Exclusive Interview: LIONE
February, 23, 2018
Where are you originally from/currently living? Do you think that this has had an effect on what style of music you produce?
My background is pretty interesting haha. My family is from China/Hong Kong, I was born in Sweden, grew up in Canada, and now am currently living in the beautiful city of Los Angeles. I don’t know if it’s had an effect on the music I produce, but I 100% believe it has had an effect on my visual aesthetic and the feelings portrayed in my music. Traveling and seeing so much, especially spending all my childhood summers in big metropolitan Asian cities like Tokyo & Hong Kong, has made me fondly nostalgic of those places and you can feel that in my visuals and thematics.
So I’ve personally been a fan since your Where Are U Now remix, tell us a bit about how you got your start in producing music? What was your first big break?
I’ve been producing for many years now. I think I began at the start of college. Having been a guitarist in bands, I really loved a lot of soul and funk fusion type of music, as well as J-pop. This eventually led me to lofi Japanese hip hop producers like Nujabes, and producers like J-Dilla who use a lot of soul samples. I got really into that type of music and wanted to start creating the same so I began learning production. Then from there I went through many different genres like hip hop, rnb, pop, and then eventually electronic music when I first heard Skrillex’s first EP. I guess my big break would be that first remix for Jack Ü haha. Prior to that I had never had a producer alias or any music released into the world, so I’m thankful to have it take off the way it did (super grateful to my manager and all the people that helped build it up so early on).
Ok, on to the new release, tell us a bit about your amazing new song, Glimmer! (where did the inspiration come from for this one, who’s featured on the vocals and how did that collaboration come about, or anything else you want to tell us about!)
Thank you for the kind words! Glimmer is a song that’s really special to my heart. I’ve been working on it for the last 4-5 months on and off, but it’s actually been an old demo I made even before any of my released songs. It’s only the end of last year when I decided I wanted to release it, and began polishing it and writing to it again. The song was written when I was finishing school in Boston, around the early summer. There’s a specific setting or feeling that I want to capture with each song I write, and with this one I really wanted it sonically to feel like those nostalgic late summer evenings, where the sun is drenched in gold and orange, and the warm skies are pink and fading into the horizon. I wanted it to have a vibe that you instantly could get lost in. Lyrically the song was written by me and the amazing Heather Sommer. Since the sonic landscape was meant to feel really warm and nostalgic, I wanted the lyrics to be about longing to return to a specific point in time where things felt easier or simpler. It’s like when you feel nostalgic about a very specific place and time; you can almost taste the air, and you really long to be in that place again and its easy to get lost in all those past memories. Without going too in depth, which I can tend to do, I brought the concept to Heather and we wrote the song together. She knocked it out of the park on the vocals too!
Congrats on getting Glimmer uploaded to Proximity! Want to give any advice to producers who are looking to make it to a big channel or any other production advice you can offer that might help them improve?
I would say the best advice I can give is to trust your instincts and always continue to aim for more. I’m a firm believer in doing as much as you can. There will always be a point where you get diminishing returns on the time and effort you put in to a song, but I think you need to always push it as far as you can in that given moment, because it allows you to improve for the next time and will ultimately be how you become a great producer. If you’re always pushing your limits, the ceiling for your potential will only continue to rise. The power is 100% percent in your hands, it’s just a matter of always challenging yourself to do more, and do better.
So this is the first release of 2018 and it’s definitely going to make a splash because it’s absolutely amazing! What can your fans look look forward to for the rest of 2018?
Thank you! I have a ton planned for this year. I’m really challenging myself super hard to release much more music, much more consistently this year. My fans are absolutely amazing, and they’ve been so patient for so long, so I want to give them as much music as I can this year. Aside from that I just launched the first piece of my clothing line here (lione.merchtable.com), and am super excited about it. I’ve wanted to design and make clothing for so long now, so it’s a pipe dream to see it come to fruition. I’m planning on expanding and building that alongside my music and playing shows, so very busy but very exciting this year haha!