Viper recently caught up with Age of L.U.N.A, the collective creative force making authentic waves in the London Hip Hop scene. Between rehearsal schedules, an upcoming Wireless performance and Fresh launch of their EP ‘Coco’, I heard what the group had to make of it all.
You’re swiftly becoming known as a group doing things to their own standard and guidelines, getting your foot in your door in the music industry is tough, but to do it with the principles that you are, must make this even harder. Can you talk me through what thats been like for you guys?
Butch: To be honest, we do things very naturally, we don’t think too hard about what we do. The sound that we come up with is just us having fun and creating what we would originally gravitate towards listening too. Some people try to classify us in a genre- 90’s/ old school- but I think we’re learning our genre. We haven’t defined it yet.
Have you found thats the best way for you to make music, or does not having a genre have its implications?
Kyote: I think it’s important to have something to talk about, because in this day and age, growing up you experience so much, so its only right and natural to put that soul back into our music. To help someone who may be experiencing something similar: whilst at the same time, making sure we’re having fun whilst creating.
‘Live Under No Authority’ – L.U.N.A. – is all about rebellion, and being yourselves. How do you involve your own rebellious principles in your music and live up to that mantra?
Butch: Growing up was difficult, living this dream of ours, we’ve had people doubt us the entire way. From the beginning we’ve tried to illustrate you can do what you want to do, as long as you put your mind to it. We started off as little kids in high school, just doing it for fun, to the point where we started taking it seriously, and understanding this is what we want to do for the rest of our lives.
Kyote: For me, personally, I’ve been through a lot growing up in the estate that I did; being stopped and search, typical young stuff. Now, I don’t like to compromise, I don’t feel the need to alter who I am for anybody. I identify with controversy… and I’m a Rockstar.
Age of L.U.N.A [collectively]: “We’re all Rockstars”
Daniella: It’s mainly not living under negative energy, not letting negative things impact you, being free and authentic.
You seem to focus on combining awareness and musicality in your latest EP ‘Coco’, is there a frustration on your part at the current Hip Hop Climate?
Butch: We don’t actually stay too concerned with whats going on mainstream wise, we listen to a bunch of stuff. We listen to the London scene, we listen to old school music. We don’t tend to think too much about other peoples movements, we just focus on being natural.
Individually, do you guys have tracks that are timeless to you, and that you can visit whenever in need?
Kyote: When I’m feeling a certain way, I like to listen to a lot of Kid Cudi, Like a LOT of Kid Cudi. I overdose on him. I also tend to go to Tupac, and I love Eminem.
Which Tupac song?
Kyote: I love, ‘Do For Love’, I love everything! I love ‘Ambitionz of a Rida’, ‘Changes’. Those three artists, I love everything they’ve ever done. Its just what they have to say, like Kid Cudi, his first project really resonated, just like growing up with the controversy of Tupac and Eminem did.
Butch: I’m very similar to Kyote, one track that also really resonates is Jay Z, ‘Regrets’. There is a lot of pain in that song, that I can relate too. Tupac is also one of those guys, can’t forget Biggie. The whole of his album ‘Ready to Die’.
Daniella: When I’m feeling some type of way I gravitate more towards the sad music, I’m more of a Radiohead, Bon Iver, Coldplay person. Bon Iver, emotively, the stories he has, and the way he uses symbolism and poetry, he definitely taught me something about writing.
What is it about 21st century London that is prevalent in your music?
Daniella: I think its just all the diversity, in London, there is just so much here. There are Grunges and Hip Hop Heads. There are so many hipsters, and we’re all just growing to be more accepting of each other and thats where all these new sounds are coming from.
You can catch Age of L.U.N.A performing at Wireless on Saturday the 8th of July.