Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram
Link to our TikTok

Anna Lunoe Champions The Next Generation Of Music

27 July 2023 | 10:00 am | Ellie Robinson

“Any good creative should have the mindset that they’re an eternal student,” says the Australian EDM trailblazer.

Anna Lunoe

Anna Lunoe (Billy Zammit)

More Anna Lunoe More Anna Lunoe

Ever thought about taking that leap into the weird and wonderful world we’ve come to know as the music industry? Well, you should – there’s never been a better time to engage in one of the world’s most exciting and creatively fulfilling pathways. There’s just one question you’ll inevitably have before you do so: where the hell do you start?

Don’t worry, this is something every industry professional asks themselves. And it’s where the SAE Creative Media Institute shines, as their bespoke music education offerings are tailor-made to help you thrive in your dream role. SAE is preparing the future of the music industry with their newly overhauled Associate Degree and Bachelor Of Music courses, fusing a unique creative energy into pivotal teachings of the business and technical sides of the modern music industry. 

SAE’s music courses are designed to guide students in building the essential skills needed to launch successful careers in the modern-day music industry. Studying at any one of SAE’s six campuses around Australia (there are locations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney), you’ll learn theoretical knowledge and key industry practices, which you’ll have opportunities to get hands-on and apply instate-of-the-art studios with cutting-edge equipment. You’ll become proficient, and have the option to specialise in the most important areas of music creation and industry navigation, from songwriting and composition to recording techniques, electronic music and studio music production, right to stagecraft and music business/industry know-how.

At the forefront of the relaunch for SAE’s music courses is the one and only Anna Lunoe, who has spent more than a decade making a name for herself as one of the brightest stars in electronic music. Last July saw Lunoe drop the mind-melting Saturday Love EP, a five-track journey down the club music rabbithole that shines with some of the genre’s most inventive sounds and dynamic production. Her sprawling catalogue is tangible proof of the power of education, and because of that, Lunoe says she’s “stoked to be involved with the launch of SAE's new Bachelor of Music degree, while supporting the future of music”.

Lunoe’s career began humbly at the turn of the 2010s, when she hosted a regular dance music program for Sydney’s independent broadcasting staple, FBi Radio. From there, she became the first woman to mix regularly for Ministry Of Sound – with all three of her compilations being certified Gold, no less – and in 2012, she launched her debut EP, Anna Lunoe & Friends, to a whirlwind of acclaim (and choice spots from the likes of Flume and Touch Sensitive).

Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter

Regularly topping the Beatport dance music charts with her pretty and prismatic house music, Lunoe fast earned the attention of scene-leading legends like Skrillex and Diplo – before long, she’d made a name for herself as one of the most in-demand DJs and producers all around the world. In 2016, she landed one hell of a milestone, becoming the first solo female DJ to play the mainstage at the the Electric Daisy Carnival. Then came appearances at Coachella, a show on Apple Music 1, her own touring and publishing platform (HYPERHOUSE), and an industry podcast called Create/Destroy. Even more incredible? She’s done it all while raising a child.

Needless to say, Lunoe knows her shit when it comes to succeeding in the music industry. So as we here at Purple Sneakers celebrate the launch of SAE’s newly relaunched music courses, we caught up with Lunoe to discuss her whirlwind journey, the importance of education, and how you too can make a name for yourself in the most exciting industry on the planet.

It’s been a hot minute since we got our hands on the Saturday Love EP last July – we’re still bopping it on the reg, but we are super curious: what’s going on in your world? Have you been working on many fresh new beatz?

Yes! I have actually been working on more music than ever this year, but I allowed myself a bit of time to cast a wider net so it's taken longer than usual to pump out tracks – but there are a few already finished now and starting to roll out in the coming few months. I am really proud of this next round! 

It’s so great to see that you’ve partnered with SAE for this new campaign around their new music courses. What made you so excited to be involved with the legends over there?

To facilitate creativity and drive in others is something that I'm really passionate about. I started a podcast called Create/Destroy during the pandemic where I bust the industry open, talking to artist friends and getting everyone to share their creative secrets and overcomings. Part of the reason I’m passionate about it is because when I started out, there was so little information on how to navigate the industry, and I really had to forge roads for myself using a lot of trial and error – and sometimes at the risk of my own wellbeing! 

I found that conversations with other creators were the key to finding out everything I needed to know. SAE has really created a blueprint for many types of careers in music – it also covers education for all kinds of support industries, broadcasting, production, sound design… It's a whole universe of learning. I wish I could have had this option when I was starting out! 

