Q&A with singer-songwriter dynamite Donna Lugassy

Donna Lugassy, a singer-songwriter from the Netherlands has just released her solo single, ‘Moonrise’ via Lugassy Records. With a series of previous collaborations with the likes of VINAI, 22Bullets, Sidney Samson’s Deadly Zoo project as well as  Robosonic & Ferreck Dawn, it’s exciting to see Lugassy striking off on her own.

‘Moonrise’ is lifted off of Lugassy’s upcoming EP, Love & Breakups which will be available on the 13th of March and was produced, composed and mixed by herself. The syncopation of the EP is heavily influenced by D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar album and reflects the pattern Lugassy’s own love life follows, with the first track, ‘Moonrise’ representing the introductory phase.

Curious about what else this young up and coming vocalist could tell, we sat down for an exclusive interview. Who knows, you might get a sneak peek into what’s coming next.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Vibey, Smooth, Urban & Sexy

How does a song come together for you? What is the songwriting process?
I usually start with some chords. When I have the right chords, they trigger me to freestyle and I let my subconscious speak while I record my freestyles. The entire chorus of Moonrise started out as a freestyle and I liked it so much that I kept it. From there I make the rest of the production, add bass and drums and small elements. Then I finetune it to where I feel like I could really vibe to the song and then I finish it.

What was the first album/CD you ever bought?
I think that it was ‘case of the ex’ by Mya. I loved that song. I think I was 7 and used to playback it in the mirror for hours. I also listened A LOT to India.Arie ‘Acoustic Soul’ album around that time.

What album do you know every word to?
‘Brown Sugar’ Album by D’angelo and ALL the albums by India.Arie. Haha.

‘Moonrise’ is said to reflect the introductory or “getting to know you” phase of a relationship. For you personally, what are some of the best aspects of this phase?
Butterflies can be motivation to wake up in the morning, learning more about someone you’re interested in and spending time together can be such bliss. I have never had a relationship that lasted longer than 9 months so I have never even gone into the ‘relax’ state of a relationship. Therefore when I meet someone, I enjoy the moments we have fun together and try not to expect anything else but that moment and the joy I feel in just being together. I don’t take anything for granted and enjoy all little pieces and moments of love I receive and get to give.

Share some advice for other bands/artists creating original music?
Start with a project. Choose who to work with and decide what the end goal is or should be. That way it becomes clearer because we musicians are chaotic as hell. Set an end time but don’t get angry if you don’t finish. Just adjust the plan/project and move along.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
I remember people crying when hearing me sing live or certain songs that touched them in a special way. I felt so weird when it happened, like how am I the reason for that? I was pretty surprised to find out I could have impact on people.

Your father is of Israeli/Moroccan descent. How has this heritage influenced you musically?
I was mainly raised by my Dutch mother. My dad left when I was 12 but when I was young he used to always play Spanish guitar which he had taught himself. I loved it when he did that and admired it a lot.
I think the heritage has an underlying effect since my dad and his side of my family doesn’t talk too much about where we are from. I feel pain from stories that have never been explained within the family that I try to translate to situations I’m in, in my music.

If you could create your own radio show, what kind of music would you feature and why?
A lot of Soul, R&B and mainly independent artists. As an indie artist myself I see how difficult it is to try and make it on your own without a big record label behind you to push you into media. I know a lot of indie artists who work their ass off to make good music and just don’t want to hand everything over to a big label or the label just doesn’t see the bigger value in that artist and therefore doesn’t give them a chance. But good music is good music and it should be heard & shared. We all benefit from that.

Tell us about your upcoming releases?
After this single ‘Moonrise’, I am releasing the next single of the EP which is ‘Coldest’. It’s a bit of a contrast in words and meaning because people assume I’m dissing someone by saying theyre the coldest but its actually born from the slang that when someone is cold, they are dope, cool. After that I will release my EP on March 13th. ‘Love & Breakups’ which is about the reoccurring cycle I find myself in everything I meet someone romantically.. Every song is a step and at the end of the EP you can start it over with a new person but the same motions.

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