- Words Notion Staff
- Photo credit Yanran Zhu
Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Luna Li, tells us about her musical firsts.
Toronto indie-pop artist, Luna Li, has been a staple of the city’s subculture scene for a while now, but with live music on pause for much of the past year, you might have discovered her quarantine guitar jams on social media.
It’s not just the guitar that Luna Li excels at either. She’s also badass on the piano, violin, and harp, as well as the drums. Classically trained, Luna’s mother runs a music school, but Luna picked up her first instrument way before that.
Releasing her first project in 2017 – the 3-track ‘Opal Angel’ – Luna didn’t share new tunes until 2020. It seems she’s more than made up for lost time though. Last year, Luna shared the singles “Trying” and “Afterglow”, whilst in 2021 alone, she dropped a 10-track ‘jams ep’, and then the recent single “Cherry Pit”.
We caught up with Luna Li to hear about her musical firsts – from the time she was starstruck to her first festival and more. Jump in!
First song you ever made?
When I was 5 and first started playing the piano, I would make up little songs. I think my first one was called “The Panda Song”. .
First music you released officially?
The first project I released officially as Luna Li was the ‘Opal Angel EP’, which was inspired by the rock n roll sound of the Toronto music scene at the time
First CD or record you owned?
The first CD I ever bought was ‘Let Go’ by Avril Lavigne.
First time you realised you wanted to be a musician?
Probably at the age of 5 when I asked my parents to start taking piano lessons.
First gig you went to?
My first concert was going to see Rihanna in middle school at an amphitheater in Toronto. She was amazing of course.
First festival you went to and the first one you performed at?
The first big music festival I went to was Osheaga in Montreal which was really fun because I was 17 and went with a big group of my friends – it was my first real trip without my family. The first festival I played at was the Polish Festival in Toronto, since I grew up in a Polish neighbourhood. It was a street festival and I just sang on the sidewalk with my guitar. I think I was 15 at the time.
First instrument you owned?
My family had a piano when I was growing up, but the first instrument that was really mine was an acoustic Epiphone guitar that I got when I was 12. I remember being really excited and even waking up early before school to play it (which is saying something because I am NOT a morning person).
First time you felt like giving up?
I’ve had a few setbacks over the years but I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt like giving up. I know I’m in the right place.
First time you felt starstruck?
I felt pretty starstruck when I played with Crumb in Toronto a few years ago. I love their music and was honoured to be opening for them.
First time you heard your song playing somewhere?
I actually don’t remember the first time I had a song on the radio! So far with radio it’s all been planned and I’ve been told when to tune in which is nice, but I’ve never just turned on the radio and heard myself playing. I think that would be a really exciting feeling.