Whether it's starring in campaigns for Louis Vuitton or opening for Doja Cat on the German leg of her world tour, half-Chinese, half-German artist LIA LIA is the stylish, quirky rising punk rocker that's turning heads and quickly making a name for herself.
Following previous singles "City of Tears" and "I'm A Moth!!", LIA LIA is back with her debut EP, Love & Melancholy. Full of rollicking guitars, the release vacillates between raucous highs and vulnerable lows with a balanced mix of thrashing rock anthems and polished pop to echo the same happy/sad duality of its title. Telling the semi-autobiographical tale of growth from "fictional character to real life pop star finally finding her voice," Love & Melancholy sees LIA LIA more confident in herself than ever before.
LIA LIA blurs the line between fantasy and reality, drawing on a mix of inspirations like her upbringing in Shanghai or current life in Berlin. Whether it's the endearing punk of tracks like "2young2die" or the starlit shoegaze of "Overdose," Love & Melancholy has all the twee over-the-top energy of an anime soundtrack and earnest sentiment of a diary entry, sounding like the musical lovechild of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Avril Lavigne.
PAPER caught up with LIA LIA to talk Love & Melancholy, anime and what kind of moth she would be, below.
What was your inspiration for the EP?
I really like the concept of punk. It’s quite freeing to think I don't have to meet any expectations and can be a magnificent failure.
What do you hope people take away from the release?
If you’re quite shy or introverted (like myself), music and art are great ways to communicate with the world and express your feelings. Not everything is easy to say out loud and sometimes it’s easier with a song.
Who are your musical influences?
I like artists who break away from the norm and are true to themselves. I was definitely inspired by rough and raw guitars like those found in Sonic Youth, non-conformity in Death Grip, teenage angst in Avril Lavigne and melancholy in Lana Del Rey.
Who are your personal style icons?
I find most of my style inspiration in Japanese animation. Since childhood this was the pop culture I felt most represented by. Just to name a few: Nana, Fooly Cooly, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, Battle Angel Alita, Megazone 23, Armitage III, Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
If you had to be reincarnated as a moth, what kind of moth would you be?
A silk moth, for sure. They are not only cute and fluffy, but also create something beautiful before they die.
If you could soundtrack any anime what would it be and why?
I’d love to. This would be such an honor. Neon Genesis Evangelion and Nana have some of my favorite soundtracks. I’m not a big fan of harem or over-sexualized animation, so I’d go for Shōnen.