Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit

Los Angeles-based artist and producer, Luna Shadows, has kept busy preparing for the release of both “malibu bb” and her fundraiser for CA-based organization Heal the Bay.

Luna co-wrote and co-produced the misty and dreamy “malibu bb” with Boyboy. And while aiming to be unquestionably uplifting, Luna noted, “as I began to write, the best that I could do was compare myself to a majestic but littered beach, with free parking but pollution issues, and nice houses that occasionally burn down.” 

“malibu bb” is the next single on Luna’s upcoming album, Digital Pacific; a thematic project comparing reality and expectations in both today’s digital age of communication and the physical environment that surrounds her.

Kick back, press play, and read about Luna’s creative process, inspirations, and what she wants all her fans to know in her exclusive premiere and 20-question interview with LADYGUNN.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in New York City. I moved here to Los Angeles in 2008. I’ve basically spent half my life in each place, so I would say I’ve grown up bi-coastally! 

When you get homesick, what do you miss the most?

I consider Los Angeles my home, and when I’m on tour, I always miss the sun. I never have to check the weather here. It’s almost always sunny and beautiful. I am a spring/summer human. It’s not just a preference. I was diagnosed with seasonal depression as a teenager in NYC, and my blood work consistently shows a vitamin-D deficiency. If there was a button that I could press to never see another gloomy sky, I’d press it in a heartbeat.

Can you name 3 things you love about LA?

More than 3, but here’s a short list: the weather, Palm trees, the Pacific Coast Highway, the ocean air, the skateboards, the orange trees, the vines, the taco stands, and the people. 

What inspired “malibu bb?”

I rarely write songs about myself in a positive light. I was reflecting on my life in LA on the day that I wrote this song. When I moved here, I didn’t know a single person. Literally not one. I studied to be a songwriter, and I taught myself how to produce.

Exactly ten whole years after my cross-country move, I negotiated my own record deal. I wrote this song a few days later when I felt like I had finally earned the right to say something nice about myself. The joke is that I couldn’t even do it – I compared myself to a majestic coastline, currently on fire. I think ultimately, it’s a good description of how I feel about myself. 

Can you describe the feeling of “malibu bb” in a few words?

End of movie moment. End of summer soundtrack. Credits rolling, sun setting. 

What do you do when you’re not feeling creative?

Probably cry. Creativity is so much a part of everything I do in my daily life, and when I feel stripped of it, I really don’t feel like myself. I really like documentaries, and if I’m feeling a lack of creativity, I swan dive into a topic I previously knew nothing about. Last night, I got really into NASA’s shuttle program after watching the “Challenger” documentary, then spent hours on Wiki reading up.

Can you take us through your creative process?

It’s different each time, but all my successful sessions occur when I follow a concrete idea. I can’t remember which Renaissance sculptor said this – I think it was Michelangelo – but he described his process as rescuing the sculpture from the marble. As in, the shape was there inside the block, and he just needed to chip away until it appeared. I think this is a really good description of how I operate best – I imagine the song exists already, and it’s my job to uncover it. 

What have you been working on besides music?

I’m working on creating opportunities to collaborate with my fanbase on community solutions to urgent issues, such as the environmental crisis. For this release, in honor of the beach imagery, I collaborated with a local artist named Taylor Reynolds to create a reusable water bottle for fans. The mission of this product is dual: first, it’s part of a collective effort to reduce single-use plastics. Additionally, net proceeds from sales will be donated to Heal The Bay, a CA-based environmental non-profit org that I’ve volunteered with since 2008.

Other than that, I’ve spent quarantine enhancing my home environment – interior designing, gardening (trying not to kill my plants), etc. Everything creative has a Pinterest board! 

Is social media a creative outlet or a creative stressor?

Both! I absolutely see social media as an opportunity to share my creativity. Most people are really, really kind to me on social media. However, I’m an extremely sensitive person, and I definitely get creatively stressed when I worry that my content will fail to meet people’s expectations. I really care what people think – and I think that’s a strength and a weakness, especially when it comes to social media. 

