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Brisbane singer Ash Lune is making music to soundtrack the COVID era

WORDS BY TINA SUMMERS

“If my music helps someone express something that they couldn’t previously express, that would make me happy.”

Meet your new girl crush: Ash Lune, the Brisbane-via-Mumbai artist whose debut single ‘Panic At The Party’ is particularly relatable in the COVID era (it’s about social anxiety!). One Triple J review on her song explained why she is good at the music like so: “You’ve got the sort of voice that I could hear on big pop hits but instead you’ve chosen to apply it to something supremely intimate.”

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And supremely intimate the music is, although Ash hopes it’ll speak to other people who don’t always have, like, the best time ever in every busy social situation (hello from another writer that has panic attacks in public!). Yes, life isn’t one big happy party that everyone’s invited to, and thankfully, your girl Ash Lune is willing to talk a bit of truth about it. We caught up with her and asked her some questions designed to be answered.

How does it feel to have released your debut single, ‘Panic At The Party’?

First off, thank you so much for doing this interview. It really means a lot to have your support. To answer your question, It definitely feels strange releasing the debut single. I don’t think I’ve processed it, to be honest. So much has been happening all day, it feels like release day has lasted a whole week. However, the love and support from everyone have been amazing and I’m very grateful for it. Very happy with everyone’s reaction to this project as they seem to genuinely love it. It’s so heartwarming, it leaves me overwhelmed (but in a good way).

Can you tell us about the inspirations or ideas behind the song?

I don’t know if there was really any inspiration for this song. I was just drawing from my own experiences. I definitely wanted the song to be as beautiful as æVideo Games’ by Lana Del Rey. My manager, Ashley Page, is an absolute genius and suggested that the strings be recorded live. That decision is what made this song so intimate and beautiful. Further, Tom Eggert who produced and co-wrote it with me did a phenomenal job. Lastly, Mark Rankin and Chris Gehringer, who are absolute legends in the industry, worked their magic and it all came together beautifully.

What would you want people to take away from the song?

I think if anyone listens to this and tells their friend, “Man, this is exactly what happens to me at parties and I feel terrible”, it would be their first step to reaching out or opening up to others. When I find it difficult to express myself I listen to songs that are close to how I’m feeling. Sometimes I’ll share them on my Instagram or tweet the lyrics I resonate with. If my music helps someone express something that they couldn’t previously express, that would make me happy. Maybe that way, someone will reach out to them and they’ll get the help they deserve.

I read that every member of your family can play an instrument! What was it like growing up in such a musical household?

Every member of my family can play an instrument now. Growing up nobody really played any instruments.  My sister learnt to play guitar and I played the piano. My brother was very passionate about music from a young age and I’m sure that my mother instilled that in him. My brother introduced me to great music at an early age and I hardly ever gave him any space. I was stuck to him like a leech always begging to be introduced to new music. I grew up with a lot of Death Cab for Cutie, Two Door Cinema Club, and basically, everything that played in Tv shows like The O.C, Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill. It was a great time to be alive and I felt very lucky to have such a cool older brother. I’m still very lucky to have him.

How do you think growing up in Mumbai has influenced your approach to music?

India is quite populous. Growing up I always believed that if I didn’t give something my 100 per cent I could easily be replaced by the next person. For the first two years at college in Bombay, I was working extremely hard, competing with my peers, to get into the psychology majors class. There weren’t enough seats for everyone so you had to keep your grades unbelievably high. When you have twenty excellent people still fighting for excellence in front of you, you realise that your old ‘best’ will no longer suffice. You develop tunnel vision and push yourself to do better every time. You learn to work extremely hard from an early age and thus develop a great work ethic. I’ve always tried to apply that work ethic to my art. There is no use of talent without hard work. Never has been never will be.

Are there any artists from Mumbai that you think our readers should check out, if they don’t know them already?

There are definitely some really cool artists from Bombay like Adi, Sabu, Sixk and Raghav Meattle. There’s so many more, much more than you’d think really.

Who is your musical hero and why?

My music hero is definitely Lana Del Rey. I still remember the first time I heard ‘Video Games’. I was in my brother’s bedroom and I thought that it was the most beautiful love song ever written. I like Lana Del Rey because she makes beautiful, timeless music. I love the way she writes her melodies and uses her voice as an instrument. She stays true to her art and herself, regardless of what anyone else says. I believe that you need a lot of courage for that so I admire her strength. You don’t see her changing up her work just because a single doesn’t make it to Top 10. She isn’t following any trends, she’s doing her own thing, I hope to be like her someday.

What can we expect next from you? 

I’ve actually finished working on two whole EPs. I fully intend on releasing them within the next twelve months so I’m hoping to have a very busy year. We’ve also been prepping for live shows so I can’t wait to take this project on the road. I can only hope that you and everyone else like the music just as much as I do. It’s very close to my heart, it’s basically my life story.

You can listen to Ash Lune’s new single ‘Panic at the Party’ here and follow her here.
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