Connie Lim
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Connie Lim

Rancho Palos Verdes, California, United States | SELF

Rancho Palos Verdes, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Connie Lim is a powerhouse of sorts. She has been writing music since she was eight years old. To top it off Connie was also chosen as a top 60 contestant out of the 70,000 auditionees on NBC’s first season of The Voice, and has graced the Staples Center as a national anthem singer for The Clippers. She now empowers herself by booking tours all over the nation, sharing her solo performance from city to city to city. We sit down and talk about her tour, her upcoming music and the debut of her new song ‘More Than Real’. Read below for the full Q&A…

Hi Connie, congrats on your Kick Starter reaching its goal for your new full-length album!

Connie: Thank you so much! It was definitely an experience that challenged me. Kickstarter is an adventure that nobody can really predict, and it strangely quantifies an artist’s fandom, so it’s definitely an interesting challenge to take on. Team Limitless has been good to me; I’m so lucky.

In addition, you embark again on another tour. Could you tell us a bit about it and will we see a lot of shows outside of California? What can fans expect?

Connie: Yes, I just came back from the Midwest, and then go to San Francisco next week. I feel most alive when I’m on the move. I actually love living out of my suitcase. It feels free. The Midwest tour was in Minneapolis, Marshfield, and Chicago. The reason why I went out to the Midwest was because of the demand from twitter followers, and the invitation to perform a concert for the music loving community of Wisconsin, The Vox Concert Series. They have had artists like Tony Lucca come through to perform, and they love inviting indie singer/songwriters onto the scene. The people there treat me with open arms! When I played Minneapolis’ Dakota Jazz Lounge, 89.3 The Current even played my music to promote the show. People love live music out there, and love actively supporting it. I was even able to drop by a studio in a Minneapolis local legend Kevin Bowe, the incredible producer that discovered Jonny Lang. It was amazing.

As for future tour dates, I will be going back to the Midwest, and hope to visit the east coast again to promote my new album. Due to some backstage adjustments the album will be delayed till late Spring, so I’m really hoping for a killer summer tour. I also signed with new management, and we are planning to focus in on west coast as well, doing consistent shows, pulsing from LA, then outwards. It’s been a new years resolution for me to stay consistent, so I committed to a once a month residency ever 3rdSaturday at one of LA’s favorite venues, Witzend. In addition, there are some opportunities opening up in Asia, so I may very likely be heading out there in the very near future! More details to come as the road unravels.

Similar to how The Voice conduct auditions, as I was listening to you music….well honestly? When I first discovered your music, I was surprised to find you were Asian-American. Do you get that a lot?

[Laughs hard] Yes I do. I remember M Musicians Magazine reviewed my EP The Hunted, the editor called my music and voice Anglophilic. I totally didn’t expect that, but was not surprised either, since my musical heroes all seem to hail from the UK.
What preparations go into performing or arranging a cover song versus original material?

Connie: Performing is a spiritual activity to me. From the days leading up to the performance, to the day of, to the days after. I feel most alive when I’m performing, because being on stage requires me to be in the most honest place. If I am feeling off, I have to work it out, and get into a place where I am ready to give to the audience.

Cover songs are definitely a fun project. Covers were not a natural thing for me, though. Music was always a very pure form of creating my own music right away. To be honest, it’s hard to sit through an entire Youtube video of somebody else’s song because by 40 seconds into it I’m itching to create another song from the inspiration that I draw from the track. I only do covers that inspire me at a core level. When I first started I was doing a lot of creative arrangement. I continue to do mashups and fun things like that. They help me grow as a writer. I am now embarking on learning the covers that my donors have requested, and it’ll be fun to release those! It’s interesting to do this while I’m working so much on crafting and stretching my originals. Writing originals is yet another spiritual experience. I try to be as open and egoless as possible, and allow for the creative joo joo to flow through me. I believe that there is a limitless amount of creative energy surrounding us; it’s the artist’s challenge to be the portal.

You are an advocate of old-school songwriting but signed to a non-traditional label. DigSin, allows subscribing fans to obtain music for free. How has this merger with DigSin impacted your music thus far?

