There's no lack of talented budding musicians in Singapore. The same can be said for those across the causeway in Malaysia too. 26-year-old Lunadira holds a spot on that list with her captivating velvety vocals.
Already captivated audiences at major festivals such as Good Vibes or Urbanscapes, Lunadira continues to make waves with each consecutive singles released. One notable accolade is accumulating 1.3 million plays on Spotify from almost 80 countries in the past year. She also recently released Tangerine, a joint EP with Reddi Rocket.
We caught up with the rising singer to discuss her partnership with Reddi Rocket and the intentions of her single 'Hoodie'.
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ESQ: Tell us how did you get started with music and what made you pursue it? Is there a meaning behind the moniker ‘Lunadira'?
Lunadira: I’ve always been inclined to music and performing ever since I was enrolled in school. I dabbled in showcasing my love for singing through posting covers online but it kind of took another form when my friend Lyssa who encouraged me to post my original stuff online.
Lunadira was initially the username of my private Instagram account and it came about after my friend pointed out to me that my eyes look like crescent moons when I smile hard [laughs].
ESQ: Define the ‘Lunadira’ sound.
Lunadira: To be honest with you, I think a lot of artists right now are trying out everything they can under the sun and that includes me. I’ve always had my heart in RnB and ballads, so it initially started out that way, but with the body of work that I’ve been working on, it’s going to be hard to pinpoint what exactly it is. For the sake of putting myself in a 'box', I’d say it’s……alt RnB? Is that a thing?
ESQ: Describe your creative process when writing a song.
Lunadira: I touch my face a lot when I’m coming up with lyrics. I think it’s my way of trying to reach for stuff deep inside my brain. So, a lot of face touching [laughs].
It usually comes along easier when I have a track playing on loop. I’ve tried writing before listening to a track but it takes a lot of re-writing since I’m obsessed with trying to create flow.
ESQ: How did the collaboration with Reddi Rocket come about?
Lunadira: Reddi actually remixed my single 'Stuck With You' but our music relationship only started almost a year after that when we started bouncing off of ideas in his studio. We managed to find a chemistry that works for us and decided to try things out.
He also produced 'Crazy Dizzy' which was a monumental thing for me because it was the turning point of my appreciation towards music production. We’ve been learning a lot from each other and 'Hoodie' was a track we made for fun, in the midst of long studio nights. And we honestly didn’t think people would grow a liking to it, so we’re pretty stoked about it.
ESQ: Who are your inspiration?
Lunadira: A lot of what keeps me going is seeing my friends do their thing with such passion and commitment. A lot of them are pursuing art and I look up to them a lot. I’m inspired by a lot of songwriters, some of which are Alex Turner, BENEE, Billie Eilish, Moses Sumney and the list goes on and on. I have a thing for lyrics that say so much in so little time.
ESQ: What do you think contributed to your success and popularity in Asia?
Lunadira: My friends! They’ve supported me since day one. Social media is a pretty powerful tool when you use it right. I guess on top of that, I was at the right place at the right time.
ESQ: What can we expect from your future releases and what are the messages you are trying to convey with ‘Hoodie'?
Lunadira: More songs to sing along to! Hoodie is essentially the feeling of wanting to encapsulate your lover’s warmth during their absence. It’s the smallest things that matter 🙂
“I usually have a weird body clock as a result of spending time working on music during ungodly hours so I’d put on tunes that aren’t too heavy on production.”
1. 'Vincent' — James Blake
"My dad used to sing parts of this song whenever he’d talk about Vincent Van Gogh, and we had copies of his paintings in the house I grew up in. This cover that James Blake did kind of opened my eyes and ears to how much sadder this song is than how my dad painted it out to be haha. It’s a beautifully tragic song, and I find myself understanding different things about it throughout the years when I revisit it."
2. 'Happiness' — Rex Orange County
"Sappy and has a build-up [laughs]. Rex writes beautifully and this song is one of my favourites from Apricot Princess. It’s so raw especially when it’s contrasted with live instruments."
3. 'IUD' — Okay Kaya
"I think after exposing to you that my morning songs are not necessarily light on emotions, I have to put in something that doesn’t take itself so seriously, much like I am haha. She talks about getting an IUD and it’s a playful take on a serious issue. “Maybe if you come with me, I will let you come in me” and “baby you’re so baby but I don’t want your baby"."
“In between making sure I eat plenty to energise myself and doing work, I have some songs playing in the background to keep me in a mood to keep the momentum going.”
1. 'Figure It Out' — Blu DeTiger
"I’ve been spending a lot of time browsing TikTok and this song popped up on my feed and I’ve been replaying it when I need a pick-me-up."
2. 'Time' — Audrey Nuna
"I love Audrey Nuna. I’m currently manifesting a studio session with her haha. This song hits all the right spots for me. Makes me feel like I can conquer the world, in due time :)"
3. 'Wiggle' — Binki
"Cowbells, man. When you use it right, it hits you. It makes me want me to move my hips, like the song tells me to."
“Nighttime is when my day properly starts, so a lot of the tracks I listen to get me in the mood to work on some music.”
1. 'Medallion — Jenevieve
"It’s a good track to start the night with. Buttery vocals, great flow."
2. 'disco tits' — Tove Lo
"I usually visit this song when I need a break and to drown myself in the percussion of this song. It refreshes my mind after thinking too much about things."
3. 'Play Too Much' — Kyle Dion, Duckwrth & UMI
"What a trio. The elites of modern RnB (debatable, but I love them). The guitar layers take me to different worlds at a time and it sparks something inside of me."
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.