What do you do to tune out the noise?

I have a really good rule that I’d encourage others to try: whenever I’m feeling bad for myself, do something nice for someone else. It could be as small as calling someone to ask about their day or as deliberate as participating in organized volunteer work. I find this is a good way to get perspective, and it always results in something more meaningful than feeling sorry for myself!

What’s the best way to listen to a new album?

I think it really depends on the album! Some albums feel like they should be a shared experience (i.e. “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa), whereas others feel like they were meant for headphones and solitude (i.e. “Carrie & Lowell” by Sufjan Stevens). I think my album “Digital Pacific” will be somewhere in between — songs like “Palm Springs” and “Hallelujah California” demand a road trip with a friend, but others were definitely born from quiet, personal places. 

How do you want fans to listen to your next album?

For starters, in order! I spent months sequencing it and writing songs that fit the concept. There is a little story if you listen from beginning to end. Hint: geography. 

What other artists would you choose for your dream collab?

Anyone from this list: Stevie Nicks, FKA Twigs, Grimes, St. Vincent, Hayley Williams, Fiona Apple, Lykki Li, Bjork, or Caroline Polachek. 

Do you have any secret talents?

I don’t know about “secret” but I have a lot of hobbies/interests outside music! I’m a classically trained pianist, and that’s something that maybe not everyone knows. I love learning Chopin & Debussy pieces for fun, in my spare time. 

I also love photography, which I studied for a while in school. I especially love shooting film – my favorite camera right now is my vintage refurbished Polaroid SX-70. 

Lastly, I think I’ve become a pretty good cook in quarantine. I’m a vegetarian, so I make lots of vegetables, pastas, and salads. Should I livestream one of my recipes? Thinkin’ about it! 

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet?

Master ballet. My secret dream is to be a decent ballerina. I started taking ballet late in life as an adult. I’m hilariously uncoordinated, but I love it so much. I think I’m secretly hoping to have a Natalie Portman “Black Swan” situation where I’m cast as a prima ballerina, and I have 365 days to master the art for the role. Otherwise, the most likely scenario is I just continue to eat a lot of bread and watch other people do ballet on TikTok. 

What’s something you did even though it scared you?

Skateboarding! One of the first things I did when I moved to CA was buy a skateboard. I was the only girl I knew that had one, and all of my male friends made fun of me because I was so bad. It was a really discouraging environment at first – more specifically, a culture which excludes beginners. But I learned anyway, and now those same guys call me to skate. I’m a confident cruiser – but still extremely scared of skate parks/tricks. 

In fact, I love skating so much and I so passionately wanted to shift the paradigm to be more inclusive that I made a video with all female-identifying skaters for my song “god.drugs.u” – which LADYGUNN premiered in 2019

If you ruled the world for a day, what would you do?

I’m going to need more than a day. My agenda is huge. 

What have you been listening to on repeat recently?

I have a playlist called “Luna Lately” on Spotify that I update regularly with all my favorites. On top of said playlist currently: “Dionne (feat. Justin Vernon) by The Japanese House, “I’m Lost” by Elohim, “Punisher” (album) by Phoebe Bridgers, “Recover” by The Naked & Famous, plus tunes by Mallrat, Arlo Parks, and Grimes.

What’s a song you have to sing at the top of your lungs?

It’s a tie between “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne and “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow. I’m pleased to inform everyone that I can hit the bridge notes in the Avril song. 

What’s one thing you want your fans to know?

I have been working really hard on my upcoming album Digital Pacific not only as singer/artist but also as a primary writer, producer, vocal producer, art director, and business manager! It’s been a bit of a long road getting to the release, but I hope everyone is enjoying the scenic route where each song gets a special little world built around it. Including this one, which was designed to be a soundtrack for you as summer fades away. 



photos / Adrian Vitelleschi

story / Lauren Crimmins

Close Menu