Luna Starley is an artist from Oklahoma City. She intertwines rap, hip-hop, and edm themes into her songs and stands firm as a trans woman and ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.
When did you start making music and what first inspired you/ who were your first musical idols?
I can tell you my first musical inspiration with confidence - the first people that inspired me more than any friggin thing were Skrillex and Ellie Goulding and Deadmau5, that whole group of people. As someone who came up really enjoying electronic, pop & symphonic music, I could really appreciate the sounds they put out into the world, but the most inspirational thing about them, especially Skrillex, was seeing him tour the entire EARTH after the success of the album Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Japan, Brazil, South Korea, everywhere, girl. Seeing him there made me want that so much. Still, even from when I saw that as a jit, I still want that and won’t be satisfied until I get to do it. A second boost of inspiration came from the XXL Freshman Class of 2016, I wanted to be popping back then so I could do the same things those guys were doing. I wanna make a good name for women like me and women in general in the rap scene. I want the Carti and Uzi fans to see someone like me and rock with me just as hard (if not harder hehe). I started making music seriously with my album Amaranth in 2015, which I crowdfunded physical copies for. I started rapping the year after with my EP Apollo 18.
What was it like to be somewhat in the public eye during your transition?
Y’know…. I have a tendency to ignore my negative thoughts and anxieties for the sake of pure hedonism. It’s one of my biggest flaws and one of my greatest strengths simultaneously. Yet…. I rarely showed my face for a couple months this summer because I just felt like I wasn’t to the point I wanted to be. Currently I feel really good in my corporeal essence so I’m really just showing out and not giving a crudstagram what people think. I think there’s a lot of pressure on trans women to cis pass (basically look like they’re not trans so to not confuse/scare non-trans people or as I like to say “cis-ciety”). I personally really really really really wish to cis pass everyday because I just wanna fit in with, y’know, cis-ciety. I always knew that I'm a girl, I just wish everybody else could see that immediately and that there would be no possible chance for confusion. Transitioning, of course, made that impossible though, at least for me.
Were you nervous for your first performance back in the music scene after your hiatus?
Nahhh cuh. You ever heard of LSD? I was in Houston off 400 ug rockin’ the fuck out. Check it out: Mar 31.I used to cry after every show because I knew I was lying to everyone I was playing to. Lying. Truthfully. It made me break down after almost every set. Now, though, I really don’t feel like I need to hold back anything. As you can see. Of course, as artists, we all get anxious playing for new faces. Wait, who am I kidding? I’m not scared of shit. Maybe my grandmother tho.
Do you feel like your music changed with you?
I definitely feel like I have a persona now. I feel like I was vaguely describing this person that I was, or wanted to be, or was getting closer to being - instead of the person I confidently am. Now I can just be like ‘it’s that spooky ass bitch with the all white kicks’ and it’s me, right there. No lies, just 100% bad bitch. Freedom of expression wasn’t even true to me ’til this year and I couldn’t feel happier. Feeling confident in myself has done wonders for my workflow. Whatever I think goes straight into the computer and sounds exactly the way I want it to now, and that’s something I’ll forever be grateful for, because I never thought it would happen.
What was your inspiration for your newest album " Andromeda”?
To put my persona on full display, the sadness, the happiness, the youthful abandon, the girl love. THE GIRL LOVE. THE LOVE FOR WOMEN. It’s so important to me, I constantly write these love songs, and I just want them to be felt. It’s my yearning for the spotlight of being in the same ring as the top newcomers in hiphop right now, like Lil Nas X etc. The fact others have the fame and that I don’t just makes me excited to work more than it demotivates me. I think the idea of finally being the person I wanna be, plus having the drive to make it to the top- yeah, and being gay, for sure. Inspiration! Also Grimes gave me that cosign. I can’t stop if she said she loves my music. Please stream lonemoon queen!
How did it feel the first time one of your songs hit over a million listens on Spotify?
It felt validating! It felt like the years of work I’d given had paid off finally. At least a little bit. Still have a lot more to go. Need to get that 100 mil. Need to keep that same energy!
How does it feel to be one of the few trans musicians in the Oklahoma music community?
Lonely. Feels like a lot of people are scared of me or don’t wanna hang out with me because of who I am. Even people I’ve considered friends forever have dipped on me, friends in the music industry, friends in real life, friends everywhere. I feel like it’s so hard to make the connections I want. I reach out almost constantly. I experience a lot of heartbreak, but at least it gives me something to write about !
What if your favorite thing about making music?
The freedom that I have to make anything I want. The freedom to be and share my truth with people. Meeting people like you♡ !!!!! Traveling, seeing places I never saw before.. The opportunities it’s brought me - the potential I know I have. Listening to others live their passions. Everything about music is great.
You can catch Luna this Friday December 20th at The Forge for her album release party for her newest album 'Andromeda'! And keep up with her on Instagram @lonemoon_ and listen to her music here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0KFSt4Hxl95xrVMAc6wzGP?si=5EnP1kMiTmuQnmCGXKBC1w