Destiny’s Child hip-shaking in metallic co-ords. Whitney Houston belting out ballads. The historical importance of Lauryn Hill. There’s no denying – the 00s were it. And one singer has built her sonic identity as a homage to the groundbreaking era, with her own modern and powerful twist, of course.
Introducing Lubiana, born in Albania, but raised in the eclectic melting pot of London’s Warwick Avenue – a singer-songwriter making waves due to her theatrical production, searing vocals, fiery hooks and unmistakable R&B beats.
In her new track “Touch Me”, the artist lyrically flirts and toys with the listener – marking her as a certified one to watch.
We caught up with the singer-songwriter and talked about roots, her creative process, and dream collaborations…
What was the moment you realised you wanted to make music?
I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to make music to be honest. Since I was tiny, it’s all I would ever do around the house. Sing and dance, it’s in me, it is me.
How did growing up in West London inform and influence your music/creative process?
West London is the best. It just is, there’s such a unity in the area between all races and classes. Growing up in West I’ve had the privilege of being exposed to so many cultures and genres of music, it expanded my education as a fan and influenced my own journey, as an artist.
Your music plays distinct homage to 00s R&B – why this era? Was it because of your musical idols?
Yes for sure. It also has a lot to do with the things that i used to watch and listen to when I was little, movies, soundtracks, MTV in it’s golden days. The music in that era was the full package! The way they looked, danced, dressed, I fell in love with it. It’s not just about the sound for me, everything makes music what it is and I feel like the 00s did it the best, performance is key! The scene now is most like it was then in my opinion, everyone’s doing their thing and doing it with chest, it’s great to see.
What is “Touch Me” about? What is it inspired by?
“Touch Me” is about giving power back to my beautiful ladies. It is Inspired by my feelings towards certain experiences in life with certain men. Experiences that i know all women have gone through. I wanted to make a fun, uplifting song for all my ladies. Letting them know we’re in this all together.
How involved were you in the creative process of crafting the visuals?
A lot, visuals are a very big thing for me… like i said previously, it’s not just about the sound, everything plays a part, when I’m recording I’ve already got the performance in mind, the style, the way it looks. I have a vision for my music so when the time comes to shoot the videos, I get my moodboard out lol. Shout out Krew Studios.
How do you want your music to make people feel?
I want my music to make people feel how music from the artists I love makes me feel. It’s hard to describe it – the best word would be passion. It’s more important that you feel something then what that feeling is. Music is such a sensual experience, if I can get a reaction out of you, make you smile, cry, laugh, I’ve done my job. Also, I want you to dance, if I can make you move; snap your fingers, tap your feet, get up and go, we’re on the right track.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Oh what a question! I would love to collaborate with Beyoncé. She has always been a huge influence to me – she is the GOAT. I mainly want to work with musicians that can keep expanding and pushing my own craft, I’ve been blessed to work with such talent already and it’s just the beginning.
What’s your five-year goal?
To keep making banger after banger! To hopefully inspire as many people as I can and perform to all of them, wherever they are. To keep growing in every aspect of life, refine my craft and just enjoy the process.
What’s next for you/what are you excited by?
My second single “Sugar” is coming soon which I’m very excited about. Currently we’re all in quarantine but I will still be making music during this time. Why not! Make the most of everyone being at home and hopefully I can improve someone’s day! Of course I’m praying this current situation is over soon (aren’t we all), so I can really get stuck in and start doing shows – whenever that may be, 2020, 2021, I’m here now and I’m here to stay.