Toronto indie-pop artist Luna Li released her new single “Afterglow” last week and the dreamy track is a song about learning to love yourself. In a world filled with social media, that can be very difficult. The accompanying music video shows the self-proclaimed “feminist moon fairy” nestled in lush woods while dancing and alternating between playing her glittering violin and cascading harp. In contrast, women are painting self-portraits and then ripping them apart as the portraits mock them.
Luna Li is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter and says that she doubles down on her femininity in the indie-rock scene, where frills, feathers, and softness are often avoided.
She filled us in on her background in music and the inspiration for “Afterglow.”
What inspired your latest single, “Afterglow”?
Afterglow is about realizing my own self-worth and learning how to love myself. I started out writing about a tough and painful experience with a toxic friendship, but then it ended up morphing into a bigger message about self-love and learning how to be whole on my own.
What did the songwriting process look like for this new music?
I wrote this song three years ago in my bedroom, and my process has pretty much stayed the same since then. I like to record the demo for the song as I write, so I made the instrumental backing track and then did a sort of stream of consciousness process with the lyrics. I wrote down a bunch of thoughts completely unfiltered and then edited them into lyrics. In one night, I wrote the instrumental and the verses and just left it at that, and then I came back to it six months later and added the chorus!
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
When my listeners enter the world of Luna Li, I really hope they feel welcomed into a space where they feel seen and loved. I hope they can dance in their bedrooms to my songs and feel as magical as I do when I create the music.
How did you get started in music?
My moms run a music school, and I grew up taking lessons there, starting with piano at five. I was focused on classical piano and violin until my late teens when I decided to quit my classical music program at university and start my own project.
As a multi-instrumentalist, what instruments do you play?
I play piano, violin, guitar, a little bit of drums, and bass; I sing, and I’m learning the harp. Learning new instruments definitely keeps me inspired and on my toes!
What have you been doing during quarantine to stay connected with your fans?
I’ve been creating what I call jam videos and posting them on my Instagram/Twitter, where I make beats and film myself recording all the instruments. People are into them, and it’s really fun to make them as a side creative outlet. I’ve also been getting a bunch of fan art, which has been pretty surreal and incredible!
I’m always working on the jam videos, so those will keep coming, and I’m going to be releasing more new music in the new year!