What is it about music education that you reckon is so important for up-and-comers wanting to make their break into the industry? 

Any good creative should have the mindset that they’re an eternal student. I did a few courses in music production but there were so many lessons I needed that I had to learn as I went, surrounding touring, publishing, label signings, media… It truly is a “more you know” situation. From signing your music, to being in a situation that's beneficial to your creativity and doesn't hinder it, to knowing how to empower yourself to make good decisions… I have also found that your peers play a huge role in your career as well, so I think the network of people you would meet doing a course like this could be incredibly supportive for your career path. 

What can you tell us about the opportunities available at SAE? What exactly can someone expect to get amongst if they leap into this exciting new chapter? 

I think people can expect to have access to industry leaders in various parts of their field at their disposal, a great network to tap into, and world-class technical educators. The cool thing is that you get to decide what parts of music you study. So you kind of sculpt the course to fit your passions and what parts of the industry you want to be involved in. You can also start the course as a true beginner in the industry, or at a later point in your journey and add on to your knowledge base. 

What were some of the formative educational moments you went through on your own journey to the top? Did you have any particularly wise mentors or have any stand-out experiences that changed your course? 

I had so many educational moments in my career – and many, many false starts and dead ends! Starting out at FBi Radio was incredible for me. I gained basic broadcasting experience and went on to become really comfortable on air, so years later, when I was approached by Apple, I had all the skills I needed! I also met so many peers at FBi, who I would go on to throw parties and tour with, forming the basis of my DJ career. Friends like Nina Las Vegas – we would share skills even from the beginning, I taught her DJing and she taught me Pro Tools! Andrew Levins became my first booking agent. Learning the touring world was a real “on the job”-type deal for me. 

I spent some time as a DJ's assistant in New York, where I got an inside look at the life of a touring hip-hop DJ. That was incredible, but I didn't totally apply it to my experience in Australia in the club and festival market. There was a lot of trial and error, signing up for experiences without the knowledge to protect myself, and therefore ending up in less than ideal circumstances! 

I slowly learned to ask for help from DJ friends who I looked up to, like Ajax and DJs from overseas who I eventually met on the Australian festival circuit, like A-Trak, Busy P and Diplo. Social networking was new and an incredible resource for tapping into communities of like-minded people, making connections in different markets where I could play a little party and lay some groundwork in a new city. 

Later on, meeting Skrillex and having him release one of my songs was a big turning point for my career in the US. This was especially helpful as I had moved to the US with no official booking agent and no management, and I was really winging it for the first two years. I just slowly worked it all out and built an audience for myself. My whole ethos for my career has been to have a crazy dream of something I wanted to try, and even though I didn't think I could, I just kept putting one foot ahead of the next in blind hope! 

At times it felt insane and beyond challenging and I wish I had more people to ask and more knowledge going into it! I could have saved literally years of my life, for sure. 

We know that dreams never die and once a goal is kicked, at least another two pop up. What are your current ambitions as an artist/producer, and how are you on the path to achieving them?

This is so true! Right now my dream is to chill on the touring a bit and become the producer I have always wanted to be! I'm really trying to stamp my own sonic space and be more consistent. 

What advice would you give to a budding producer just starting to learn the ropes? 

I have so much advice, I don't know where to begin! I think I would be really honing in on education, but also exploration – finding out what's unique about YOUR voice. Ultimately, your main commodity is why people turn to your take on music. What is the mood of what you do? Why do you do what you do? And what do you want people to feel when they listen to your work or experience your music? When I started out making music, I was already DJing so much and was so busy trying to navigate the needs of the club that I didn't really start thinking about what I truly wanted to make until a lot later. I realise now that the most successful producers and DJs really seem to nail this concept out the gate! 

If you were to remake ‘Real Talk’, ‘Stronger’, ‘Breathe’ or one of your other formative tracks with the knowledge you have today, what would you do differently with them? 

Oh man, it’s really hard to answer that, but let's say I wish I had the guts to leave some of my early songs more raw, rough and immature. Not to feel like I had to smooth out all the edges. Allow the early ideas to show instinct and spirit, and be as raw and fun as possible. I listen to hundreds of perfectly produced songs every week for my radio show, but I LOVE hearing a young artist coming in hot with passion, a crazy raw mix and their very own instinct! It always shines above the rest and gets me so excited about music again!