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Talent vs Grit: Anna Lunoe Knows What It Takes to Make It

Anna Lunoe reveals what it takes to make it in the music industry, and how you can better your chances of success.

Talent. Grit. Determination. Luck. Connections. Education. Destiny. Faith. Hard Work. They’re all dissected, debated and discussed as “the” key element of making it in the music industry. Everyone has their own take on which one matters more, matters most, matters not.

Anna Lunoe, however, has tapped into her own combination to break boundaries and find success as a DJ, radio host, producer, vocalist and curator in the dance scene.

What does she think it takes to make it in the music industry?

“Grit – it’s the number one trait in life, full stop,” she tells Rolling Stone AU/NZ.

“Talent is ultimately secondary to grit. If you are willing to be consistent and work wholeheartedly, every day, towards your goals you will get somewhere.”

Lunoe’s used that grit to secure success after success, including her debut EP Anna Lunoe & Friends, as well as performing at Coachella, Lollapalooza and EDC Las Vegas, where she was the first solo female performer to play the main stage.

Her greatest success though, she says, is the slow and consistent build to where she is now, after all, nothing – not even even “overnight successes” – happen overnight. 

“The years of steady growth, managing to somewhat outlast many flash-in-the-pan moments and continuously grow on my own personal journey is what I’m most proud of,” she says. “Sometimes it felt painfully slow, or a dead end, but it’s been many wild and not-so-interesting moments that have ultimately added up to a life I enjoy and that has given me the great gift of the pursuit.” 

Whatever her success, whether past, present or future, she wants to feel like she’s contributing something to the greater good and encouraging people to listen to the voice inside them. 

That’s partly why she’s working with SAE Creative Media Institute, which offers courses in animation, audio, design, film, games, music and creative industries, with campuses in Adelaide, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. One of their newest offerings is their overhauled Bachelor of Music.

“As someone without a formal education, I am proud of my journey, but it involved a lot of trial and error,” she says. “There were a lot of years spent on steps that a formal education could have really helped me skip. I would have loved to have had access to more information, more possibilities, more avenues for growth. The learning in music is not a one-and-done, it’s an ever-evolving industry and it’s cool that a course like this exists that encompasses many different aspects of a career in music and you can learn the skills to build the career you want, onstage or off.”

One of the specialisations SAE offers in its new Bachelor of Music program is songwriting and music production, which will equip emerging songwriters, music producers and composers with advanced production techniques, including mixing and mastering.

Lunoe says once you open the door to songwriting, it’s intoxicating.

Anna Lunoe

Anna Lunoe says dance music changed her world

“Growing up, I was surrounded by music, and the sounds were so diverse. Songwriting was a natural progression for me. There are so many elements to learn, and techniques to develop. All those TV shows and games you play, someone has composed the music. There’s music being created everywhere. Once you open that door, it’s intoxicating. Songwriting started everything,” she says.

She’s also well-versed in electronic music production, another specialisation on offer in SAE’s Bachelor of Music.

“When I found dance music, it changed my world,” she says. “The music spoke to me. I really felt it. It allowed me to express myself freely, without limiting my creativity. Understanding the process of mixing, sound design and mastering. Experimenting with sampling and live programming, it’s a journey that now takes me all over the world.”

There’s also specialisations and electives in music industry and business and creative musicianship. Whichever one aligns with your own talents, grit and drive to succeed, Lunoe has some key advice if you’re about to start learning, growing, creating and succeeding with the help of SAE.

“Dig deep and discover what your unique driver and energy is. Work out what you are offering and build a career around that offering. Have all parts of your business be consistent with that offering. Be kind and work as a team with everyone you can, build each other up and grow together. Be kind to yourself and enjoy each level as you go. It’s definitely a journey over a destination situation.”

SAE has September, February and May intakes, to suit your own schedule and journey. Find out more and enquire with SAE here.

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