Caturday with Luna

Words: Sofi Chetrar

Ukrainian pop-indie singer and songwriter Kristina Luna goes by the stage name Luna, which translates into “moon” in Latin. As dreamy as her stage name is, she creates music that deeply bonds with her listeners and is filled with love and pure emotion for what her heart aches most.

On one hand, her self-written poems transform into melancholic songs, on the other, dancing beats you can find yourself hitting the club to. Besides all the creative aspirations, she has faced war in her native country and finds music to be the salvation. Together with the team, she calls upon everyone to come together in this difficult time and support Ukraine through the sounds of her music.

Sofi Chetrar: You may say your musical career began with the music video “Autumn”. You recorded your son and yourself on the playground using your laptop. How did you feel at the time when writing this song and creating this music video?
Luna: At that time I felt rebellious and free, as I continue to feel now, but there were different circumstances at the beginning of my career than there are now. The music video “Autumn” will forever remain so virgin and fundamental in my heart. The songs and videos from back then were inspired by the concept of soul, which is why they turned out to be so memorable.
When I came up with the video for the song “Autumn”, I had a clear idea – to take my son and shoot a video on a laptop, but I did not know what would happen in the end. It was very impromptu, I could not predict that he would cry and that the girl in the background would be doing a workout routine. It was very atmospheric.
My son also teaches me a lot. I am glad I had him at a stage of my life when I had not yet matured because now he simply won’t let me. I don’t want to become mature and serious, I want to always be a child.
S: When I came across your music for the first time, you performed “Jukebox”. I loved everything about that performance; your singing, the outfit you were wearing, the lighting and the set-up of the stage. Do you get very involved with the visual aspect of your performances?
L: Of course. I always participate in all the creative processes of Luna’s identity, starting from art direction, writing lyrics to creating music and performing songs on stage. But apart from me, there is a whole team working on the project. After every new song release, we meet up to share feelings and thoughts on which direction the lighting and the visuals are heading.
I always try to listen to myself and keep an exact part of my style within the visuals. This applies to absolutely everything: music videos, photos on Instagram, posters, etc. Something can be very trendy at the moment, but if it doesn’t comply with me, I have no interest in it. I never change myself and this is one of my strengths.
S: What is the biggest source of inspiration for your music?
L: So many times my listeners came up to me and said that our music helped them survive the most difficult moments in their lives. You have no idea how inspiring it is.
It would be more honest to say that absolutely everything can inspire me; my son, my love, family, flowers or new clothes. Sometimes you don’t know where the strongest stimulus for creativity will come from. And when I catch this moment, I try not to miss it and to prolong it as long as possible. But it’s very important not to go overboard with inspiration. It’s very cool to be inspired primarily by some fashion trends, but also to listen to your vision and rely on the emotional state of a certain period of life.
S: I can imagine that being on stage takes up a lot of energy, especially seeing you be very dynamic with the crowd. Do you have a way of preparing yourself before performing a concert?
L: Due to covid all the concerts had to be postponed and I have long forgotten that feeling when you need to give all the best on stage and interact with the audience.
Now my country is facing war, and my team and I are preparing for a European charity tour to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression. I really look forward to this moment when I can unite with people in the name of a good cause. We will share energy, sing and dance together.
S: What is your favourite part about being a musician?
L: I like being a musician because the music I create opens up my soul and helps me express my feelings like nothing else. Many of my songs have been looked at from different angles by people, especially in light of current circumstances. It revealed new meanings. I get an incredible response from my listeners and I understand my mission as an artist.
S: Previously you have had a few beautiful Acoustic Live performances together with Aina Vilberg. Do you prefer to perform this way more?
L: We started experimenting with live acoustic performances during covid, after which we decided to do our first concerts. I really enjoyed this format, as it reveals the songs in a new, more dramatic way. Aina and I have a great musical connection and we have previously worked on a couple of compositions together. This type of live performance is already a part of the Luna project and we plan to do this format more regularly in Europe.
S: I am incredibly empathetic about the situation that is going on in your country at the moment. How did this affect your work, and what do you do to keep yourself motivated in this difficult time?
L: Russia started a full-scale war and our lives turned upside down. For a month I could not do anything at all in terms of work and creativity, as I was looking for asylum in Europe. My family, specifically women and children, were in danger and I decided to leave home and take the children away from traumatic experience and stress. After some time I faced the awareness and acceptance of everything that was happening, this was the stage of internal hatred and aggression which continues to this day. Current events are beyond anyone’s mind and should not exist in the civilised world. Ordinary people, children, and our military services are suffering.
S: Has music been a source of relief for yourself?
L: Music has once again become a life saver!! Thanks to our work, we have the opportunity to mobilise our forces and support the cause all Ukrainian citizens have in common. We are all very much looking forward to Victory Day and trying to do everything that can help bring it closer.
S: As the release of the new album has been understandably postponed this year, what can your fans expect from you?
L: I now write songs in Ukrainian and I also started translating our album to English. With all the unfortunate events happening right now, good things are happening too. It is a great motivation and desire for development, an aspiration to unite all together in our native country.
I believe in the light and beauty of this new album release, and that it will help people survive this difficult stage in life and inspire them. The war gave answers to many questions, it revealed the value of being close to family and showed how important it is to trust a loved one, and how this trust can help during a difficult moment. Music is like salvation, a glimpse of hope in this raging hurricane of misunderstanding and uncertainty.
To be honest, I didn’t want to listen or to write any music at all since the war started, and only just now we are slowly starting to return back to work together with the team.
We announced a tour in European cities in support of Ukraine. We will start in Tallinn, Vilnius, Warsaw and Krakow, but soon will expand the list. And I promise that soon listeners will finally have several new releases, including one in Ukrainian.
S: Lastly, what is your message to everyone who listens to your music?
L: I only have one message now – to not be silent, to talk about the war, to support Ukraine, to help everyone you can, because we Ukrainians really need peace and support now. This is the only way we will be able to shift from the point we are at today. I believe that it can hasten the moment when good will triumph over all evil throughout Earth.

Tickets on charity tour:

Click to check out Luna’s playlist!

Words: Sofie Chetrar