Fang-I Liu is an upcoming Taiwanese singer-songwriter who is currently living and working in Los Angeles. Fang’s individual and technically gifted style of songwriting has ensured that she is our latest Sonicbids competition winner. Below you can discover, amongst other things, Fang’s musical background, her musical inspirations and what projects she is currently working on.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
I will describe my music as my very “honest diary and confessions”. I sing what I feel inside, not trying to be the “bubble gum” type of artist.
Q: What is your musical background?
I came from Taiwan, born from a traditional Asian family. I play the guitar, compose songs, sing and did perform with bands when I was in Taiwan. It’s hard to tell you that I didn’t really get formal music education back in my hometown. Then I decide to go to Los Angeles to improve myself. That’s the first time that I had the opportunity to study music in LA- Musicians Institute; I worked extremely hard and still am. Now, I am an independent artist and I have just released my debut EP-Confessions in the USA.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months actually is pretty intense for me. I graduated from school and entered the real world of music industry. Putting all my effort, time to my music and recorded my debut EP-“Confessions”, eventually it turns out to be a wonderful result. After the EP’s released, I started to market and promote myself. I prepared professional press kits and sent to various venues, clubs, radio stations, Internet radios, blogs and such. I am focusing on the market in the US as well as in Taiwan. I got my songs played on the radio stations in different countries and also commercial radios in Taiwan. I got reviews from different websites and feedbacks form the industry. I have worked with other artists to create special live performances and events. It’s a tough job but I definitely learned a lot from it in a year. I try my best to make my music appear every where, I hope there will be more and more people willing to give a listening ear to my music; not only in the US and Asia but hopefully around the world too.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
I really like those female singers from the 90’s. From Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Jewel to Tori Amos and Rachael Yamagata. I admire their music, attitude and the way they present themselves. It doesn’t mean my style will be very similar to theirs, but they really give me a goal and inspiration to create better music!
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Adele. She is the best example to show people how important it is to sing and do music from your heart.
When she sings, everybody will immediately understand her music. She inspired this music industry and brings us back to the old times when we cared about music more than anything else.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
There are too many great artists that I want to collaborate or gig with. Glen Ballard; he produced my favorite records. I love his production and he really makes the songs stand out.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
Actually I’m still listening to my favorite records and singers from way back to 80’s and the 90’s. I have Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Rachael Yamagata, Adele and etc. I also listen to some Jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Diana Krall, to name a few.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
It depends, sometimes if I have something happened in my life and I really want to pen it down, I’d sit in front of my piano, then just play it. If I can feel the vibe, then that means it’s time to write some music. Once I found the sound I want, I can finish melody pretty quick and threw in the topic that I want to talk about in the lyrics. Sometimes it just appeared naturally when I feel a bit depressed or I really need to express about my feelings and life.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
I would say melody. Most of the time I’ll just hum or sing melodies and I’ll try to come up with some chord progression that fit or vice versa. Melody is very important but lyrics need to support it well to bring out the heart of the song. Usually listeners will focus more on the melody lines.
Q: Where are you based?
I came from Taiwan, now I am pursuing my dream and music career in Los Angeles.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Taiwan is a beautiful country with friendly people and great delicacies. There are a lot of ballad songs in the Mandarin music market, but it just a little bit too limited. Sometimes I felt kind of frustrated when I was doing music in Taiwan, because it’s pretty hard to hear new music style in the Chinese music market. That’s why I feel more comfortable to present myself in the US, because people are very open-minded here. Now I am happy to see there are more and more great bands and artists from Indie or independent labels. There is also a lot of beautiful music from Taiwanese aboriginal tribal groups.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I am promoting my debut EP- Confessions and preparing for my next upcoming showcase and performances. I am focused on building my fan base in LA; keep promoting myself, playing monthly shows, submitting my music to different countries or expanding my network everywhere around the globe. I’ll keep doing as much as I can to keep my music alive. I am also working on my new songs for the next full-length album and planning to start recording in the middle of 2012.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
I hope I can finish record my full-length album in the next 12 months. I am also working on placing my music on TV/Film and licensing. Another important thing is to let more and more people know who I am, hear what’s my music like and see what I have been working on and of course getting the right team to work with. Nevertheless I will never forget to better myself as an artist/singer-songwriter.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I am performing on June 16th at LA Indie Music & Film at LA convention center.
Q: What do you do to relax?
If I feel stressful or feel there are too many stuff in my mind, normally I will go to take a shower then go out get a cup of coffee. I might stay outside for a while and doing nothing just watch people walk by and drink my coffee.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Involving yourself in this industry is hard enough because the music industry is one of the toughest out there. There are too many people judging you, your music and your future. You won’t be able to take it if you care too much about everyone’s opinion, especially the negative ones but you do need those opinions at times to better yourself and move forward.
Getting the right people to record or perform for you, and not having time to complete your goals are huge factors too. Stay focus and be positive! Be strong and don’t compare yourself to other artists.
We will face breakdowns, get crushed but music is our love and passion. We do know it’s not easy and the road for us is a very uneven and full obstacle, but it’s hard to let go and give up for something you love even how tough it is.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Thanks for reading this interview. If you like my music please let me hear from you, it’ll always give me encouragement and strength when I am pursuing my dream. I really appreciate that. No matter who are you or where you are from; if you are listening to my music, I hope you will enjoy it and get some messages from it too.
Editor’s Note: Fang-I Liu is technically very gifted but also has the enviable talent of creating music that exudes her personality, experiences and is from the heart. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s artists to watch
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Fang-I Liu just follow the links below: