Meet Luna Li, Toronto’s ‘angel pop’ sensation taking over the world
Hannah Bussiere Kim, known as Luna Li, is the latest Toronto musician thrust into the international spotlight. Mistaken as an “overnight success” by many, Luna Li has been a fixture in the city’s indie music scene since 2015, originally releasing music as VEINS. In 2017 she dropped Opal Angel, her debut under the Luna Li stage name, capturing the attention of AWAL. Following a spurt of viral jam videos on Instagram, her deal with AWAL was buttressed by In Real Life Music, founded by Imran Ahmed, a music executive helping launch the careers of Vampire Weekend, Peggy Gou and Jai Paul to name a few. Soon after, Luna Li began rolling out her debut album Duality and landed an opening slot on tour with Japanese Breakfast, who she also played violin for on Saturday Night Live.
We chatted with Luna Li about her recent releases, touring and where she finds inspiration for her “angel pop” sound.
How did your debut album Duality come together?
Duality came together over the course of the last four years. It was a long process of working and reworking; carving it out until I had something I was happy with.
“I love how live music connects people in a way that nothing else can.”
What are you most looking forward to while touring the album?
I absolutely love playing shows and it’s really special to be able to share these songs [with] a room full of real people projecting real energy to me and to each other. I love how live music connects people in a way that nothing else can.
You recently released a new EP. Talk to us about Jams 2.
Jams 2 felt like a natural progression after releasing the jams EP last year. People loved the short instrumentals and I had some more I’d been sitting on for a little while; it just felt right to release them.
How has social media affected your music production process?
Creating the jams was a really great exercise in production for me. I learned so much locked up during the pandemic, creating these instrumentals by myself and having to do everything from the writing to the recording to the mixing.
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What has been a pivotal moment in your journey as an artist?
Definitely the Japanese Breakfast tour that I got to do last fall. It was my first big tour and it was amazing to look up to and learn from their whole band and crew. I’m also such a huge Japanese Breakfast fan, and it was so meaningful to me to be able to tour with another Korean-American female-fronted band.
Name the artist you’re most inspired by. Who would your dream collaboration be with? Why?
I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one, but some of my key influences are Tame Impala, Dorothy Ashby, Solange and Moses Sumney. I would absolutely love to collab with Melody Prochet aka Melody’s Echo Chamber. I’ve been a huge fan of her work for a long time and she’s also a violin player like me, and an amazing producer.
Your sound, makeup and style are all specifically Luna Li. How would you categorize your style?
I like to call my genre “angel pop”. It all lives in a dreamworld to me.
What’s next for you?
Touring in the US and Europe for the end of 2022, and then working on lots of new music! It’s so exciting for me to work on something fresh after four years of working on Duality.
Liked reading this interview? Check out our piece with Korea Town Acid.
Rachel Romu is a Glossi Mag contributor.
They are an advocate for disability visibility and inclusion in the entertainment industry, an ATV stunt-driver and a zealous reality TV fan. Rachel also works at Matte PR.