Tell us about your story as an artist. 

My journey in music began at a young age after placing at a few singing competitions and talent shows in the Toronto area. It ignited a passion for music as well as a thrill for the stage, and it was during these exact moments that I realized I loved to entertain. It wasn’t until 10th grade that I started writing my own original songs because of a birthday gift that I received from my parents; a cheap USB microphone that came with a pop filter and a sketchy boom arm. Looking at it from my parents’ perspective, it was probably just a gimmick-y present that I would have fun with from time to time, but little did they know, it was the start of a career. As an Asian-Canadian creative, being in the arts is not exactly what others expect from you and I didn’t have a lot of support in my early years. I was often told to keep music as a hobby and that I couldn’t go anywhere with it, but it ended up pushing me to pursue it even more. When it came down to it, I turned to my friends in high school for support and always showed them what I was working on. High school is also where I first met biosphere, the producer of BLAST OFF! (and the rest of the Calamity album), whose work in the Lo-Fi community has been recognized worldwide. Coming up together and releasing a collaboration project has always been on our bucket list and to finally do that now is truly gratifying. His production and distinct style has definitely shaped the record into something unique and has ultimately pushed us way out of our comfort zones. As artists, sometimes we’re afraid to try new things because of what’s expected of us, but I hope this project can serve as a reminder that doing things that are different can lead to so much growth.

What do you think is the most important aspect of your life right now?

The most important aspect of my life right now is work and collaboration. For the past few years, I’ve been working on myself as an artist and as a human being. I still feel like I have so much more to learn and develop, but I also realize that I can’t do it alone. It’s why I love collaboration. I think that whenever you go into situations without an ego and with an open mind, you can learn a lot through the perspectives of others. It’s also why I’m part of the collective, LAB0916, which is made up of some very talented, multifaceted creatives. The team has shaped me into a well-rounded artist and has shown me that by working together, anything is possible. As of right now, my main focus in life is to be better and work harder so that I can build a platform that inspires younger artists who are just starting out. 

What makes this song special in your opinion?

I think the process of writing this song was so special because we wrote it all in one sitting. I pulled up an old beat from biosphere during a studio session with Koven (who killed his verses by the way) and it felt like he and I were on the same wavelength. A lot of artists can relate to having their “aha!” moments that we’re always searching for and this was really an instance of that. The song came together so naturally and, in tandem, Koven and I were constantly building off ideas that we bounced off of each other. We kept the track a secret from biosphere because we knew he would be mind-blown and when we finally showed him what we had made, his reaction was absolutely priceless. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling that I had when creating BLAST OFF! because it was just that special. 

What inspired this track?

As a kid, I loved watching movies and films, especially Star Wars. So much so that I would beg my parents to buy those toy lightsabers everytime we passed by a Toys”R”Us. I thought it would be super cool to create a song that was inspired by the first movie (A New Hope), with the classic “Damsel in Distress” theme. 

What are some of the core messages here?

I think the song is a fun and interesting record that explores the idea of a long distance relationship in a different way. We wanted to put a spin on the typical “she’s there, I’m here” theme and instead, tell an over-the-top, exaggerated version of the same idea. Apart from the contents of the track itself, we were looking to have the record mean so much more, in terms of being able to build a world that the audience can imagine when listening to it. I think some of the most special songs in history take their listeners into another place, and we hope BLAST OFF! does just that.

How do you think tik tok and social media are contributing to change an artist’s career?

The emergence of TikTok and social media has been both a blessing and a curse in changing an artist’s career. It has definitely leveled out the playing field for many artists that want to start getting into music because now everyone has a shot at blowing up and having their careers changed forever. I am a big believer that one hit can change your life and social media is the perfect platform for that to happen. At the same time, there’s a lot of pressure with social media. Trends come and go so fast that it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the need to stay relevant. I think the pressure of constantly needing to create content can get to artists, especially when they just want to focus on making music. At the end of the day, there’s gotta be a good balance between the two in order to maximize an artist’s chances at having a successful career.

What excites you about your life?

At the moment, my life isn’t very clear cut in terms of what direction I want to take it in and that’s what makes it so exciting. I thrive in uncertainty and I like trying new things because it means that I am growing and learning. I really want to explore different places because, as an artist, it’s always important to constantly gain experiences and I believe that our daily life is so narrow in comparison to how much the world actually has to offer. To put it simply, the unknown excites me. 

What are some of your core values as a human being?

I really hold perseverance as a core value because it’s been the story of my whole life. As a kid, my mom would always say “if you want something, you have to work for it” and hearing those words has always reminded me that I need to work hard and hold myself accountable. When you’re faced with a task that seems grueling and difficult, it can be really easy to call it quits halfway through, but I believe that when you don’t give up, really special things can come out of it. Everything that happens, good or bad, is a chance to learn and improve which is why I think it’s so important to adopt a “glass half full” mindset. Staying optimistic and determined is not only good for you, it is always very infectious to those around you. Being a creative isn’t only about individual success, it is about changing the creative landscape and having an impact on art, regardless of how big or small.

What are your projects for this year?

Now that the collaboration album has been released, I am looking forward to dropping my own solo EP at the end of the year. The sound of my solo records is definitely very different from the sound on Calamity, but it’s a true culmination of all the experiences that I’ve gained throughout the years as an artist. I’m also currently songwriting for other singers for their projects as well. Outside of music, I’m hoping to get more into other artistic fields like acting and dance, which I’ve always had a strong interest in, so who knows where you might see me next!