[Written for CLASH in March 2015. See the published version here.]
Back in Feb, I caught up with a very cool London collective called The Age Of L.U.N.A (L.U.N.A. being an acronym for Living Under No Authority) on behalf of music magazine, CLASH. It was for the ‘Next Wave’ section on clash music.com, which puts a spotlight on rising stars in the scene and why we should be paying attention to them. And being given the opportunity to chat to these guys certainly made me take notice of their music.
A new found love for London-based artists aside, this opportunity was particularly special to me because I haven’t had a byline on a website in a good while, let alone the site for a reputable music magazine. It has always been my ambition to be a serious music journalist and work with established music publications, as opposed to just blogging or contributing to lesser known sites about new singles and videos (not that there is anything wrong with that! Everyone has to start somewhere and I definitely wrote my fair share of new track synopses for music blogs.)
As I admitted in my previous post, I’ve been slowly starting to get back into writing after unintentionally putting it on hold, so this is a proud moment for me. Journalism as a career is not as easy and breezy as it appears to be from the outside and music journalism is 10x harder. But if it’s really want you want to do, keep chipping away because it will pay off eventually.
Motivational speech/ramblings over.
I’ve included part of the ‘Next Wave’ feature below. For the full feature and a link to the group’s soundcloud, click on the link.
Refreshing, cool, unconventional; it’s difficult to find just one word that encapsulates The Age Of L.U.N.A’s charismatic blend of hip-hop with melodic vocals and similarly soulful beats. Then again, it’s clear that this quartet don’t want to be summed up in one word.
Hailing from North and North West London, The Age of L.U.N.A is made up of vocalist Daniella Thomas, producer NK-OK alongside rappers Butch and Kyote – who previously performed as a grime duo under the moniker ZangWu.
While the group’s average age works out at a youthful 19 years old (producer NK is just 16), their sound already boasts a real sense of maturity that is reminiscent of hip-hop back in the 90s when conscious lyrics were crucial.
“These days with the music industry, it’s more about the money than the music,” Butch explains. “We’re trying to bring that change. The 90s is my favourite era for conscious rap. The expression of peoples’ lifestyles back then was so strong and that’s what we are trying to do with our music.”
This need to convey a strong message in their music is more understandable when you look at the diverse artists who influenced this foursome while growing up. Although Kyote looks to Kano and Dizzee Rascal for inspiration, fellow rapper Butch was raised listening to legendary rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, all sourced from his dad’s record collection.
Vocalist Daniella, meanwhile, favours the stylings of Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, and NK is heavily into jazz greats such as Thelonious Monk and Stanley Cowell – hardly the norm for the average 16 year old….
Continue reading here.
Let me know what you think of their music, if you checked it out, by leaving a comment below or tweeting me: @natashananner