Connie: Great question! The label has opened my eyes to the potential of social - Japan Cinema


Born in Hollywood, California, Connie Lim was raised in the conservative town of Palos verdes. A shy girl, she preferred communication through the power of music, a power that improved her listening and emotional depth. Her emotional depth comes across immediately in both the range and the choice of her songs.
"Lim paid a price for acquiring this power—her family's approval. They wanted her to complete her medical studies at Berkeley, rather than follow her dream to be a singer/ song- writer. When asked if her parents had accepted her choice Lim told us: “My parents took a while to accept my decision. In high school I trotted in my sister's footsteps, taking AP courses, and landing on Honor Rolls year after year. I was ASB president and homecoming queen, founder of a club that started a local breast cancer walk.”
“I grew up ambitious and aware of my parents' expectations for my future as a bright professional. They were devastated that I would throw my education away for the arts, but now see that I am channeling the same drive into what I believe is my calling and they could not be happier for me. It was the hardest journey in my life, but the most rewarding. To get emails from my dad saying that he loves my songs is probably the best accomplishment in my life,” she shared.
For her fans, there are other remarkable accomplishments, including “The Hunted," a song that Connie wrote as an anthem for gays in Uganda. When asked about her commitment to this cause she told us: “I would love to continue to sing for those who are discriminated for who they choose to love. I'm also very intrigued and compelled to sing for women who have survived sexual abuse or image disorders. I grew up with these obstacles and survived them and I want to stand as a voice for those who may seem vulnerable, but are ultimately mighty and strong.”
"Sugar" is a song that has a lot of weight behind the lyrics,” Lim shared: “I call them iceberg songs. I wrote that song about the young girls in Sub-Saharan Africa who are encouraged to have sexual relations with their teachers for survival. The pres- sure these girls must have felt really haunted me. Then I realized how I too encounter those pressures in today's sex-crazed and money obsessed media culture.”
“A lot of my songs spring from a sense of sadness, fear, or anxiety and I turn them into beautiful moments for relief and release,” Lim shared. "LA City" sprang out of a fever as I was beginning the grand hustle in Los Angeles. I sat down at the piano, feeling a bit defeated, and thought I'd write an angry song, but as usual, I ended up writing a song of beauty and hope. I use music to turn less beautiful moments into positive moments,” Lim tells A Distinctive Style.
Connie Lim’s body of work “Fog over Water” marked a new beginning in her endeavors as a professional. Connie remem- bered those inspiring moments. “Fog Over Water represents the image of a fog sitting over the ocean; one of the most beautiful images to me. The imagery of the clouds and the water has always been something mystical, and fleetingly beautiful to me.” Lim found Sandburg's poetic personification of fog as a cat most inspirational. She says, "That poem always haunted that poem always haunted and delighted me as a child.”
Because so many influences haunt and delight this gifted songwriter, it is difficult to pigeonhole her style, but Jay Frank, a music industry executive and owner of DigSin, has offered her new avenues to explore her talent.
In February 2012 Lim signed a music contract with Jay Frank of DigSin, a new digital record label that distributes content free to subscribers. Her new single titled, “LA City” can be downloaded for free at: www.digsin.com/blog/ la-city.
About the song LA City, Lim tells us: “I wrote that song in about 15 minutes, so I didn't think anything of it: I thought it was too simple and people would be bored by it. I was sur- prised. That song ended up getting me signed to DigSin. It's amazing that the simple songs I create from the heart are the ones that have helped me move the furthest. I like what that says about life and my outlook on life.”
Connie remains true to her convictions to produce only the best of her craft. “My music makes me feel sane; like I'm not alone, and that I'm reaching out. I view my music as a sunrise, or a sunset; something that shines through my bedroom window, to coo me to bed, or to gently wake me up. I guess you would say I strive to be like the sun: reliable, warm, and giving.” - A Distinctive Lifestyle Magazine


MC’s annual, eagerly awaited Hot 100 list spotlights the live performers who made us sit up and take notice in 2012. Those involved in determining the results of this year’s poll included not only Music Connection staff members, but freelance journalists, club bookers and other industry professionals from across the US. - Music Connection Magazine


Connie Lim is a young spirit with an old soul. The Los Angeles-based artist has coined her music as “retrotronica”: music that exudes modern electronic textures alongside nostalgic songwriting. Lim is often referenced as the lush love child of Bjork and Norah Jones. Lim’s latest single off Digsin Records, “LA City”, offers poetic melody and lyrics, sung by a “brilliant voice that is both vulnerable and mighty”--Flavorpill.com.
- Flavorpill Los Angeles


