WORDS

Better Luck Next Time: the sound of lonemoon being true to herself

Oklahoma City artist lonemoon is certainly no stranger to the world of bass music. With a plethora of releases over the course of the past four years, she has done everything from dubstep to trap, hip-hop, glitch-step, and just about everything in between, always with the common denominator of honest, heartfelt productions.

But lonemoon’s life has certainly not been easy; being a trans woman of colour in the United States today is certainly a struggle not many of us are familiar with. While she doesn’t let her music be affected by politics directly, the raw emotive quality present in her work comes from a background of immense hardships that are both tragic and beautiful.

Living in a city where the KKK are still active, facing undeserved jail time due to a system plagued by institutionalized racism, living in Trump’s America, and struggling with her own identity, lonemoon has faced more battles than most of us will face in a lifetime. Inspired by her story, her latest album, and her recent coming out, we decided it was high time we have a chat with Luna.

Hey Luna, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today – how have you been?

Busy, busy, busy. I have sooooo much work to do.

Can you tell us what you’ve been working on lately, or is it top secret stuff?

Two albums.

You’re based in Oklahoma City, right? How did the elections go the other day? Did you vote?

Funny freakin’ story. I’ve registered to vote twice now, and still have not been able to vote. But hey, next time around I’ll get a chance.

However, I’m happy to be around in such a time where there are a record amount of POC, LGBTQ, and woman candidates running for office. It’s no longer an old white man’s world, no matter how much they want it to be. Waking up and smelling the goddamn coffee is great.

Seems like some states broke a lot of ground this time around – I saw Colorado elected the first ever openly gay governor which is huge, as well as a record breaking number of women voted in overall – definitely refreshing after two years of only hearing about Trump. Are you optimistic that the increased diversity in politics will bring about real change in America?

Yeah, I’m not optimistic often but this is a time that everyone should work toward change. Though there are others in our government that hold power, the people posess the utmost.

It’s been an interesting few years to watch American politics from over here in the UK – I can’t imagine what it must be like first hand. Can you talk to us a little bit about the climate over there?

My mother warns me every night to keep my head on a swivel. Going into dense public places makes me extremely anxious. I’ve been to jail for something I shouldn’t have been put in jail for. USA.

Shit, jail time? Can we ask what happened there?

Broke college student didn’t replace her tag on time. Honestly they could have given me a warning but they arrested me on campus and put me in jail. I asked friends if they dealt with that same kind of stuff. And just warnings all around. I just wanna be left alone.

I think a lot of people find themselves laughing at the current state of things – it just doesn’t always seem real, especially with all the outlandish things to come out of the president’s mouth – are you able to laugh at things over there, or is it all too real?

I am an expert at making fun of literally everything…. But enough is enough. For instance, we can’t forget that the President refuses to speak on the hundreds of lives lost this year through gun violence whilst campaigning for his second term.

Yeah, that’s definitely one of the craziest things to see on the news, seems like there’s massive gun crime happening on the daily, but no surprise on the president’s lack of empathy there really – I’m sure he’s funded by the NRA massively. I read a statistic that more people have been killed by gun crime in America than in all U.S. wars combined – mental. Do you think it’s money and private interests fuelling the gun industry, lack of mental health resources, or something else behind it all?

God that’s a shocking statistic. carelessness and the love of money. USA is all gluttony in my opinion. We have too much. We need to have Japan’s gun laws.

What kinds of things affect day-to-day life?

I live in Oklahoma. A huge chapter of the KKK resides here. I haven’t had any direct run ins with them specifically, but a lot of white people don’t like colored people here. I hate thinking about how people see me.

Wow. It’s crazy to even think about the KKK still being active in 2018, and even just how many horrible racists are out there – it’s hard to imagine what that must be like. Is it something you think will go away in future generations, or is it too far institutionalized that that hatred is passed down to younger generations?

I’ll always want change. But the people in question have to want it too.

It’s so hard to even fathom so much of what we see on the news over there – seems like there are shootings happening every day, it’s crazy and just beyond tragic – Do you think there is an end in sight? What does America need at the moment?

I’m just saying, Australia has great gun laws and they haven’t seen a mass shooting in over a decade, right? Can we take a hint? If we don’t make changes, nothing’s gonna change.

Yeah, Australia really have their shit together when it comes to gun control. Is it something the people have to change do you think? Or is our only power to just elect a better leader and hope for the best?

