Hailing from New Orleans, Miami’s DJ Luna brings a soulful bop as a playlist curator. We go in depth into her musical upbringing, working with Wale as EBM’s DJ, her perspective on women in the music industry, also reveals what she anticipates for 2020 and beyond.
Substream: Mikaela! how did DJ Luna come into existence?
I (literally) came into the world with music in my soul. My father told me stories of how he’d put cassette tape headphones on my mothers belly when she was pregnant with me playing Earth Wind and Fire, Bobby Caldwell, Anita Baker, etc. My love for music began before I could even remember. But “DJ Luna” came around toward the end of 2017 when Wale offered to be my mentor, and suggested learning how to DJ would be a great way to channel and distribute my passion for music.
I get old soul vibes from you! You grew up on classic soul, rock & r&b, how did your upbringing influence your music taste? Was Hip Hop the first choice for you when you began DJing?
My dad raised me on all of the above. With a heavy focus on classic rock and classic soul. He really wanted me to understand the origins of everything I was hearing on the radio in the early 2000’s, which grew my respect for music even deeper and made me a sample head. I definitely focused on hip-hop and R&B because I only is that what I love, but also what everyone wants to hear. But I also enjoy mixing house, Jersey club, & A lot of R&B remixes.
You’ve worked with some very talented artist early in your career, any highlights you wish to share? Any star struck moments?
Being able to witness Wale’s album rollout/creative process for “Shine” was very pivotal for me as far as soaking up game in the industry. My biggest starstruck moment was coming off the rolling loud stage after my set (which was definitely a highlight) and meeting the one and only Big K.R.I.T. He’s the only person I really get starstruck for. Oh, and Rick Ross. The sheer confidence in his voice had me shook.
How’s working with Every Blue Moon?
Stressful, but in a good way. The kind of stress that sparks creativity.
It’s been a year since your last project, EP Sunday Morning, what inspired it and what genre(s) would you use to describe the feel of it?
Sunday Morning was inspired by Classic Soul, and channeling the vibe of music you’d want to start your Sunday morning with.
Women in hip hop and the music industry overall are overlooked.. thoughts on that? Can you share any experiences that may have not worked in your favor or worked in your favor?
At first, I was excited and nervous to try to submerse myself into a male dominated industry. The majority of sexism I experience is in live settings, rather than on the Internet; which sometimes makes it easier to just deal with that issue head on. But sadly, there are way too many experiences to share. All I can say is that I’ve learned how to speak up for and defend myself.
What’re some of your biggest aspirations musically & personally?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I don’t know what my ultimate goal as far as music is, I just know that I love it in every aspect. Personally, my biggest aspiration is to not only be comfortable, but content.
Who would you love to collaborate with in 2020? How do you feel about the current Miami music scene and are there any artist you currently love listening too? What would you like to see improved or changed?
I’d love to collaborate with paper water. They’re actually friends of mine but we haven’t been able to find the time to sit down and create. I know we’d make some dope shit together. There’s tons of dope Miami artists, and I don’t even want to name any because I feel like I’d be leaving so many out accidentally. Everyone from my city (who’s original) is dope in my book. I’d like to see respect for each other’s artistry improved. I see a lot of people hating on each other for no valid reason. Misunderstandings can become healthier communications by being patient. Something almost everyone lacks nowadays. Patience.
Have you taken any female DJ’s under your wing? If someone were interested in becoming a serious DJ, how should they go about it?
I attempted to but no one who was ready to be 100% serious. In a perfect world, I’d love to take someone under my wing, but unfortunately I don’t have the time.Practice practice practice is the best advice I have.
I’ve taken notice of your love with colors, fashion and architecture. Outside of music, what does Mikaela enjoy?
Mikaela enjoys all of the above. Anything that’s aesthetically pleasing both visually and sonically, inspires me.