Fresh talent urban-inspired singer-songwriter

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Desert Island Cloud artist interview

Lui$a, is an 18-year-old exciting new talented independent artist, producer, and songwriter from New York currently based in Prishtina, Kosovo.

Her music is a mix of many genres with alternative and dance-pop and is heavily influenced by the urban life of Kosovo and New York. By combining both of these cultures she presents a modern and diverse style, which is showcased in her songs.

Can you name one formative influence on your music – A place, a person an experience?

Other than mentioning a range of artists from A$AP Rocky to Rina Sawayama for being a big influence on my music, the overall nightlife I have personally experienced, is what inspires me lyrically and production-wise. With each snare representing a can of beer being thrown on the metal floor in Prishtina or each synth lead representing the sirens I hear every time I’m in Manhattan, I try to incorporate these colourful audibles to create my signature sound.

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Studio or live?

Well, since I love the creative process of making a song and I adore the adrenaline a live performance gives me, expressing myself musically in any way has always given me the freedom to get myself heard as an artist and I think that would lead choosing both, studio and live.

What was the first track you wrote?

The first track I remember writing was a rock song I had written right after watching “School of Rock” 12 years ago. I still don’t know what I said in most of the song, but I most definitely transmitted my 6-year-old rage. I remember my dad recorded the song and we would listen to it in our car all the time, even on our way to school!

Are there any artists you would like to collaborate with?

I would love to collab with every single artist on the planet! I enjoy sharing ideas with artists from different backgrounds, whether it is through collaborating on a track, producing or writing a song for them or just exchanging artistic energy. If I had to choose which artist I would most likely want to collaborate with, it would definitely have to be Rina Sawayama.

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?

I would probably be an environmentalist of some sort while doing something connected to sustainable fashion since I love incorporating fashion into my art. I recently worked on a project titled “Be Green, Feel Seen”, which was an environmental protection project revolving around Earth Day. I admire figures like Greta Thunberg and Al Gore who shine a light on important matters like global warming, climate change and the effects they have on our planet.

Where do you see your music in a year’s time?

I see my music being played at rallies, saving and inspiring my listeners and most importantly I see my music making me more productive and inspired to create.

Are there any subjects that you wouldn’t write about?

I’m very flexible when it comes to writing songs and discussing all types of topics through my songs, I don’t think there would be a topic that I wouldn’t write about, since I try to make my songs as relatable and authentic as I can to each listener I have.

Best gig so far and where?

Even though I wouldn’t call it a gig, my favourite one so far is the performance I did on VFILES PTA Remote Sessions that were held virtually during the pandemic. I performed my song Gemstones in my studio in Prishtina, Kosovo and I had the opportunity to be heard by Abby Jasmine, who hosted the event.

What qualities do you think you need to be an artist now?

I think the most important quality you can have as an artist nowadays is being authentic and creative. Since these last years have been centred on technology, most artists have been sharing their creativity through many social media platforms (something that would also help them promote their music), which is a good thing in my opinion, this shows that the artists are capable of promoting themselves while also being authentic and expressive.

What’s your creative process for creating your music?

My creative process has been getting quite an upgrade I might say, many things have changed in my creative process, for example production-wise, I’ve been listening to many instrumental albums to get inspired for my own way of music production or I’ve been watching a lot of A24 films to uncover topics for songwriting. I don’t have a regular pattern of making a song, sometimes I make a melody in my head and then find the key to produce the whole song or sometimes I find a sound, do the instrumental of the song and then find the topic to write the lyrics.

Do you follow a process or ritual before a performance to get rid of nerves or performance anxiety?

I think the best thing about being a performer/singer for so long is not having stage fright. I’ve gone past the phase of having anxiety before a performance since I love dancing and singing on stage. Even before bed, every single night, I close my bedroom door and just pretend I’m performing in front of a huge crowd that listens to my music. My only ritual is having my mom backstage for touch-ups since I don’t want a wardrobe malfunction happening on stage as I’m performing and listening to Playboi Carti on my way to the performance to get in the right mood.

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