Words by Mariana V. Honorato.
Photography // Loony by Ryan Grant.
We had the opportunity to chat with Loony, the R&B singer and songwriter who has had her music praised and enjoyed by Elton John (in his own words!). The artist is about to release her new EP, a cool mix of jazz vibes and romantic melodies, and spoke to us about her inspirations, her views on success and women’s presence in the music industry.
Your music travels across R&B melodies, hip hop beats, and pop-soul elements, resulting in a very authentic and unique style (no surprise even Sir Elton John has declared his love for you!). How was the process to build and define your own music style?
It wasn’t really too calculated, it sort of just happened. I feel like all the music that you grow up on and really fall in love with just becomes like unknowingly absorbed into you and then finds its way into the things you make. Then, through lots of experimentation, and collaborating with others, it all starts to take on a life of its own. I feel like it’s constantly in flux, and growing with you.
How did you first realize you were meant to make music, and how was the process of making a career out of it? And speaking of International Women’s Month, have you had any particular struggle as a female artist?
I’ve always known that this was what I wanted to do, and the process is still on-going. I have a pretty stubborn, tunnel-vision type nature when I really want something, so I kind of put my blinders up for any weird energy that comes my way. I’ve been in rooms where it feels like no one is listening to me or taking me seriously, and in the beginning I used to bring one of my guy friends along with me as sort of a male mouthpiece to combat that.. luckily I don’t work with anyone even remotely like that anymore. I think it’s also just gradually learnt and ingrained and to feel a bit meeker, unsure of one’s self, or vulnerable as a woman in mostly male-dominated spaces, but I’ve been lucky to have really supportive people around me now who just encourage my ideas and genuinely listen to what I have to say.
You’re preparing a brand new EP to be released by June this year called soft thing. Can you tell us more about the creative process behind this project? What can we expect from it?
It took a while to get this project to tell the story that I ultimately wanted to tell. It’s been torn down and reconstructed so many times. I wanted to craft it in a very specific way so that the ending is ultimately sort of open-ended, but everything leading up to it is pretty linear and easy-to-follow. Sonically, it feels different than the last EP. There are lighter moments, it feels jazzier, and more romantic. There’s many more live elements, and we experimented a lot. We had a lot of fun with it.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the music industry?
The neo-soul OGs, like Erykah Badu and D’angelo. People who feel free enough to just do their thing, whatever that is, and then literally start a whole new kind of sound that then becomes timeless. And then not only that, but they continue to evolve with it. I feel like they are both pretty fearless, everything from their style to their recorded work to their live shows, and I love that.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me right now looks like a strange combo of the mushy stuff – the real stuff – but also the harsh reality type stuff too. It looks like being able to capture a feeling that other people can enjoy or relate to or cry to, but also being able to make a steady living off of it – so that I can live comfortably and keep creating the way I want to, on my own terms.