Au/Ra talks Instagram anxiety, growing up with music and making it her own

"It's so great to be around the amount of female energy in music right now".

[A]t just fifteen, Au/Ra is buzzing up the music world. Dropping intense tracks like ‘Panic Room’, her sound and words are worthy of a veteran star, but she’s still got a whole lot up her sleeves. Promising “exciting stuff in the near future”, Au/Ra AKA Jamie Lou tells me all about how she got to where she is now. From dancing around the house to her dad’s Pink Floyd records, to playing Nintendo DS in her parent’s music studios at five years young, there are beats pumping through her veins. Without a doubt one to watch, Au/Ra is already one to follow on Insta (with over 10k loyal fans) and teaming up with some of music’s best. Shooting Au/Ra at the HUNGER Studio, we sat down to get to know the mind behind the music…

Who is Au/Ra?

Au/Ra came from a Lord of the Rings fanfiction that I wrote when I was 12… So random. The name Aura always spoke to me. Then I realised that Au is the sign for gold on the periodic table – a coveted metal – and Ra is radium, which is a dangerous element. I felt like it was two sides to one story.

Do you like having a stage name?

Yeah definitely. It helps me separate the two worlds.

You were Ibiza-born and Antigua-raised, has this had an influence on your music?

For sure: it’s been a learning experience growing up in Antigua, I’ve lived a life away from Western society. I think it meant I had a really different upbringing to kids in First World countries, which I’d say had a big influence on what I create.

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Do you have much of an affinity to Ibiza now?

Mostly through my dad, who discovered his style there, so it was where I first learnt about music, and I guess that’s where it all started. But I haven’t been back there in around 10 years.

In ‘Outsiders’ you sample Pink Floyd, are they one of your main influences?

Yeah they are definitely ultimate icons. I really grew up with them: Another Brick In The Wall represented so much and I really love how daring they always have been.

How does it feel to be a 15 year old girl in music right now?

The combination of being young and being a female can be really tough, people don’t tend to take you very seriously. I’ve always felt like I get on a lot better with older people because I’m so close to my parents, and I work with my dad so that helps. It’s so great to be around the amount of female energy in music right now, and see women becoming so paramount in the industry’s success.

What’s it like to grow up within the joining worlds of music and social media?

I find it a mix between it feeling like a lot of pressure and sort of comforting. I’m a huge Instagram addict, and I really like that you can connect with people so easily on it. For the tiny fan base that I have, it’s great to be able to interact with them. But it is intimidating: I’m the person who will spend 2 hours thinking of a caption, choosing a filter, worrying about the post.

Does it affect your psyche to be so young and have over 10K followers?

Yeah for sure, it gives me social media anxiety, it’s a serious thing.

You’ve spoken about mental health, in ‘Panic Room’ especially, do you find it’s empowering to use music as an outlet?

For sure, that’s why I do it. I myself haven’t found a lot of reassuring songs that talk about it, so it’s cool for me to be able to talk about these things in symbolic ways.

Was this always what you wanted to do?

Definitely, singing was my first love. But I had awful stage fright, and only really this year have I started to enjoy performing. I got over it by joining a choir and becoming a part of a group really helped me to get over my fear. But before I would sob at the thought of a solo… And then my dad is a producer and my mum is a songwriter so music is really in my blood.

That’s so nice, do you write together much?

Yeah my mum and I have written songs together before. She’s who made me who I am! My parents were like the first people I created with…

What would your Plan B be?

Some sort of creative writing… Scriptwriting maybe!

What’s your favourite song of all time?

Ah gosh… If I had to pick just one I’d say ‘Bel Air’ by Lana Del Rey.

What’s your favourite dish?

My Grandma’s salmon.

What’s your guilty pleasure song?

‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor Swift.

What’s your style inspiration?

Seoul, Korea street fashion.

Tupac or Biggie?

Tupac.

 

Where’s your happy place?

On the beach in Antigua.

London or Ibiza?

Ibiza. SORRY, just for the weather.

Britney or Madonna?

Britney.

IRL or URL?

IRL.

Check out Au/Ra on Instagram here, and listen to the new CamelPhat remix of ‘Panic Room’ below now… Stay tuned for more coming soon.