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Anna Lunoe

SALT-COVER_Anna-Lunoe

Sydney-bred DJ/singer/producer Anna Lunoe has been kickin’ in LA for a year-and-a-half now with near 24/7 pedal to the metal. She caught up with HAYLEY DAVIS on a car ride home before she returns to WA to headline the Coconut Club at Southbound on January 3 at Sir Stewart Bovell Park, Busselton. 

“You’ll never believe this,” a warm, bubbly voice says down the line. “My battery is really low. I’m about 20 minutes away from home, so if it cuts out, I’ll call you back.” Such is the down-to-earth nature of one Ms. Anna Lunoe. Making it big in LA hasn’t gone to this woman’s head. It probably hasn’t had time to. 

“It has been busier than ever. I’ve been away for three to four weeks at a time with a week at home before heading out again. I’ve found it much harder to keep a sense of balance and organisation. But it has been such an amazing year.”

Growing up between her parent’s houses, one on the coast and one in rural New South Wales, Anna was a far sight from the lights of LA. But growing up in a house full of boys, she learned to hold her own when they’d think she wasn’t cool enough to know the music they liked. In fact, she turned around and made a career out of it. She began hosting a dance music radio show on Sydney station FBi Radio, and as a result was listed as one of Sydney’s 100 most influential people and a “one to watch” in Harper’s Bazaar.

“There are definitely some things you need to do,” she says, “I desperately love making music.” Clocking up an enormous performing schedule of over 300 DJ sets this year, it’s a wonder Lunoe is still standing. “There have been so many highlights that I almost can’t remember them. Like I played in Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico – I played with Bag Raiders on the beach and there were people skinny-dipping. It was awesome!”

That mental schedule has also forced some life lessons on the young artist. “I announced publicly that I didn’t have a great set,” she says of her appearance at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. “I play on a laptop and the sun was in my eyes so I couldn’t see anything. But it happens. I wouldn’t have got very far in the music industry if I’d slit my wrists every time I had a bad gig. Fact is; I don’t have time to wallow. I need to go home and start preparing for the next night’s set.”

She does admit that she is tired all the time, but it is clear making music is a near addiction for the artist whose penchant for fluro when younger, contributed to her first DJ name, Annafluro. “This year I’ve played at Radio City Music Hall where legends like Nirvana and Madonna played. There were signed photos of all the legends. There was a real sense of history. To trace the same stages was very inspiring and made me really want to do more and work harder.”

Though collaborating with the likes of Flume and Touch Sensitive as well as playing regularly alongside industry heavyweights, Lunoe is adamant she is only beginning. “I have access to so many resources, mixers, producers that I never would have had access to before. I’ve been growing and learning, really focusing on things like my workflow and production – finding out what synths I like; the kind of drum sound I want. This year I’ve been focusing more on my songwriting. I’m only just beginning and discovering my production style.”

Lunoe signed with major record label Ultra Music earlier in the year. Trepidation has made way for trust as she discovered the label is keen to support her creativity and direction rather than sway her down a more commercial route. “They’ve been a fantastic support and have been really open-minded. I’ve been making music for a long time and so often it can feel very solo – just you up against it every day. It’s nice to know that you’ve got people behind you.”

Having traversed DJ and production across the genres of indie, hip hop, jungle and electro, Lunoe has some serious sensibilities and will strengthen her offerings as she develops her songwriting, which is as honest as her conversation. “I want my music to be heartfelt and meaningful to me. On the new album we’ve been working on, I’ve written about a lot of issues that are quite raw and really upset me. Extreme love, extreme hate, stress; they’re my little therapy sessions.”

She doesn’t give too much away as to what’s in store, though she has ideas about who she’d like to work with at some point. “I’ve been working with a bunch of different people. I wish I could tell you who, but I can’t at this time. There are a few people I really want to work with – Jagwar Ma, Basement Jaxx. I’d love to work with Yoko Ono – she’s got an album out at the moment and it’s just wild. It’s pure expression.”

Anna Lunoe plays Southbound, happening Friday-Saturday, January 3-4, at Sir Stewart Bovell Park, Busselton.

Get your tickets here.