Aluna Francis on Her New Album and That Time She Sang with Sia at a Grammys After-Party
Even if you don't know Aluna Francis, chances are you've heard her sing. As one-half of the British synth-pop duo AlunaGeorge (along with producer George Reid), the London-born artist has lent her cooing, childlike vocals to hit tracks by Disclosure, Baauer, and Justin Bieber-approved EDM DJ duo Jack Ü. Now, the band is releasing their much-hyped sophomore album, I Remember, in September and opening for Sia on tour this fall. Ahead of their performance at Panorama Music Festival, Francis talked to InStyle about AlunaGeorge's new release, singing with Sia at Katy Perry's party, and the festival trend that needs to go away.
Tell us about your new album.
We didn't try to move too far away from what we were doing before, but we're always trying to develop our skills and move forward as musicians. Almost every song we do is different from the previous one. We did a lot of writing for this album, and through that we developed the sound. It's much bigger.
"Mean What I Mean" is being embraced as a female empowerment anthem about consent. Was that your original intent with the song?
I was in a situation where somebody was not taking no for an answer, and I just realized that you can't leave it up to other people to give you the respect that you deserve as a human being, unless you really believe in yourself. And that's not to say the blame isn't with the other person: You have a part in whether you feel good in a situation. That's why I made the lyrics playful and joyous—it's very simple; l didn't want to overcomplicate it. People should feel free to interpret it however they want. I want them to listen to it and feel empowered. Positivity is very empowering.
How did the tour with Sia come about?
It actually started at Katy Perry's after-party for the Grammys. Sia performed "Chandelier" and asked everyone to sing along, and I was one of the only people to sing along with her. She's one of the best songwriters out there. I'd love to collaborate with her one day if she has the time.
Are there certain essentials that you always take on the road?
My packing is so concise these days. I love the Germaine de Capuccini moisturizing face wipes ($15/set of 20; germaine-de-capuccini.co.uk). I put those on as soon as I get offstage. Then Kiehl's Super Fluid UV SPF 50+ sun tan lotion ($38; kiehls.com) and an awesome choker.
What are your thoughts on festival style?
If I'm performing in 85-degree heat, that's definitely going to have an effect on an outfit, but other than that, it varies. I've never been much of a designer shopper. Big department stores intimidate me. My style will always be comprised of one classically cut piece that you can find on High Street mixed with things from vintage stores. I'm big into menswear because I've got a bit of a tomboy-ish figure and really long limbs. One day, I want to cover my whole body in flash tattoos.
Is there one festival trend you're not down with?
The booty short has never gone out of fashion. But if you're going to do it, do something different with it. Denim is so boring. Get some paint. Cover it your own design. Put some patches on or tassels. Make your ass stand out!
Watch the music video for "I'm In Control" above, and pre-order I Remember for $10 on the iTunes Store.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.