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Q&A with Luna Li

By: Gemma Mastroianni

Photo by Felice Trinidad

Toronto's own Luna Li (Hannah Bussiere Kim) has released her highly anticipated debut album Duality earlier this month. I first came across the Korean-Canadian multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, and producer, when her band was playing at a local venue I was at for drinks. I unexpectedly ended up watching her show, and have been following along ever since. Duality was released on March 4th, 2022 via In Real Life (Liv.e, Peggy Gou, CLIP.)

I adore Duality from front to back. It takes listeners on a Dream-Pop/Psych-Rock trip with lyrical themes of self discovery and relationships. It features artists such as Beabadoobee, Jay Som, and more. After following along for years and admiring the album, it was awesome to conduct this Q&A with Hannah. Check out our chat below:

How are you doing!? You must be so excited for the record and touring.

I'm doing great! It feels so good that the album is finally out in the world. What does Duality mean in the world of Luna Li?

Duality refers to a few different things - the variety and balance of themes on the album, the blend of my classical background with a rock/pop/r&b sound, and my mixed Korean/Canadian background. I understand you created this record over the past four years. Primarily where did you write this? Do you tend to write music at a specific time of day?

I wrote most of these songs in my various bedrooms as I've moved around a bit over the last several years - my childhood bedroom, the bedroom in my first apartment, and the bedroom of the apartment I currently live in. I'm a HUGE fan of Jay Som so it's really incredible and exciting to see you collaborate with her. What was this experience like and what is your biggest takeaway from her?

I'm also a huge fan of Jay Som! She was so amazing and incredibly easy to work with. I just reached out to her on instagram to see if she would like to do a feature on the album and she said yes! I sent her Boring Again and she just came up with such a cool verse. It was the most exciting thing listening to her part for the first time and it still never gets old. What kept you inspired to complete this album through the duration of the pandemic? What did you to do find new inspiration? It was a creatively draining time for many creatives.

I definitely had periods of time where inspiration came and went, but over the pandemic the thing that really breathed new life into the songs was adding the features. I also really felt the drive to get this album over the finish line as it had been so long, so I never lost my motivation with that. Do you have a favourite track on the album and why?

My favourite changes all the time! Recently I've been excited about "What You're Thinking" - it was the last one that I added to the album, and the one I had the heaviest hand on in terms of the production. I'm really proud of how it turned out, and we also shot a music video for it in LA last month which was really fun.

What can showgoers expect from your upcoming tour?

I think the energy in the room is going to be really special. I'm bringing my harp on tour for the first time which I'm very excited about, and have worked on elevating several elements of the show. I can't wait to share it! Can you name some other artists you draw inspiration from visually? Your visuals are and have always been fantastic!

I've always been obsessed with Solange's visuals, the way dance and movement is such a huge part of her project is so inspiring to me. I also love Raveena's colourful magical world, and Remi Wolf's weird and amazing rainbow universe. What is one thing you want your listeners to take from Duality?

I hope everyone feels welcomed and accepted in the world of Duality no matter who they are. I love being a part of a cycle of creativity and I hope that people feel inspired to create something when they listen to it! How does the Toronto music scene influence your work today? What advice can you offer musicians looking to get involved with their local arts scene

The Toronto scene was such a huge part of my start, and is still something I'm close to and involved with. I learned so much playing hundreds of shows and playing in several different bands throughout the years. Being part of a musical community is so fulfilling and so helpful when you're trying to get started. I'd say just attend as many shows as you can, try to meet new people who are also interested in music, and try to find or build community around you with like-minded people who are passionate about the arts.

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