There is something striking about UC Berkeley fourth year student Connie Lim when you first meet her. She exudes a down to earth, no-fuss attitude despite the fact that she has accomplished so much in such a short time. Earlier in November, Lim released her first EP entitled Shifting, promoting it by performing at Blake’s to a sizable crowd. The Connie Lim Band calls their style reminiscent of Fiona Apple, U2, Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, and the Counting Crows. It is pop music mixed with blues and powerful vocals.
by pauline sze

Growing up in Southern California’s Palos Verdes, Lim began studying classical piano at a young age. She recalled fond memories of her piano teacher, “She’s 90 some years old now but still rides a motorcycle. She is a really unconventional woman who always encouraged me about music and encouraged me to write songs.” Yet, this soon stopped when Connie got involved in other activities such as dancing and tae kwon do. Connie indicated that her parents were very strict and conservative and didn’t want her to “get too into music and art,” because “they didn’t see music as a stable career.”

With strict and conservative parents that did not support her musical endeavors, Connie says that they are slowly becoming more encouraging. “When you really want to do something that’s unconventional, the people that will discourage you the most are the people that really care about you—well at least for many conventional Asian American families in my experience,” says Connie. “Now my parents are saying, if you really want to do this, you should go to music school since you’ve never really studied music. So now I’m applying to Berklee College of Music.”

Connie revealed that she was brought back to music during high school when she developed anorexia and was forced to stop dancing. This led her to start writing more songs. By her second year of college, Connie had made the bold choice to stay in Berkeley for the summer where she let the pieces fall together. This was the first time she truly devoting herself to her music. “I’ve always felt like I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do,” Connie expressed.

That summer gave Connie the time to truly focus on her music and writing. The inspirations for Connie’s songs are heavily influenced by outside observations. “I carry a journal with me, I’ll write something down that I hear on the bus, for example. Also, novels are a big inspiration for me, such as Toni Morison’s Sula. There’s a phrase in it, ‘second-hand loneliness,’ and I wrote a song about that.” While she admits that her songs are usually not personal, she is beginning to write more personal songs and has started o interweave them with the things that she sees or hears. “But at the end of the day, you just have to write stuff that moves you, that gives you chills. So it’s definitely become more emotional and also more meaningful and more put together—more natural,” she asserts.

This past summer, Connie worked with childhood friend, James Blashaw, to produce her debut EP, a six-track disc entitled Shifting. Cooped up in James’ bedroom working on a computer that had a knack for overheating, Connie calls the experience challenging but worthwhile, “We didn’t know what we were doing; we just wanted to record these songs. So it was a lot of stumbling and it was a very humbling experience. I’ve learned that there’s no evidence that you’re going to do well, you just got to keep faith and that’s not something I grew up with.” The recording process took only a week, but the editing took over two months. Connie recalls, laughing, “When I had to come back to Berkeley for school, James and I would work over the Internet. I’d have my iTunes on listening to the songs and would go—James, three minutes and twelve seconds, did you hear that? We need to change that!”

Connie and her band kicked off the debut of the EP by performing at Blake’s, which she says has been her favorite show so far. “I’m still learning a lot about being a performer. For the first time, I just got lost in the music,” Connie exclaims. “I wasn’t thinking. The crowd was awesome, the setup was good, and we had great opening bands.”

Connie has had gigs at various venues in the Bay Area, but she has also performed at some events geared towards Asian American issues such as the 17th Annual API Issues Conference this past April. These events reminded her of her childhood, especially because her mother is active in the Chinese American community. Yet, she confides that she feels “like many Asian Americans go through a phase where they hate themselves for a little bit and they try to adopt an Abercrombie and Fitch culture. That was frustrating for me and I don’t try to be Asian or try to be white. I go with family values because that’s all I know. So meeting people that were confident [at these events], not trying to prove anything, but having organized events that meant something—that was cool.”