I feel like Americans have forgotten what self control means. We’re oversaturated by a hypersexual, hyperviolent media. I fear that many have forgotten what it means to care.

If you could say anything to the president directly, what would it be?

Does he even care for the families of the victims of over 300 mass shootings this year alone? Why won’t he make a god damned address? Why won’t he sit down, respect the country he presides over and visit the families affected?

Yeah, at least acknowledging the problem would be a good start. So, how is your music affected by politics?

I don’t let political views influence my music. I’m about to just say what needs to be said.

That’s fair enough! So what does influence your music?

Every day. I try to take steps toward becoming Mother Nature.

Ah wicked, what’s sort of things does that involve?

Making the next song. Singing until I cant anymore. Writing poetry till my fingers fall off. Spending time outside and smoking copious amounts of weed. Connecting with nature instead of hurting it. My girlfriend convinced me to go half vegetarian half vegan. I’m gonna save all the creatures!

Tell us about your album Better Luck Next Time. What’s the story behind it? What’s the title about?

The album is shrouded in darkness, coated in gender dysphoria, deep in depression, jittering with anxiety, burning in hate, and simmered in love. PAST ME is the scariest shit in the world, but fuck that. I’m pursuing life at full speed. Never felt better.

That’s a huge range of emotion! I think it really comes out in the album though, stunning stuff. Did writing the album help work through a lot of those feelings?

Having it finished is great. I can’t listen to it myself. It brings back too much negative energy. But that’s the way I like it. Making the album got me here. And this is the best place I’ve ever been.

The album is an admirable celebration of your recent naming – what’s been the toughest part about re-introducing yourself to the world?

Going out in public and people seeing a guy hurts my feelings a lot. It’s gonna be tough but never impossible. I just want to fit into society as a girl.

Ignoring all the dickheads in the world, I imagine a lot of people recognize it can be a sensitive subject, and perhaps not knowing a lot about trans stuff can make it uncomfortable, even if they want to be supportive – is there anything you want to say to the world when it comes to understanding your identity and how you want to be seen?

I just want to be seen as a girl. That’s who I am inside; even though it’ll take a long time to bring it out. It’s who I am. If anyone truly wants to know about me I’m down to have a conversation, just talk to me.

And what’s been the most rewarding part so far?

Not feeling like I’ve got to play pretend or play a role to please others has been awesome.

I can imagine that’s a huge relief! Have your family and loved ones all been supportive throughout the journey?

Family? Heck no! Girlfriend? Yes! Is she all I need? Yes!

Back to politics briefly, but as a trans woman of colour in America, what new struggles are ahead?

Every day when I leave the house I’m reminded of the statistics. Everyone that knows even a little about transgender knows that the suicide rate is high. Black trans women are also a very common target for murders in the US. I need to write about that more. I need to bring someone real to the table. Luna is me. Luna is that realness. For the first time, I feel like I matter.

Wow. Scary stuff. Of course you matter! Being comfortable in your own skin is so important –  what I don’t understand is why it offends people so much what other people do to take it so such extremes – seriously heartbreaking. It shouldn’t be seen as a crime to be who you are and express yourself in any way. Where do you think this blind hatred comes from?

I’d say it comes from closed mindedness and an unwillingness to accept anything outside of a narrow norm. Also, ignorance.  And speaking of ignorance, in 47 states, a legal defence often referred to as ‘Trans Panic’ or ‘Homosexual panic’ is commonly used by people if they kill a trans or a gay person simply because they didn’t have prior knowledge of their state as a trans or homosexual person. That’s the kind of climate we’re in.

We still have a long way to go. What do you think is the most important message to take away from all this?

Never cease being yourself. Become the greatest version of yourself.

We’re seeing more and more people opening up in the music community about different struggles, something that’s really important – so thank you for sharing your story! What would you impart to people in the community who are struggling with elements of their identity?

First, realize you’re valid. No matter what. Second – GANBARE! Real ones know.

Ayy, good advice! You a big Japanophile?

Japan is my second home. I lived there almost half of my life! japan inspires me daily. It’s a beautiful country!

And last, but not least, if you were elected president of the United States tomorrow, what would you do?

Change the national anthem to New Patek by Lil Uzi Vert.

lonemoon Better Luck Next Time is out now on MA

Follow lonemoon: Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter