Meet LIYVZ, an emerging kpop artist who recently made her debut with the song “Venus.” The up and coming singer has been in the kpop industry for over a decade and began training in Korea in 2020 and 2021. LIYVZ has also garnered a massive following after going viral on Instagram and TikTok for her unique artist journey. Across both platforms she’s gotten 3.5 million views. Today we’ll talk to LIYVZ about her debut single, life in the Kpop industry, and her trainee days.
Congratulations on your debut! Can you tell us a bit about the meaning behind your song “Venus”
LIYVZ: Thank you! I still can’t believe my song is finally out there. Venus is a song that talks about wanting to be desired by someone or something. I wrote it during a time when I was going through complex feelings in regards to my dreams and my relationships, and just wanted to get them out of my system.
What inspired you to become a singer?
LIYVZ: I vividly remember watching the Spice Girls on TV when I was 4 or 5 years old and thinking, “That’s what I want to do!” and honestly, it was and still is like that every time I see my favorite artists perform. I’m really inspired by the way that music can touch people, and be an important part of their lives. That’s something that keeps me going.
What’s your songwriting process like/What inspires your song lyrics?
LIYVZ: I think the best way to describe my songwriting process is “natural.” If I feel called to start writing something, or some lyrics or a melody pop into my head then I’ll immediately write them down or record them as a voice note. I also try not to judge my initial thoughts. Sometimes in songwriting, we can think of a lyric or a note and wonder if it sounds weird, but I tend to save it in case I like it later, or can build on it.
As for what inspires my lyrics, I tend to reference the feelings of my past self– for example, Venus is written from the perspective of my inner child. I also like to draw from fantasies I have that are unlikely to happen in real life, such as running away with a stranger you fell in love with at first sight. It gives me a chance to make them “real” in a way.
Have you ever been on a survival show?
LIYVZ: I have to clear this up– I’ve never been a contestant on a survival show. I was featured in an episode of MBC’s My Teenage Girl and I posted the clip online. It was literally less than five seconds, but a lot of people thought I actually made it on the show! The footage that went on TV is from the show’s open auditions I went to in Korea, which was a very cool experience.
What’s on your playlist right now?
LIYVZ: I’m on a Fujii Kaze kick right now! YASASHISA, Matsuri, and of course, Shinunoga E-Wa are constantly in my rotation. My playlists are almost always peppered with girl groups too– Ditto by NewJeans, Impurities by LE SSERAFIM, and COOL (Your rainbow) by NMIXX are at the top of my most played songs right now. Yerin Baek’s recent single Big World is there too for when I need a good cry.
What challenges have you faced on your musical journey?
LIYVZ: I’d say the biggest challenge has been dealing with hate. Sometimes I wish I could respond to every single hateful comment and tell them off, but honestly these people are so irrelevant and don’t deserve the attention– no point in arguing with them. It just sucks because my family and friends see the things people say and feel upset too. It was really frustrating at first, but honestly none of these people can stop me so I just ignore them. I’ve never been the person to follow the rules, let alone listen to the opinions of salty strangers. I’ll keep doing what I love for as long as I can.
What message do you want to communicate to your fans through your music?
LIYVZ: I want my fans to learn through my music that life has its ups and downs, and that we can make it through all of them. It’s completely okay to feel really lost or scared during hard times, or to relentlessly pursue the things that bring us joy. They are all part of life and we can still have beautiful lives during and after difficult situations. That’s actually the inspiration behind my stage name. To “live” a full life, not just survive– and inspire others to do the same.
You’ve been in the kpop industry for quite some time now. What changes have you seen in the industry over the last decade?
LIYVZ: So much has changed! On the positive side, K-Pop is now widely recognized and respected as a genre. It’s contributed a lot to the development of Asian representation in mainstream media too, which makes me happy– all marginalized groups deserve to see themselves in the world. Also, there is a lot more involvement of foreign talents in the K-Pop industry, not just behind the scenes but in front of the camera too. More diversity in the music industry will always be a win! However, something I’ve noticed and feel a bit concerned about is the lack of protection for young talents. The music, choreography, and styling in K-Pop has gotten quite mature, and unfortunately there are companies that make idols who are still really young perform in these mature styles. It’s uncomfortable and concerning to witness, and I wish we learned our lesson from earlier K-Pop generations.
Looking back on your trainee days, what advice would you give your younger self?
LIYVZ: I would definitely tell my younger self that she is beautiful just the way she is, and that even if she feels worried about the future, she’s doing everything right. Also, I would tell her that the tarot lady was 100% right!
What is your goal for 2023?
LIYVZ: In 2023, I really want to perform as much as possible. It’s my favourite part of being an artist, and I would love to see my fans in person as well as meet new ones! I’d also love to put out some more songs. I have a personal goal as well, which is just to celebrate more! I rarely take the time to appreciate how far I’ve come and how well I’m doing as an artist and a person. So more performing, more music, and more celebrations!
We want to give a special thanks to LIYVZ for interviewing with us and sharing her story. Be sure to check out her debut single ‘Venue’ below!