In the end, Connie has le - Hard Boiled Magazine



We, Asian Americans, are a diverse bunch. For that reason, Asian American music is as eclectic and hard to categorize as we are. The following artists and songs are just a slice of what I've been listening to at the moment. I've been fortunate enough to play with many of these musicians and they represent the thriving Asian American music scene. Running from alt-rock hip hop to experimental pop electronica this selection also serves as a celebration of our musical diversity.

1. After School Special: "Not One for Words"
afterschoolspecialmusic.com

I had the pleasure of playing a show with these guys in February at UCLA. This alt-rock, hip hop group from San Diego has just finished their EP "Not One for Words," available on iTunes and Amazon.com. I'm diggin' their music video of the single "Not One For Words": http://vimeo.com/4063334.

2. Sue Jin: "Made of Sand"
myspace.com/suejinmusic

First time I caught Sue Jin playing a set I was blown away by her powerful vocals and charismatic performance. She puts on some of the most engaging shows with her old school soul and r&b. Armed with just a piano and a mic Sue Jin is one formidable singer-songwriter. Currently listening to her new track, a duet: "Made of Sand:" myspace.com/suejinmusic.

3. Connie Lim and the Forrest Philosophy: "Now"
myspace.com/connielim

I've caught a few of her live shows now, each one better than the last. If you want to see great musicianship and synergy between a singer songwriter, her band, and her audience, go check out Connie Lim and the Forrest Philosophy. There's a bit of funk, some r&b and a lot of great pop thrown into their sound. "Caged Bird" is my personal favorite. Can't wait for them to record it. Until then I leave you with the aptly titled "Now": myspace.com/connielim.

4. Scott Tang: "Message 38"

What do you get when you combine catchy hooks with lo-fi? You get Scott Tang's new album "T-Shirts for Tourists!" Scott's new album is a creative blend of experimental electronica fused with the best of pop sensibilites. The distortion on the entire album lends an aesthetic that is at once nostalgic and new. "The Visitor" is a personal favorite. I first met Scott on the movie set of the yet to be released "The Wedding Palace". We were both extras. I was thrilled to learn that he was a fellow singer-songwriter: myspace.com/scotttang.

5. Alfa: "Isabelle"

I got a chance to play a show with Alfa during the LA leg of her West Coast tour. With her new album "Second Skin," Alfa has been playing shows all over the country, recently performing in an All-Star performance of "Closer" for Kollaboration New York. A guitarist and pianist, Alfa sings and plays in the best tradition of singer songwriters, equally comfortable in French chanson as she is in pop: myspace.com/alfa. - Slant Eye For the Round Eye


It’s always great when you discover artists with talent you can really appreciate. Chinese American Connie Lim, a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles is a breath of fresh air in this time of “Bieber fever” and autotune.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Lim has been developing her style for the past two years, which is influenced by Imogen Heap, Feist, and Bjork. Lim’s growing fan-base has dubbed her music to be “retrotronica” while Lim herself describes her style as “old-school songwriting backed by electronica sentiment.”

Earlier this month Lim packed Hotel Café to its maximum capacity with the release of her EP The Hunted. And it’s not just her smoky voice and heartfelt lyrics. The album brings awareness to current global issues, like the title track, which is about the mistreatment of gay couples who are being sentenced to death in Uganda.

The album also features collaborations with some of L.A.’s best musicians and artists including Yonatan Elkayam (album producer), Miguel Atwood Ferguson (string player for Will.i.am. and Flying Lotus), and Shane Sato.Lim also recently finished filming a live YouTube show (to debut soon) that is being endorsed by Macy Gray. Other Asian American artists included in the video are Dan AKA Dan from After School Special, Sam Kang, Seriously, and Da Wen. - Audreymagazine.com


Local songwriting starlet Connie Lim has come far since releasing her 2007 bedroom-produced debut album Shifting. Armed with a brilliant voice that is both vulnerable and mighty, Lim's second album The Hunted unfolds her personal musings about the fluidity of relationships and social structures through the momentum of moody strings, lush piano and electronic textures. An intimate and unselfconscious performer with a legit corps of backing talent, Connie Lim's songs will literally bloom in front of you this midsummer night. - Flavorpill.com


If you happened to watch the Asian Community Fund (APCF) PSA posted last week, you’ll notice a fresh new face in that video. Connie Lim is one of LA’s best kept secrets, but hopefully not for long. Influenced by artists like Imogen Heap, Zero7, Feist, Morcheeba, Portishead, Natalie Merchant, Nina Simone and Bill Withers, Lim has created a different musical genre of what she calls “retrotronica”: a blend of old school songwriting and electronic sentiment.

