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Q&A: Anna Lunoe Talks Touring With Banks And The Weeknd, New Music, Dancing Droids

Anna Lunoe is bubbling up from Down Under and pitching to take America by storm. The DJ-producer's new single, "Breathe" is her own salute to vintage rave culture, which comes just in the nick of time as the US is begging for dance beats from before there was EDM. VIBE caught up with Lunoe in NYC this week at Le Poisson Rouge, moments before she took to the stage for a stellar performance. Meet your new favorite femme artist now...

VIBE: What can you tell VIBE about the inspiration behind your new single “Breathe”?
Anna Lunoe: I’ve always been really in love with vintage house sounds and as a kid I was obsessed with early 90s and late 80s rave culture, just from what I would see on TV. So with this record we sampled John Rocca “Move” and it was just that bass-line that started the whole song off. That’s where the inspiration for the whole track started. Then it was a matter of just making something that felt like a really strong dance track, but also have a lot of soul, a lot of heart and a lot of house credibility.

Have you got any backstage stories from your tour with The Weeknd and Banks?
I’ve got to say I don’t want to ruin his reputation as being like a mad party animal but I have not seen too much raging going on. I think because the tour is so grueling, we’re doing like a show every single night in a different city you cannot go crazy when it’s like that, you have to keep it together.

Did you spend every night with them on tour?
I hang out with Banks all the time, we share a bus, but The Weeknd has his own bus. So it’s kind of like the girls’ bus and the boys’ bus. We don’t hang out with him too much, but he’s super cool. He comes and hangs out with us every now and then.

What do you miss the most about Australia?
I miss the dance music community and I miss the parties that we throw, I get really sad when I see them on Instagram and I’m not there. I miss my family.

What have you discovered about America since you've been in LA that you didn't expect?
Lots of things. It’s an amazing country like it’s exactly where I want to be right now. Especially for dance music in LA there’s just such a pumping, living, breathing organism. There’s so much going on and so much stuff to be inspired by. America is a big, amazing country and I’m just getting to know a tiny bit of it. On this tour I’m going to Atlanta for the first time and Seattle and all these places. It’s just huge compared to little Australia.

As a multifaceted artist who can produce, DJ and sing what would be your favorite aspect of your career and why?
I think that DJ’ing is definitely at the top of the list because I just couldn’t imagine not doing it, that’s my gateway into everything. But at the same time it’s all balanced and you need all of the three legs of the tricycle.

Do you still get stage fright when you go on to perform?
I’ve been doing this for a minute and I feel like there are only a few situations where I really get my blood pumping and feel nervous. It’s very rare now.

Have you got any crazy fan/stalker stories?
I have the best fans, I mean it feels weird even saying that, but I have really great supporters and people who have taken an interest in what I do and they’re always really cool. They’re always really normal and not at all creepy. It’s not like The Weeknd, that’s a totally different story, he’s so mysterious no one can get to him, whereas for me I’m in front of them, I’m a meter away. Like they’ll say hi and I’ll speak to them, it doesn’t incite that type of creepiness.

What's next for you as an artist? Have you got any more music coming out soon that we should know about?
Yeah I’ve got a bunch of stuff already done, that’s all lined up ready to go. I can’t wait for it to get out. “Breathe” has been ready for a few. A bunch of stuff that’s coming out in December, a single called Satisfaction and then an EP in January.

Are there any new videos coming out soon?
Yes. Cara directed the video for "Breathe," and that video will be dropping within probably the next week or two weeks. So that’s cool. I play a very weird dancing droid.

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Erykah Badu Denies Producers Contacted Her For 'Surviving R. Kelly'

Erykah Badu is hitting back against dream hampton after she claimed that producers of Surviving R. Kelly contacted the singer to appear in the Lifetime docuseries. Badu claims that she was never contacted, and would like hampton to provide the receipts or apologize.

It all started when a fan pointed out that Badu and R. Kelly worked with one another years ago, which is why she allegedly chose not to be apart of the docuseries. Erykah rejected that comment, stating that she had never worked with him on music or declined to appear in the documentary.

Hampton stepped in by claiming that a producer attempted to contact Badu, but did not receive a response. "I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, 'No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly' & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards," dream tweeted.

Badu quickly responded: No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple."

Badu and hampton's latest back and forth comes only days after the neo-soul artist was criticized for seemingly defending R. Kelly amid his sexual abuse allegations at a concert in Chicago. She later clarified her remarks about the disgraced singer, saying that she did not approve of his actions, but believed he was deserving of love and assistance.

Check out Badu and hampton's exchange below.

I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, "No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly" & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards. https://t.co/yYBvP8bBIj

— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 22, 2019

No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple. https://t.co/cgBcpPePMI

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 23, 2019

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Judge Removes Tekashi 6ix9ine's Lawyer From Racketeering Case

Tekashi 6ix9ine is in need of new legal representation. A judge has reportedly removed one of 6ix9ine's lawyers from his racketeering case ahead of his trial, XXL reports. The decision was made during a pre-trial conference on Tuesday (Jan. 22).

The presiding Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ruled that the 6ix9ine's lawyer, Lance Lazarro, would have to be removed from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. Lazarro reportedly represented Tekashi's co-defendants, Faheem "Crippy" Walter and Kifano "Shotti" Jordan before representing 6ix9ine in his racketeering case.

During the conference, Engelmayer stated that he was upset that Lazarro had not disclosed his relationship with the co-defendants previously. Lazarro reportedly represented Walter for a gang assault charge in Oct. 2018 and Jordan for numerous charges in 2009 and 2015. He explained that he didn't think the matter was important to mention.  Judge Engelmayer responded by noting that it wasn't the attorney's place to determine whether his previous work was significant.

Lazzaro will not be able to act as Tekashi's lawyer until he sends letters detailing the extent of his relationships with Walter and Jordan. If the judge finds no conflict of interest, Lazarro will be able to return as an acting attorney for Tekashi. Dawn Florio will continue as part of Tekashi's legal team.

As previously reported, the "Stoopid" artist, Walter, and Jordan are awaiting trial for a racketeering case. Tekashi pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in Nov. 2018. If convicted, he could face a life sentence in prison. His trial date is slated to begin on Sept. 4.

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Drake And Odell Backham Jr. Sued For Orchestrating Violent Attack On Man

Drake and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are reportedly being sued for allegedly orchestrating a violent attack on a man in a West Hollywood club, TMZ reports. According to court docs obtained by the celeb site, Bennett Sipes is accusing Drake and Beckham of telling their entourage to beat him up after a brief confrontation.

Sipes claims the incident occurred in the VIP section of the Delilah nightclub after he began to argue with Drizzy, Beckham, Kourtney Kardashian's ex-boyfriend Younes Benjima, and the rest of their crew. A source close to the incident claims Sipes was "talking smack" at the time. When he attempted to exit the area, Sipes alleges that Drake gave him the "cut throat" gesture.

When the victim entered the bathroom, he was attack by Benjima and Drake and Beckham's friends. The whole fight was caught on video, showing Benjima throwing the first punch at Sipes. Drake and OBJ are also seen on camera watching from a distance.

Sipes reportedly filed a police report following the incident, but dropped it shortly after. He is suing OBJ, Drake, Delilah and others other for an undisclosed amount.

Check out footage from the attack below.

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