PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELICE TRINIDAD

The indie pop artist connects along with her on-line following by means of her distinctive trend 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 believe the imagery of the sunshine shining by means of the darkish can also be simply actually stunning.”  Hannah Bussiere, the Korean-Canadian musician behind Luna Li, says she needed a stage title she may “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 title 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 taking part in completely 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 motive — the multi-instrumental musician’s entrancing tunes and vibrant trend appears to be like communicate to her individuality as an artist.

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

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

Bussiere at all times needed to make music. With a classical coaching background, she performs a myriad of devices to her songs. From harp to violin to electrical guitar — and naturally vocals — every of Luna Li’s songs are their very own distinct symphony. However earlier than she began as Luna Li, Bussiere hesitated to pursue indie pop due to the shortage of illustration for Asian ladies throughout the style.

“After I was type of 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 plenty of illustration [for me] there. I initially began to pursue that aspect 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 needed to be, Bussiere determined to go away the classical world and enterprise into Toronto’s music scene anyway. “Regardless of not at all times feeling like I slot in or seeing myself in that scene, I began to simply understand that I used to be going to be the primary one there to characterize myself and I had plenty of help, which was nice,” she says.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELICE TRINIDAD

Luna Li’s method to model — and rejecting trend norms

Luna Li’s music is optimistic, and her model replicate this. With numerous patterns, shiny 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 model is fluid and at all times altering; she likes to have parts that really feel magical, whereas nonetheless incorporating a little bit of an edge.

And, crucially, she tries to not let restrictive trend guidelines affect the way in which she clothes, constructing her distinctive look with items that transfer her, as an alternative of following tendencies. “I believe something could 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 for the time being.”

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

Whereas Luna Li’s outfits are deliberately put collectively, Bussiere’s “off responsibility” model is extra laidback. “When it comes to my private model, I attempt to store sustainably,” she says. “I like to go thrifting, and there’s an ideal group for that in Toronto. There are such a lot of outlets and [I try to] additionally help 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 traces between Bussiere and Luna Li. She says this overlap has manifested itself in her model, as a result of she’s not fastidiously curating appears to be like to step on a stage and carry out. It’s additionally impacted her songs. “I believe my music has gotten extra private and extra weak,” she displays. “The blurring of the traces has created a extra genuine story.”

Combatting the male gaze by means of Luna Li

Working with a staff of all ladies produces a magical feeling, Bussiere says. “It’s simply 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 simply type of made this pledge to myself to guarantee that I work with different ladies and attempt to uplift and help different ladies as I am going by means of my profession,” she says. “I additionally simply really feel that there’s this essence of femininity that is part of the Luna Li undertaking, that different ladies are capable of get behind and perceive and assist push the imaginative and prescient to the place I need it to go.”

Relating to issues like photoshoots and music movies for Luna Li, Bussiere is targeted on combatting the male gaze. “After I first began out, I used to be frightened about being judged and males being condescending about my music, and that form of factor. And I believe that basically inhibited me at first, as a result of I used to be at all times attempting to show myself, which was exhausting. So just lately, I’ve been taking a step again from that, and fascinated by how I can current myself essentially the most authentically, and what feels the very best to me,” she explains. “When individuals could be genuine, that’s an important factor. However I can’t be bothered anymore to be frightened about being perceived by males.”

Bussiere hopes to be the illustration that she didn’t have rising up. “Essentially 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 plenty 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 means of such an isolating time. Following her most up-to-date single “Alone However Not Lonely,” the artist will likely be releasing a full-length undertaking later this 12 months. Till then, sustain with Luna Li on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok — and possibly even have your timeline blessed by one in every of her ethereal jam movies. 

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