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Interview: Luna Li Will Catch You in the Afterglow. By Lucas Assagba

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Interview: Luna Li Will Catch You in the Afterglow. By Lucas Assagba

Luna Li is something magical. A multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and all-round astounding presence, the Korean-Canadian songstress is a dream-pop powerhouse, praised by the likes of Wolf Alice and Japanese Breakfast.  I spoke with Luna about her recent projects, her career and everything else!

What do you do in your spare time aside from music?
I like to spend time outside in nature, drink tea in my mom's garden, dance with friends, go swimming and crochet.

What were your favourite records released this year?
I love HYPNOS by Ravyn Lenae, Between All Things by OHMA, Emotional Eternal by Melody's Echo Chamber, MOTOMAMI by Rosalia, and Getaway by Orion Sun.

Your debut album was released earlier this year, how are you feeling about it now?
I recently played a string of headline shows in the US and it was so surreal to hear everyone singing my lyrics from the album back to me. The fact that my songs could gather people and have them singing all together felt really special. I'm very self-critical so I go through ups and downs with how I think about my music, but experiencing those moments on tour made me feel proud of the project as a whole.

Why did you choose to call it Duality?
Duality represents my identity as a Korean-Canadian musician, as well as the fusing of my classical background with a more contemporary sound. I had been working on the album for about 4 years and at the end of it had to find a title that felt like it encompassed the project. When Duality came up as I was brainstorming in my notebook it felt like the perfect fit.

You’ve collaborated with a few artists throughout your career, such as Beabadoobee and Jay Som - who’s your dream collaboration and why?
My dream collaboration is probably Kevin Parker - Tame Impala was a huge inspiration for me as I was deciding to pursue music as a career and holds a really special place in my heart.

As someone who got their big break over lockdown, what was it like leaving lockdown and interacting with your fans in real life?
It was really crazy to start touring in these places I'd never been to before and have people come to the shows and know the lyrics. After spending so much time stuck in my bedroom it filled me with energy again to be able to play to and connect with people in real life.

Social media was a big part of your career, especially at the start: what’s your opinion on how social media is affecting the music industry?
Social media is a powerful tool. I definitely have mixed feelings about it, but I feel really grateful that it was able to help kickstart my career and I wouldn't be where I am without it.

Last year you toured with Japanese Breakfast, one of the few prominent AAPI [Asian-American and Pacific Islander] women in the indie scene – how does it feel to be a woman in the AAPI community making indie music?
Michelle [Zauner] is a really big inspiration to me as another half-Korean woman in the indie world, so it was a dream come true to be able to open for Japanese Breakfast. To see so many young Asian women at our shows was so meaningful.

What’s the production process like when you make the short songs of the Jams EPs? Is this very different to how you make your full-length songs?
Making the jams I sit in my home studio and start recording right away without overthinking it. For my full-length songs, I like to sit with them for a lot longer, crafting them more meticulously, and the process looks a bit different every time.

What would you have done as a career if not music?
I've always known I wanted to do music so I'm not exactly sure, but probably something else in the arts - maybe photography or some kind of visual art.

What are your big three star signs and do you agree with them?
Libra sun, Cancer moon and Cancer rising, and yes, I do agree with them.

What’s next after Jams 2? Do you have another full-length record planned, or will you make another Jams EP?
I'm in the very beginning stages of working on another full-length record. My focus is definitely back to music with lyrics for now.

What’s your end goal in music; what do you ultimately want to achieve in your career?
My goal is to create connection and community and to spread joy with music. I want to make great art and travel the world with it.

Luna Li’s debut album, Duality, along with both of her Jams EPs, are out now!

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