PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELICE TRINIDAD

The indie pop artist connects along with her on-line following by way of her distinctive style sense and entrancing music.

Luna Li is impressed by nature, and is especially drawn to the moon. “The moon is so highly effective, and it has a female vitality which resonates with me,” she says. “I feel the imagery of the sunshine shining by way of the darkish can be simply actually lovely.”  Hannah Bussiere, the Korean-Canadian musician behind Luna Li, says she wished a stage identify she might “step into” to tackle an unapologetic, assured presence when performing. Bussiere feels grounded when she’s within the presence of the moon (or “luna” in Italian and Spanish) — her dreamy melodies and self-imposed nickname “moon fairy” come from this supply of creativity — and so the identify Luna Li was born.

In March 2020, after COVID-19 first hit, Bussiere began posting “jam movies” to her social media — clips of her in her bed room enjoying totally different devices, which she then cuts and layers to create pop melodies. From these movies, Bussiere cultivated a big on-line following. And for good cause — the multi-instrumental musician’s entrancing tunes and vibrant style seems to be communicate to her individuality as an artist.

The Toronto-born musician chatted with FASHION about developing within the music scene, her type philosophy and her imaginative and prescient for the “Luna Li mission,” which is how Bussiere refers to her musical alter ego.

Navigating Toronto’s not-so-inclusive indie music scene

Bussiere all the time wished to make music. With a classical coaching background, she performs myriad devices in her songs. From harp to violin to electrical guitar — and naturally vocals — every of Luna Li’s songs is its personal distinct symphony. However earlier than she began as Luna Li, Bussiere hesitated to pursue indie pop due to the dearth of illustration for Asian ladies inside the style.

“After I was looking for my path, it was a bit of tough as a result of I began within the classical world, and I felt that there was a variety of illustration [for me] there. I initially began to pursue that facet of issues as a result of that’s the place I noticed myself, and never a lot within the Toronto indie scene,” she says.

Feeling like she wasn’t but the place she wished to be, Bussiere determined to go away the classical world and enterprise into Toronto’s music scene anyway. “Regardless of not all the time feeling like I slot in or seeing myself in that scene, I began to only understand that I used to be going to be the primary one there to signify myself and I had a variety of assist, which was nice,” she says.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELICE TRINIDAD

Luna Li’s method to type — and rejecting style norms

Luna Li’s music is optimistic, and her type displays this. With numerous patterns, vibrant colors and artful equipment, the 24-year-old artist says having a enjoyable wardrobe performs into her general message of positivity. She notes that her type is ever-changing; she likes to have components that really feel magical, whereas nonetheless incorporating a little bit of an edge.

And, crucially, she tries to not let restrictive style guidelines affect the best way she clothes, constructing her distinctive look with items that transfer her, as a substitute of following tendencies. “Something might be cool if it feels genuine,” she says. “So I like to bend the foundations and simply do what I really feel is essentially the most thrilling to me in the meanwhile.”

She cites musicians Raveena and Solange as her style inspirations. Raveena usually mixes texture and color combos to create surrealistic outfits that match her genre-blurring sound. Solange, recognized for her singular type, by no means shies away from clever assertion items.

Whereas Luna Li’s outfits are deliberately put collectively, Bussiere’s “off obligation” type is extra laidback. “When it comes to my private type, I attempt to store sustainably,” she says. “I like to go thrifting, and there’s an amazing neighborhood for that in Toronto. There are such a lot of outlets and [I try to] additionally assist native companies.”

Mixing the worlds of Luna Li and Hannah Bussiere

Doing performances primarily from her room for the previous 12 months has blurred the strains between Bussiere and Luna Li. She says this overlap has manifested itself in her type, as a result of she’s now not fastidiously curating seems to be to step on a stage and carry out. It’s additionally impacted her songs. “I feel my music has gotten extra private and extra weak,” she displays. “The blurring of the strains has created a extra genuine story.”

Combatting the male gaze by way of Luna Li

Working with a staff of all ladies produces a magical feeling, Bussiere says. “It’s one thing actually, actually particular to me.”

“Like 99 p.c of the Luna Li visuals have all been considered by different ladies. After I first entered the scene, there wasn’t very many ladies working and creating, and I made this pledge to myself to be sure that I work with different ladies and attempt to uplift and assist different ladies as I’m going by way of my profession,” she says. “I additionally really feel that there’s this essence of femininity that is part of the Luna Li mission, that different ladies are in a position to get behind and perceive and assist push the imaginative and prescient to the place I would like it to go.”

In terms of issues like photoshoots and music movies for Luna Li, Bussiere is concentrated on combatting the male gaze. “After I first began out, I used to be anxious about being judged and males being condescending about my music, and that form of factor. And I feel that actually inhibited me at first, as a result of I used to be all the time making an attempt to show myself, which was exhausting. So not too long ago, I’ve been taking a step again from that, and fascinated about how I can current myself essentially the most authentically, and what feels the most effective to me,” she explains. “When individuals might be genuine, that’s crucial factor. However I can’t be bothered anymore to be anxious about being perceived by males.”

Bussiere hopes to be the illustration that she didn’t have rising up. “Probably the most significant to me can be to have my music resonate with younger Asian ladies who’re rising up in North America, as a result of that’s immediately my expertise — and there’s a variety of obstacles to face,” she says. “I hope that they will see themselves represented in my music and might really feel seen or heard.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELICE TRINIDAD

Luna Li’s layered orchestral preparations paired along with her distinct voice radiate a sense of freedom, and it’s no shock that her music has resonated with individuals by way of such an isolating time. Following her most up-to-date single “Alone However Not Lonely,” the artist will probably be releasing a full-length mission later this 12 months. Till then, sustain with Luna Li on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok — and possibly even have your timeline blessed by considered one of her ethereal jam movies. 

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