good dance music that captures the listener’s ears from the first note.
Luna is currently making the rounds hitting all the top music festivals and playing with artists such as Odezsa, The Killers and Run the Jewels. Her next show will be her debut at KAABOO and we can’t wait to catch her set. We caught up with Luna Aura to chat about her origins, her love of all music genres and her very important advice for all upcoming artists.
Can you tell us about the origins of the Luna Aura? Where did the musical adventure begin?
I’ve been in performing music since I was a little girl, but Luna Aura started, close to four years ago? It was an alter ego, kinda persona that I took on. To start this new pop project that I am doing right now. I got the name from a comic book character, named Luna Maximoff. Was in the X-men comics, and she was a girl who didn’t have her powers, or didn’t develop them until later on in life. She struggled her whole life feeling like that, being half mutant, half human. So she was kind of an outsider and then when she did develop her powers it was aura vision. So she was able to see and feel what other people were feeling and manipulate that to whatever she wanted it to be. Which, is what I feel I do with music. So I took that persona on, and I did it as a way of kind of … taking all my fears of being on stage and I guess being vulnerable while performing and kinda made it my bitch. And named it and became it instead of running from my fears, I wanted to become my fear.
The song “Body” has a big sound and very catchy. What is this song about?
“Body” is– I’m a fairly small person. I’m only at 5’2″. I was thinking one day about an idea for a song. Every time I’ve met like a fan, they always told me, “God, I thought you’d be bigger than you are. I thought you’d be taller.” So I thought of this idea for a song of, being bigger than your body. And having, in a really inspirational way that kind of takes it to a level of not letting anyone, or anything tell you that you can’t do something, because of what you are, because of who you are. You are capable of doing whatever it is that you want, and you have all the power in the world to do that. I kind of took it to a perspective of being in a relationship, and maybe being an abusive relationship or, in a situation like a work relationship where your boss is an asshole. Kind of like that ‘prove you wrong’ song. That’s what I love about it.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I’ve only had one type of job, and that was it, and it was bartending and serving. To me that felt like freelance work. Because I could just walk in and, you know, I was just making my money. I’ve definitely been put in a lot of positions where, you know, that typical asshole boss or someone is telling you what to do and you don’t want to do it [LAUGHS]. The kind of everyday civilian life thing, yeah, I’ve definitely experienced that in my life. Luckily not too much longer. It’s not for me, I don’t like being told what to do [LAUGHS].
Who are some of the bands that inspired your sound?
I was very fortunate to grow up, to be like a 90’s kid and grow up in an era where technology was developing so quickly. The internet has always just been a thing in my life. Being able to have that constant direction from all different directions. I listened to hardcore music, I listened to pop. I listened to R&B, rap, because it was all there right in front of my face. And I have such a deep intense love for music. But I can’t really say no to any genre. As an artist it’s really difficult for me to kinda pick or choose what I want to sound like and, I think even as a human I am ever evolving. I am capable of doing anything I want to do so I kinda just do it.
What comes first, the composition of the song or the lyrics?
If I’m collaborating with someone it tends to be, you know, different every time, because everyone has their work flow. But I particularly like to start on guitar, piano, and kind of write the base of a song first and then produce it out from there. But I have done a lot of things where I have a composition presented to me and then I write the top line and the lyrics and melody over it. I’ve done everything, but I prefer to write it from the ground up.
What was the hardest thing about making the latest EP, Madhouse?
Yeah, you know, as an artist you hit this point where I was getting a lot of buzz in the industry and a lot of people were looking at me. I felt all this pressure to make something that was licensable or something that would be cool, something to be on the next biggest T.V. show. You know, you have all that pressure on you at such a young age and I think that was probably the most difficult thing was creating that. I love what I created and I’m really proud of myself for what it is, but I think I’ve kind of outgrown that phase of caring about what other people think of my music. I’m kind of reaching this new level of, I guess, not giving a fuck, and just kind of making that really make me happy. So Madhouse for me was that EP, that I was writing things from my heart but it still kind of had this, like, cage around it. I think no matter what, I think I came out on top with the EP.
What was the first album you bought with your own money? How do you feel about that album all these years later?
I bought Britney Spears’ debut album. That was my first CD. Have I heard her recently? Oh! That album, oh my god, no. I should actually go back and listen to it and see. I actually thought about it the other day, and a lot of my influence started floating to the surface recently as I’m watching all these movies and these T.V. shows that I loved when I was a kid, and they are all just, female empowerment stuff. So that’s why I am like this, I am definitely a creature of my environment.
Yes, the era of Girl Power.
Definitely the Spice Girl era, it’s very prevalent in me.
How do you find the musicians in your band?
I do this thing where I make friends with musicians, and they become my best friends and then I have them play in my band. That’s pretty much what I do. I have a live drummer. Everything I do is pretty electronic based, but when it comes to the live show it’s very much like a fucking rock show. I have a live guitarist, electric guitar, a live drummer, and it’s kinda like this cool three piece thing I have going on. But yeah, I hire my friends to come play for me.
What has been your greatest rock star moment, so far?
My greatest rock star moment, that’s a great question. Wow, let me think about that. My greatest rock star moment was probably…. I think I have yet to really live it. I have KAABOO coming up and then I’m still playing a few other festivals that I’m really excited about. I’m trying to think, so I played a festival with Danny Brown and Matt and Kim. I kept hanging out with them and homieing up with them and became best friends with them. And honestly I felt like I’m really blessed.
Those two artist are very cool people to know.
They’re just incredible human beings and I’ve learned so much from them and what it is to be a successful musician or a successful artist or band; like what personality comes along with that. Every time I meet someone whose massive, which I do a lot, they’re always just the greatest people. Which is the best lesson ever because, the nice guy doesn’t finish last in the music industry. It’s very much based on being a good person.
Is there any advice you have for new bands just starting out?
I would stress the importance of knowing exactly who you are. But also being very very patient with yourself, and allowing yourself the time to figure that out. There are plenty of opportunities for people to gain control of that and manipulate you into being like they want you to be and you’ll end up unhappy at the end of the day. So my biggest piece of advice for newer artists is just figure out your sound, figure out your image. Who it is that you are, what it is that you are trying to convey to the world and just go balls to the wall with it. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not normal, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. That would probably be my biggest piece of advice.
What is next for Luna Aura?
What is next for me? I have a bunch of features coming up with some producers that are awesome. I have a few features coming out, kinda EDM features. I am working on a few singles that I’ll probably be pushing either towards the end of this year or beginning of next year. Other than that I am just playing KAABOO, I have a few other festivals I’m doing a Emerge festival in Vegas, Lost Lake in Phoenix, and yeah, just playing shows and writing.