Interview: Sunny Luwe Chats About Her Recent Single, ‘Give A Little Bit Of Your Love’
Gold Coast-based first nations artist and AAA fave, Sunny Luwe recently revealed her latest offering, Give A Little Bit Of Your Love to the world. An enchanting track that captures the essence of everything Sunny Luwe is about. We had a chat with the Sunny recently to find out about the new track, musical influences, upcoming album and more!
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Getting to release music and perform has always been my dream however I didn’t have great self-esteem or belief when I was younger. I used to be a primary school teacher full time, and I’d tell my students to chase their dreams, and one day I kind of had an epiphany and was like, ‘hey, maybe I should go for it too. Getting to write, record, release and perform music is a huge passion of mine – my ultimate creative expression.
Can you share some of your musical influences and how they’ve shaped your sound?
Imagine the 70s had a baby with the 90s – that’s Flowers in the Sky (my debut album). Over the past year I’ve been listening to a lot of The Beatles, Nancy Sinatra, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, and then I’m also obsessed with 90s pop – if you see me live you’ll see that healthy obsession shine through.
I love how music can make you feel. How you can be having a bad day, then you put your favourite song on and sing at the top of your lungs and goofy dance and every thing seems better.
That’s what I was striving for in Flowers in the Sky.
How would you describe your musical style or genre?
Definitely pop soul, and Flowers in the Sky is like the 70s had a baby with the 90s – it’s fun to say too.
What’s the story behind your upcoming album?
Flowers in the Sky to me means being your truest and fullest expression of yourself, and is a a big thank you to people in your life who love you exactly as you are. That sentiment ripples throughout the album in different colours and shades. Love is a recurrent theme, along with songs of social comment.
Can you walk us through your songwriting process?
I work very intuitively. The title track for my album, Flowers in the Sky was written in ten minutes. I had seen this playful and racey photoshoot by brother and his boyfriend (at the time) had done and I instantly loved it. I loved how my brother was comfortable in his own skin, felt confident enough to express and share his creativity.
I was playing a simple four chord progression and the lyrics flowed from there.
How do you handle creative blocks or periods of low inspiration?
I love the analogy of ’seasons,’ and sometimes you’re in a fruitful season and everything seems to flowing really nicely, and then at other times things can be harder. At the start of the year I felt quite sluggish and slow. I’m working on being a bit kinder to myself, and not ‘having’ to always be on the go, so I took it slower. Focussed on my health, eating well, exercising, sleeping enough and still wrote songs, and got things done, just maybe not as fast as I usually work.
Are there any specific themes or messages you aim to convey through your music?
I really want to make people feel good. Music is magic, and we can use it to connect with each other and also transform our energy, to be inspired. It’s pretty incredible.
BIGSOUND was last week. Did you have any key takeaways from the conference?
Last week I made lots of spontaneous and serendipitous connections which I loved, but a key takeaway was going to Annabelle Herd’s ARIA keynote. I learned about the current (and outdated) copyright act which limits how much music makers earn from their sound recordings own commercial radio – last year commercial radio paid 0.4% of their total gross revenue for music, which came to $4million, whilst they grossed more than $700million in ad revenue.
It actually inspired me to write to my local MP and advocate for this to change.
What’s the most challenging aspect of being a musician in today’s industry?
Figuring out how to cut through the noise.
Making music is becoming more and more accessible – which is really fantastic, but it also means there are way more people vying for success in the industry and it is quite inundated to be honest.
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians looking to break into the industry?
Get to know yourself, because you being you is where the real magic is. Also, have a game plan to figure out how you can sustainably create art that you are proud of and you love – and that might mean holding onto your day job to pay for studio time haha
Are there any specific techniques or tools you use to refine your sound in the studio?
The biggest thing is usually preproduction. That has become a really valuable part of my songwriting/recording process. Once I decide to record a song/have booked in studio time I revisit the song with a fine tooth comb, and consider whether I need to tweak the structure, key, tempo, lyrics? It depends song to song, sometimes I have stumbled across gold from the get go, other times songs want a bit more attention and TLC to be fully realised.
What’s your favourite aspect of being a musician?
Performing live and expressing my creativity.
I’ve been lucky to play lots of fantastic shows this year and the audience has responded so positively to my music and set – that feels really special to share with others.
September 29 – Miami Marketta, Miami | Free Entry
October 14 – Dust Temple, Currumbin | Album Launch – Ticketed
October 20 – Mos Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh | Ticketed
October 21 – Miami Marketta, Miami | Free Entry
November 25 – Dreamworld Night Markets, Coomera | Free Entry