Her highly anticipated EP, The Hunted, is a heart-felt anthem for the so-called underdogs and outcasts. As a treat to her adoring fans and followers, Connie has dropped her 7-track album exclusively available for digital download on CD Baby just a few days before the official release of her album. The Hunted CD release party is set to go down Saturday, July 17 at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, so if you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to check some great local acts, visit her Facebook event page and RSVP.

The video posted above will take you through some of her thoughts and processes behind the making of her second album. Connie’s segment also is accompanied with a spiritual and upbeat live performance of her title track with her house band, The Forrest Philosophy.

DIRECTOR’S NOTE: When we were in high school, I always had this feeling that Connie was going to pursue some sort of career in music. Just to give you a feel for how naturally gifted she was, Connie had won several composition awards throughout high school and then she went on to join a very popular A cappella group at UC Berkeley called the Golden Overtones. Since the release of her very first EP titled Shifting, Connie has continued to dedicate most of her time into improving the quality and sound of her latest album. I had an interesting discussion with her a while back, so if you want a more in-depth background, you can check it out here. - 8asians.com


Discography

New Single " LA CITY" 2012 (available on itunes.com/connielim and cdbaby.com/cd/connielim1)

New Single " Fog Over Water" 2012 (available on itunes.com/connielimmusic.com and other sites)

New Single "More Than Real" 2013 (available on itunes/connielimmusic.com and other sites)

EP: The Hunted 2010 (available on itunes.com/connielim and cdbaby.com/cd/connielim1

EP: Shifting 2007 (available on itunes/connielim and cdbaby.com/cd/connielim)

Photos

Bio

As a child, California girl Connie Lim was imaginative yet shy. She loved drawing, painting, and writing short stories in her endless stacks of Sanrio notebooks. She then began writing short piano compositions at age eight, and spent most of her childhood overcoming stage fright. The rush of pushing myself to do something I was so scared to do became addicting.

From elementary to high school, Connie sang in the choir and various A Cappella groups. She was very active and very popular in school. Voted both Student Body President and Homecoming Queen. Connie's future held many possibilities, but her parents had expectations for Connie to become a doctor or lawyer.

So rather than pursuing her musical talents, Connie followed in her familys footsteps and enrolled as a pre-med student at UC Berkley. I always loved the academic world because it gave my mind a place to challenge itself. However, I wanted to pursue the arts, yet was always told that a life as an artist would be impossible.

Regardless, music continued to play a part in her life. Connie often found herself in the dormitory basement playing piano and singing songs between study breaks. While trying to find her purpose, she also found her voice. She won the award for Best Soloist in the The International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella , and "Cal Idol". She took the awards as a sign of encouragement to form a band, and began playing live around the San Francisco area as much as possible.

I never want to let the word impossible limit my lifestyle, so I worked hard and continued to be thankful for any opportunities to share my music. Now Connies dreams are becoming more possible than ever, and her team of supporters grows by the day. She signed with a Nashville-based record label, and released her debut single in March, 2012.

Connie's debut song LA City (Produced by Colbie Calliats producer, Mikal Blue.) is a beautiful and delicate love song filled with hope and heartbreak. The lush sounds of the piano combined with Connies stunning voice inevitably take the listener on the same romantic journey that inspired the song. Her YouTube videos continues to be shared across the world, with well over one half a million views. LA City also gained radio play with one of Hong Kongs main RTHK radio stations, along with independent stations as well.

To top it off Connie was also chosen as a top 60 contestant out of the 70,000 who auditioned on NBC's first season of The Voice. She has also graced the Staples Center(home of the LA Lakers, Kings, & Clippers) singing the national anthem on multiple dates. Connie continues to empower herself by writing new songs, booking tours all over the nation, and sharing her music from city to city to city.

Look out for Connie's songs in various international feature films, including 5 Hours South and Sweet Talk. She is currently in the studio working on a CD that will be released early summer 2013.

Management:
Marty Marmor
marty@gmail.com
415-754-9297 office
512-249-6822 cell