Introducing Interview: LUIANNA

Splitting her time between Berlin and Bristol, innovative electro-pop artist Jasmine Luianna Emslie – aka LUIANNA – has now announced the release of her debut EP, Skiá. Taken from the EP, she has recently shared poignant new single ‘Witch‘. Propelled by glitchy beats and a soaring ethereal splendour as LUIANNA’s celestial vocals flow with a delicate grace, it’s an empowering reflection on addressing past trauma and coming out stronger.

We had a little chat with LUIANNA to find out about the upcoming EP and more. Have a read!

Hi LUIANNA, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, thanks for having me! I’m a producer and singer songwriter. I was born in South London and brought up in rural Wales, I’m half Greek and half Scottish and have lived my adult life in both Bristol and Berlin, so I’m a mixed bag to say the least… I have been in many bands and different creative music projects, but it feels like everything was leading me to this place here, to have the confidence and ability to compose and write songs myself. I’ve chosen a pretty different life than most and have spent the past 15 years squatting in both Berlin and Bristol, enabling me to be able to spend my time doing what I love, instead of chasing after high rents and bills. The combination of music and meditation is how I navigate through this weird and wonderful world and I’m so happy that I’m in a place to start sharing some of it!

How did you initially start creating music?
I started with acoustic guitar and putting my little childhood poems to basic chords. I went on to make a girl group with my two best friends in school and this got me into college. Through college I fell in love with dance music and was somehow bored of seeing an audience sad in all my gigs, so started writing for DJs and producers – it made me so happy to see a crowd jumping and smiling! After this phase, I moved to Berlin and started singing jazz in cabaret venues around the city, and then joined a hip-hop band for a few years, playing a lot of shows in Germany. This was when I realised I didn’t want to be confined to a genre. I wanted to make music that came as and when it did. So I started to save and buy equipment to be able to write my own stuff. Starting with a micro Korg and teaching myself some basic piano, and then a looper and a drum machine and electric guitar. This all came together pretty quickly and within a year I was ready to record this Skiá, my debut EP!

Your new EP Skiá is out on 29th April – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
The EP is an intimate view into my life. I open up about my father who is a heroin addict, and share how that has made me feel growing up. I also sing about mental health, and what it is to be a woman – the love, the strength, the ebs and flows of our moods and attitudes. And it’s all tied together with love songs, sad but empowering love songs.

You’ve been compared to the likes of London Grammar and BANKS, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
For me it’s Lauryn Hill, Aurora, Madonna, Portishead. I love beautiful majestic pop, and also hip-hop and old school beats. I think I’ve intertwined all of this into the EP.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
I’ve been in Berlin for the past seven years and yes, the music scene is thriving. From incredible street shows, smokey jazz bars to epic clubs; small intimate venues, and an array of concert halls – it’s a fab place to be for live music. I’ve just arrived back to Bristol and am excited to get out and see whats happening here too!

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Vulnerability, a lot of vocal loops, and hopefully a hint of beautiful and original music to their ears!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! Ber is an incredible new artist that I can’t stop listening too, also LushUs are a new group from Germany with their first single out ‘Velvet’ – love them! 

And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It’s so tough. To get any reach outside of your friendship group is a challenge. I’ve noticed even when my posts do get shared by friends on Facebook it just doesn’t get seen. If you have a ton of money for adds and PR, and you’ve got a great piece of work to promote, then I think it’s straight forward – but as it stands, it’s tough tough tough. A lot of artists are talking openly about how we are musicians, not content creators and there’s a big pressure to keep active online and posting, but it’s not always easy when you just want to make music and not be on social media day in day out. That being said, no-one said it would be easy!

Finally, what does the rest of 2022 have in store for LUIANNA?
I have just moved back to the U.K, so it’s about getting my music out and starting to gig again. Moving to a cabin in the forest and writing more songs!

Massive thanks to LUIANNA for answering our questions! Listen to latest single ‘Witch’ below:

Skiá, the upcoming debut EP from LUIANNA, is set for release on 29th April.

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