Anna Lunoe is a dance floor weapon and one of the most fun, unpredictable DJs to experience live. Hailing from Sydney but now based in LA, right now her various job titles include DJ, producer and host of the weekly Beats1 radio show HYPERHOUSE (where she recently celebrated the 100th episode). When we spoke to her she was also seven months pregnant, so you might say she's got a bit on. Smart, self-aware and awesomely candid, Anna trades in realness that inspires. Scroll on to get her thoughts on taking risks, facing fears and how pregnancy has impacted her live shows and - of course - her style.
DJ ANNA LUNOE IS THE REALEST
By Susannah Tucker, 2 August 2017
Congratulations on the pending baby!
Thank you very much!
How’ve you been? How’s the pre-baby life treating you?
The pre-natal life is going good! It’s really been business as usual for the most part, although I just spent longer trying to work out what to wear because it’s gotten really hard to dress myself.
Talk us through how being pregnant has changed your style and your approach to dressing?
All I can say is that stretch and lycra are your friends! I’m not really buying many maternity items, I’m more so buying large and extra-large stretchy things and just making them work. I think tight stuff is more flattering when you’re pregnant. For the first few months you cover it with baggy stuff. You’re not even showing - but you think you are, so you cover it with baggy stuff all the time. And then at a certain point, wearing baggy stuff looks 10 times worse. So I literally made a decision one day to start wearing midriff tops again. Like, there’s no hiding this! There’s no disguising what’s going on here! And even a large t-shirt just catches on my belly and looks unflattering on my belly, so I reckon a tight skirt and a midriff top is the smartest move!
That’s the way to go!
Yeah I’ve really enjoyed it. I think it’s so funny that as women we um and ah about wearing that kind of thing when we’ve put on a few pounds or whatever, but as a pregnant woman I feel like 'oh well, a frikkin’ baby!” I mean, I’m not worried about looking extra curvy or whatever because I’m just human, so of course I’m a little curvy right now and that’s cool!
How is touring going at the moment?
Touring’s going really well! I always thought that when I had a baby it would be when my career was winding down, but it’s the complete opposite. My shows have never been better. I did a club tour in April, May, June and the shows were so crazy and the kids knew all the words to my songs. Getting the kind of response that I’ve been waiting for my whole career - and it’s happening now?!! When I’m about to burst with a baby?! It’s so funny.
That’s great though! I think that subverts the expectation of women - not only in electronic music but for women who have careers and might have in the back of the mind 'I’m making a decision to focus on something else that is not my career' when they do decide to have children, and that's actually quite powerful the fact that your career is at its apex (so far) just as you’re about to have a baby. How cool.
Yeah man! It’s really cool. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. Obviously the first few months after I found out, there was a lot of re-adjusting what my year was going to look like and what my goals were. I try not to think too much about them too much and try to break it down into week-by-week and month-by-month because I really don’t know what’s ahead and it is a transitional time for me. I don’t know what t I’m going to want in the future and I’m not the same as I’ve been for the past few years because my priorities are shifting. I’m just trying to be really chill and open-minded and ready for any kind of reaction from myself and what this new phase holds.
You’re coming up to 100 episode of HyperHouse. I can’t imagine how long it would take to pull together a show each week. Do you kind of get to the point where you…
Get to the end... of the internet? YES.
How do you manage to do it week after week?
Okay. So the way I handle this is I give myself a timed deadline to find and download everything. Once a certain time limit is up, that’s it. And whatever I’ve done just has to be enough. You have to draw the line somewhere and just do your best. But done is better than perfect. That’s my motto in life.
You've started singing live, so you've added a new element of performance to your sets. Did you have to overcome an element of fear or performance anxiety to actually do your own vocals in front of massive crowds?
Yeah... If you think about something in advance, you can think about all the things that can go wrong. But my one saving grace - and what usually pushes me over the edge in my performance - is the fact that I’ll often come up with ideas while I’m performing and just f***ing do it. In the moment I would rather jump off something and fall off and make a fool out of myself and give a lacklustre vocal in that moment - that’s the way I’m wired. I’d rather do it that way - and make people feel something and make it raw and not rehearsed. Let’s make it fun and unpredictable and take some risks. People can tell when you’re playing it safe - and I don’t want that.
You did it at Coachella.
A big thing at Coachella is bringing a guest - guest performers or guest vocalists. And I thought ‘what am I doing getting a guest vocalist because I sing on all of my own songs. I AM my own guest so I just have to man up and sing all these songs live, you know?! That was actually really scary because it was making a decision in advance and me having to prepare - and it was all being live-streamed. But you don’t get to rehearse and you don’t get a soundcheck at Coachella. It was a silly thing to do but I didn’t flake! I sang like seven songs (and there’s not a lot of singing - I’m not Aretha Franklin or anything, I’m just doing the basics) and it was scary but by the end of it my voice sounded a lot stronger and people were really encouraging after the show. I just think in life you can’t be afraid for someone to think what you’re doing isn’t cool. You’re the one taking risks and growing as a human. The only way you’re going to grow is by jumping off and just seeing what happens. I look back on my Coachella performance and think ‘ooohhh it was a bit shit’. [cackles with laughter]. It was a little rough but I don’t care. Because I am proud that I did it.