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Interview: Pop Artist Luna Aura

21-year old indie pop artist Luna Aura started releasing singles and a debut EP through TuneCore last year, and has made some significant steps in her musical journey already. Her music has been picked up by MTV, VH1, and most recently a little-known chain of coffee shops called STARBUCKS.

On top of sharing the stage with the likes of Aloe Blacc, K. Flay, The Ting Tings, Steve Aoki and Avid Dancer, Luna Aura has also been fortunate to land a BMI Indie Artist Spotlight and the July cover of Entertainer Magazine. Her latest EP, Supernova, was picked up for an exclusive premiere on TEEN.com. This gal is making some of the catchiest electro-pop we’ve heard all summer, so naturally we jumped at the chance to chat. Read more about the Phoenix-native’s influences, songwriting and 2015 plans after the jump.

You started writing and singing at a young age. Tell us about how you knew you wanted to make music and what kind of encouragement you received.

Luna Aura: I’ve been singing pretty much my whole life. Music was constantly played around the house, in the car, at church, and when my older brother and I showed an interest in it as kids, my parents were very quick to support us. I started writing songs at the age of 10, taught myself guitar at 14, and started playing out seriously around my hometown at the age of 15. Of course, in high-school, people start asking you what you really want to do with your life. Being a performer and musician isn’t exactly practical, but at that point it was all I knew. I took myself seriously as a musician at a very young age. It was my identity, and I still don’t know who I would be without it.

Your music is a catchy blend of pop and electronic, and even dabbles in hip hop. Who are some of your strongest influences from each respective genre?

Aghhhhh. That’s so hard to answer! I listen to so many types of music, and my parents have opened the door for me at such a young age to all different types of music, so I’m really pulling from every little piece of everything I’ve listened to subconsciously when I write my music. But I do have my favorites in every genre. I grew up listening to Toni Braxton, Aaliyah, Sheryl Crow, No Doubt, Norah Jones, Paramore, Katy Perry. I feel like I was always drawn to female powerhouses as a young girl, and part of me is still fighting to be a part of that squad so to speak.

As a young female artist, what types of messaging do you hope to convey in your lyrics?

I don’t ever want to be looked at as just another young, pretty girl. It’s kind of a funny thing to say when there are so many people in this world that would kill to be that, but it’s not who I am. Everytime I leave my home, I am representing who I am in everything I do. How I walk, how I talk, how I dress. My whole life I’ve been loud, and weird, and I’ve felt different. As a little girl, you’re taught to talk sweetly, to stay in line, to be exactly the girl the world expects you to be. As a woman, you’re told to be sexy, well-versed, and ideally perfect. I was never that, and I know there are tons of people out there who understand exactly what I’m saying. I’m not afraid to be loud anymore, I’m not afraid to be weird, and I’m not afraid to be different, even as a grown-ass woman. I feel like there are female artists out there who don’t want to be role models, but I do. I want my young fans to listen to my music and feel like they’re capable of being whoever they want to be, and not what the world tells them to be.

You’ve racked up some great publicity for a newer independent artist! How have you been using this momentum to drive your career forward and connect with new fans?

It’s always amazing getting any kind of publicity, especially with how long I’ve been doing this. It’s a huge pat on the back for all the hard work my team and I have put into this. When people actually take a chance on you and your music, everyone can see it and it makes a difference. It brings more people into this world that we’ve created, and they’re definitely welcomed. Anytime someone tweets, shares my music, has something to say about me online, I always message back. It’s so important for me to connect with people on a personal level, I don’t want them to ever feel like just a fan. These people support every little thing I do, they’re so much more important to me than that.

What kind of role has TuneCore played in your musical journey thus far?

TuneCore is the reason everyone can access my music everywhere online. As an independent artist, that’s HUGE. TuneCore allows me the opportunity to share my music with the world, and that is honestly priceless.

How does it feel to know your music will be featured/played in one of the largest coffee franchises in the U.S.?

I honestly can’t even believe it’s actually happening. Just to know that it’s nation-wide is incredibly humbling. People from places I’ve never been to will hear what I’ve created. It’s definitely different from what I’m used to, and I’m really excited to see what comes of it.

What are some of your goals for the rest of 2015? Tell us a little bit more about your Epic Proportions Tour plans.

Right now, we’re gearing up for my EP release party on August 29th in Phoenix. I’m super pumped for this show specifically, because every little detail of the show is from my own head. The lighting, the costumes, everything. It’s an amazing line-up, and we’re working so hard to make this the best show possible.

As for the Epic Proportions Tour, it’ll be my first official tour. I’m so excited, and so happy to be playing alongside such great acts. It’s a high school and college tour on top of everything which makes it even better. We’ll be hitting some huge markets, and I can’t wait to just get out there, make new friends, and add new experiences to my life.