Luna Red releases new EP, Journey To Self (Interview)

Luna Red

Luna Red unveils her new EP, Journey to Self

Ontario’s Luna Red unveiled her EP, Journey to Self, on February 9, 2023.

Luna Red shares,

“As an Afro Indigenous woman, it has been a struggle to find my place within Community. It has led to my continued research and fascination with Black and Indigenous peoples and our history and culture today. I want to challenge the history that was forced upon us by western society and tell a different story – one of love, divine power, unity and peace between Black and Indigenous Peoples. I strive to entertain my audience and while I have their attention, I aim to share a valuable lesson. The performing arts are a fun way to teach and an even more fun way to learn. For my 5 song EP, I aim to create songs that entice people to think outside of the box and to go against the status-quo of “beauty”, love,  gender roles, culture, religion/spirituality and history.”

Listen to Journey to Self below and learn more about Luna Red via our 10-question interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hey everyone, wela’lin (thank you) for stopping by. This is Luna Red coming to you from Tkaronto (Toronto), Ontario. I am Afro-Indigenous, Jamaican, and Mi’kmaq First Nations, derived from Bear River, Nova Scotia, belonging to the Black Bear Tribe. I’m a multifaceted urban performing artist, an emerging vocal artist, and a film director, currently heading the Events & Outreach department at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (where I plan and curate our Festival’s special events and foster community engagement, amongst many other things). I’ve also dipped my toe into the modeling pool by being the catalog cover model for the Indigenous Fashion Arts Toronto Festival (2022).

You have unveiled your EP, Journey To Self. What can you tell us about the writing process behind the release?

Ideally, I like to be alone when I write and go to a creative space within. I play my selected music/instrumental in the background and vibe. I write with the intention of conveying a message or feeling, but sometimes I just go with the flow and see what that flowing part of me wants to say. I analyze and dissect it afterward. I sometimes have a writing partner to bounce my lyrics and ideas off of. I have to shout out my amazing vocal/song mentor, who goes by the name of Shi Wisdom. She has provided me with a lot of insight when it comes to writing/composing. I like to make sure my message and feelings are coming across as intended. If I choose to write with someone, it’s all about the vibe of the track and, again, aligning my intention, feeling, tone, and message.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

As an Afro-Indigenous RnB/Pop artist navigating through a time of social uproar and cries for justice – I was determined to share my journey to self-love, empowerment, and cultural awakening. Before I started writing my EP, I knew what I wanted to write about, but I wasn’t necessarily sure how I was going to encapsulate it all. I was adamant that this EP focus on certain elements, so through this body of work, various questions were posed, such as: What are they hiding from us about us? What if we remembered? How do we remember? How do we reunite as a people? This is what has been inspiring me lately. I also wanted to provide an array of sounds that other people could enjoy, move their bodies to and feel empowered.

You are creating artistic visuals to go along with the songs on your EP. Tell us a bit about that.

I am creating artistic visuals, not just music videos, for my songs, in hopes that this will inspire an expanded awareness of the underlying messaging for my EP. I’ve already created one music video for the first song on my EP called Runnin’. It premiered at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (Oct 2022).

What’s your favourite thing about being an artist in Toronto?

I find that there’s something for everyone in Toronto. We have so much diversity and varying perspectives. Creative expression is highly accepted and appreciated. There’s so much to see and many opportunities to learn from others. It’s a great place to be creative.

What advice would you give to other Afro-Indigenous women who are in the music community?

Embrace who you are! Let your light shine, and do not dim your light so that others feel more comfortable. Instead, take up space, and shine brighter. There’s a reason why you are drawn to the music community – dare to take a deep dive and find out. Give it all you got!

Describe your sound in five words.

Versatile, Rhythmic, Empowering, RnB, Pop

If you were able to collaborate with any other artist, who would you choose?

I would love to collaborate on a record with the Electronic group The Halluci Nation (previously known as A Tribe Called Red – that sound would be fire! I admire how they affirm their political stance through their art/music, empowering the people. I also would love to collaborate with Rhianna, not just because of her diverse, edgy, versatile, RnB Pop sound, but because I admire her inclusive approach to her art/business that she has so beautifully demonstrated. It’s inspirational.

Do you have any upcoming shows or festivals you’d like to tell us about?

Yes, I do have a few shows booked already for 2023, but the information has not yet been released to the public.

Last but not least, what is your goal for 2023?

Now that it’s pre-pandemic and we’re back in motion, I plan to tour and perform live on stage at various events. I will continue to create more music, collaborate with other artists, and explore new sounds.

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