On her debut album ‘Duality,’ Luna Li finds a sense of belonging between two worlds : NPR

Luna Li’s debut album, Duality, bridges her identification as a classical musician and dreampop singer.

Felice Trinidad/Courtesy of the artist

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Felice Trinidad/Courtesy of the artist

Luna Li’s debut album, Duality, bridges her id as a classical musician and dreampop singer.

Felice Trinidad/Courtesy of the artist

Hannah Bussiere Kim, who performs as Luna Li, has experienced a various musical vocation. Commencing with classical piano, she afterwards progressed to violin, and her audio finally grew to include things like harp, electric powered guitar, bass and drums. Now, the Korean-Canadian artist’s audio teeters on the edge of rock, dreampop, and classical, — and her debut album Duality, which dropped previous 7 days, sounds like a welcome from a further universe.

Here, she speaks with Weekend Edition about diverging from her orchestral trajectory, the duality of her id and discovering independence in a phase persona.

This interview has been edited for size and clarity.

Debbie Elliott, Weekend Version: During the pandemic, you went viral with your jams — these charming musical interludes that you posted on social media in which you were being enjoying all of these devices from your bed room. How did those affect this very first album?

Luna Li: Yeah, it can be been kind of an fascinating trajectory with that since I’ve been functioning on this album for 4 a long time, which feels like a incredibly very long time, especially in your early twenties. And the jams type of came about midway via that course of action, so they have been type of both equally taking place at the same time. So some of the album’s tracks are pre-jams, and some of them are write-up-jams, which were being affected by everything that I learned about creation and arrangement when I designed these jams. So it’s a huge span of the 4 decades with the jams variety of sandwiched in the middle.

A person of your tracks, “By itself But Not Lonely,” appears to be to converse to the pandemic knowledge, since so a lot of of us experienced to discover distinctive methods to hook up and maintain relationships. What is actually your tale at the rear of this music?

I really wrote the track pre-pandemic. I had just moved out of my parents’ home for the quite very first time, and acquired my have condominium. I experienced a pair of roommates and they were generally by no means house and we experienced so lots of cockroaches. We have been [in] downtown Toronto and I was just feeling genuinely lonely and unfortunate, just sitting down in the apartment with all the cockroaches. I resolved to form of just make a song to cheer myself up, and “By itself But Not Lonely” grew to become a mantra to me that I repeated to myself right until it genuinely turned true.

For a although, you were on your way to perform violin in an orchestra. What last but not least pulled you away from that and more toward this dreamy pop audio?

Just after large university, I felt this strain to go to college, even though I wasn’t particularly confident what I wished to do. I understood I wished it to be in music, but I did not know just what that job was going to be. And I ended up heading to McGill [University] in Montreal for violin, and we experienced this one class that generally every 7 days we experienced a guest speaker and they had been just about every type of in a distinct occupation route that you could take immediately after undertaking the program. And I just try to remember sitting there week just after 7 days and contemplating, I really don’t want to do any of these jobs. And all around that time, I had also gotten a lot more concerned with the Toronto audio scene and looking at my close friends back house. I just seriously needed to start building my individual audio. So I dropped out following a person semester and with the assistance of my mothers and fathers, which was seriously amazing and my good friends ended up supportive and that created a substantial change, and I moved back to Toronto to type of just commence my individual job.

Inform me how you came up with your initially album’s title Duality. What does that indicate to you?

The name Duality to start with came about when I was getting a conversation with my producer, Braden [Sauder], and he famous that a lot of the songs on my album definitely did not just have a person topic or emotion. If it experienced unfortunate lyrics, there would be a delighted melody, or if it was a happy track, there would however be some factor of stress or uncertainty. And so I was carrying out a big brainstorm for album titles in my notebook, and the phrase “duality” arrived up. And as I was thinking about it far more, I recognized how considerably it truly utilized to my identification. Initially of all, my musical identity, with hoping to blend my classical background with these newfound rock and pop and R&B sounds that I was discovering, but also my heritage being 50 % Korean and half Canadian and making an attempt to master how to equilibrium those people two worlds and components of myself expanding up. And so it just genuinely felt like a fitting title, not just for the new music, but also just for exactly where I was at in everyday living.

The moon is a concept that you occur again to in your new music. It is even component of your overall performance persona, Luna Li. It can be also featured on a number of of your tracks. What draws you to the moon?

I’ve generally just assumed that the moon has a really unique and potent female vitality. And that was usually some thing that felt so inspiring and variety of just plain, that I wished to have it be a definitely massive section of my art. And developing up, and becoming element of the Toronto scene, I failed to really see a whole lot of women of all ages, and primarily Asian girls, executing. And so when I started out, I made this level that I truly desired to be a massive part of representation and operating with far more gals and getting much more girls engage in in my band and be noticed on phase. And so that was usually a actually massive part of the challenge for me, which ties into the full thought of female power.

An additional music, “Silver Into Rain,” is a collaboration with the singer beabadoobee. The lyrics in the song are: “I am way too youthful for my age, far too shy for the stage, far too watchful to be brave.” What is this track about? Is this about rising up?

Yeah, it can be about rising, and my insecurities about myself and pondering if I can be great ample to pursue this craft and public persona and music. And I developed the name Luna Li in buy to have a little something to step outdoors of myself. Luna could be anyone who is more self-confident and far more huge on phase, and that actually served me with my phase existence whilst obtaining these insecurities about my have self. But I also wrote that song when it was raining in Toronto for, I imagine, 10 days straight — my sneakers were soaked all 7 days and I was just actually sensation down mainly because of the rain, and that total song arrived out of it.

What are you hoping listeners will consider from this album?

When I wrote this album, I was making an attempt to come across a place for myself in this environment, primarily coming back again to the point of remaining 50 percent Korean and fifty percent Canadian and under no circumstances really emotion like I belonged in either, despite type of staying a element of each. I identified a position for myself in making this album, and I want to invite anybody who would not experience like they belong to come and listen, and be a section of the Luna Li globe. And I hope that they can come to feel acknowledged no matter who they are.