Watching Mnet’s Unpretty Rapstar has made me think about a handful of the Asian urban divas I stan for but have never got around to posting on Arcadey (like Kween Kisum).
One girl I’ve been following for a while is LiVii, although I still know absolutely nothing about her outside of what I see from her music and visuals.
Judging from her aesthetic, she’s clearly a heavy tumblr user, which explains where her ’90s-inspired image comes from. She’s basically the Korean Liz, who I actually hate for being some contrived American hipster flop, but I love LiVii because she’s Asian and I’m biased.
LiVii’s latest single, the Middle Eastern-tinged “Watch & Learn,” is like the ratchet love child of Jason DeRulo’s “Talk Dirty” and Rihanna’s “Numb” played through an old snowy VHS recording. The music video –which is made to look like an instant photo booth with a tacky retro frame featuring Sailor Moon characters, a CGI Barbie, handcuffs, and money– shows LiVii in full kawaii gangster mode as she poses and gets wild with her friends.
Previous single “C’Mon” is less edgy but every bit as delicious, sounding like a leftover from Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly and looking like Especia’s flawless thrift shop closet (vintage Tommy Hilfiger included).
Speaking of Especia, LiVii really looks and sounds like one of the many J-pop artists who take inspiration from American R&B and hip-hop. She’s too loose and unpolished to be a K-pop star–you’d find her performing in a Japanese nightclub or begging Miliyah Kato for a duet before you’d see her on M! Countdown or Music Core.
Maybe she is just as manufactured as any ol’ plastic K-pop idol –I don’t know– but the fact that she’s some Korean chick that sounds like a Japanese star singing a J-pop version of American urban music makes her far more interesting to me than fucking Liz or one of those other cornball nostalgia pop acts.
Jay Park and Simon D need to sign this broad ASAP so she can become The First Lady of AOMG and start a feud with Brand New Music’s resident Gangnam unnie Lady Jane.
Take a listen to LiVii below.