Luli Lee, is an indie solo artist and songwriter, who started her career as a vocalist and the bassist of the band Bye Bye Badman in 2011, and then went on to join another band, Seoulmoon in 2016, before forming two duets LEEXLEE with Neowa in 2017, and Lower with Leni in 2018. She made her debut as a solo artist on January, 2018, with her first EP, Rise from the Ashes. Her most recent release is her third EP by the name of Phoenix, which was released on September 22, 2023. She produced and worked on every track in the release. In this interview, we discuss the inspiration behind the name “Phoenix” for her album and what motivated her to pursue a career in the music industry.

Q: Hello, Luli Lee! Please introduce yourself!

Hi, I’m Luli Lee. I write songs, sing, and play bass!

Q: Congratulations on the release of your new EP, Phoenix! You’ve previously shared that its inspiration stemmed from the phrase “You must be burned before you can rise from the ashes,” which you introduced in your debut solo EP, Rise from the Ashes. You’ve not only produced but also written all the tracks. Could you tell us about the creative process behind each of them?

I played bass first in band Bye Bye Badman before I started my solo album. I wrote songs only for the band before, but some songs were not included band’s album, so I thought it would be a waste to throw it away. So I started make my own album. And I thought it would help me to make my portfolio as I wanted to be a producer or songwriter for somebody, someday. I made my first album, Rise From The Ashes for this simple reason.
Anyway, as I was the producer. I had to try to give the right image and song for the singer (me), So I tried to write a song to display my identity, my image as a bassist, and to create better vocal sound.

I love fantasy more than reality. So I tried to put the fantastic image for my albums. Like a Phoenix.

Rise From The Ashes is an album about the journey to become a Phoenix. and Phoenix album is the story for the saying I finally grew up to be phoenix.

Q: Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your career so far? (question asked by our member @Lilac )

The time I visited Montreal, Canada for a festival. Since it’s my first experience without the management (or entertainment? I don’t know the right word in English). The show was really great. An amazing audience(I can’t forget till I die.), beautiful city and people are so so so kind. I got a lot of help from them. But it’s not the only reason for became a memorable moment. It was both sweet and bitter (t/n: bittersweet?).

The bitter part was that I set up my own team for the first time. As the person in charge, that responsibility was heavy. I can’t forget these feelings, because I grew a lot through that experience.

Q: How does going solo differ from band life? (question asked by our member @Seriously )

Band life feels like I’m with my friends all the time. So it’s basically fun, happy… But sometimes troublesome. Cause you know, people can’t want same thing always. Solo is.. I think it’s exact the opposite.

Q: From your discography both as a soloist and as a member of a band/unit, which song/release do you feel speaks/resonates to you the most? (question asked by our member @Klapouchy )

Is this question mean about the which discography is more like me? (I’m not good at English so sometime I don’t know I understood it well)

If I understood it correctly, then solo is definitely the closest to me.

Q: What experience most inspired you to join the music industry? (question asked by our member @Klapouchy )

I read a Japanese comic book called ’NANA’ during middle school. I enjoyed it so much that I joined the school band. We started having shows in my town, then moved on to Hongdae, Seoul little by little. We then went on to perform at bigger stages, and later applied for an audition for a rock festival stage, and It worked! After that, we made our first album… It started naturally.

Q: Do you think it is harder to be an independent artist these days? (question asked by our member @UMJI MOODS )

I’m not sure about the ’harder’. I think it’s different than when I began a career in music. I think there are both pros and cons.

TikTok, Instagram & Youtube… Many social media platforms often allow people to get attention. But due to the oversaturation of the current music industry, I think that it is often very easy to be left behind. But, people’s attention is important for indie musicians. it seems like there are other ways (editors note: such as social media platforms or live performances) for artists to easily to express themselves these days.

Q: At what age did you first learn to play bass? (question asked by our member @Seriously )

As you know, the Korean age system changed in 2023. So it was 17. (Global age 16. 😂)

Q: Do you have any favourite western bands? Is there a performer who is an inspiration to you? (question asked by our members @Seriously and @UMJI MOODS )

I remember my first favourite was MGMT. I also remember the Beach House’s concert. These concerts greatly inspired me.

Q: Which country do you want to visit the most? And why?

The US and Thailand. Cause The countries listen to my songs the most! 😁

Q: What is your biggest goal for 2024?

To release 4 new single albums, and spending more time with my family.

Q: Lastly, please leave a message for our users at Hallyu+!

Thank you for having me! ❤️ I also mix and master my own songs. Although my songs may not be perfect, I hope you enjoy my journey and I hope to continue improving in the future! Have a lovely day.


GFX BY @yerm