game boy, Minaya’s favourite track, is the coming together of all that she’s picked up on her travels, and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way. A suave, unruffled, and trip-hop infused intro will grab your attention, but it’s her lyrical whispers that linger long after the track is done.

Minaya Alomar, or @fuxluna on BandLab, had only recently compiled her first mixtape, aura. Gutsy, bold, introspective, and real in a way that many artists try to be; aura. has blossomed to be a truly passionate and expressive collection of tracks for listeners to reminisce to. The five tracks, game boy one of them, were put together in less than 24 hours.

“I’m pretty new to creating music, honestly,” she laughs, “it started as a hobby, but I only began taking it seriously very recently.”

How recent? Six months, in a cafe in Dallas, with people on their guitars jamming to off-the-cuff renditions of their favourite songs. All the good vibes that went with the creation, and recreation, of music that afternoon swayed Minaya into her own music journey, and she sat down with us to tell us all about it.

Tell us more about that cafe you stumbled into.

The cafe I walked into had these people just sitting down with their guitars and improvising songs from their favourite artists – the whole place just sounded so optimistic! I sat down with them, we chatted for awhile, and we shared about ourselves; about how I loved to sing, and it was then that I realised it must be really fun to create your own music.

What came next? Where else did you look to get the inspiration?

My favourite musicians! I am very inspired by the older artists like Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, and also modern day artists like Kali Uchis and Steve Lacy. So since that fateful day in Dallas, I’ve been trying my hands on covers, just trying to find myself and find my sound. aura. Is the first mixtape, or the first anything really, that I’ve put out from me, and for me.

How long was aura. in the works for?

I’d like to call aura. a coming of self for me; to know myself, who I am, and that allowed me to do just what I wanted to do. That meant going against what my family wanted to do, of course, but that’s given me the space and liberty to continue working on myself.

That’s actually why I’m in the tri-state area, away from home, taking my chances and doing something different each day, things my friends nor my family could never do. aura. is the reflection of that coming of self I’ve had.

What are the stories behind your lyrics?

I come from a small town in Frisco, Texas, and everybody there is doing the same thing; following the same trends, or worrying about the same things. I was very different to the other people, and it was difficult to break from the routine everybody else were in. You’d get judged for being individual, and that was something I was always afraid of.

The songs to aura. are to myself, to my family, to my friends, and to everyone else who have judged me for being me. I’ve always been appreciative of course, I love my family and friends, and now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been to be able to express myself through music.

Our favourite song is the cover you did of Awoo. You sing in Korean too?

Awoo is a song that I really, really love, it’s by the Korean artist Lim Kim. I lived in Korea for five months at the beginning of this year, and it was definitely another road to finding myself. People are often so closed-minded to music outside of what they often listen to, so to discover their music scene, their underground scene, it was all just breath of fresh air.

How did BandLab help you in getting you from your first cover, to your own mixtape?

I didn’t have any serious motive with BandLab when I first downloaded the app. It helped me with layers of my own vocals, one on top of the other, for covers, but I discovered more of what BandLab are capable of, and that helped me get serious with my music. I was jotting more words and beats down, and the next thing I knew, aura. came about, and the now sky’s the limit.

You can listen to aura. here, and you should definitely get in touch with @fuxluna for a collaborative effort!