EFFIE LIU
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EFFIE LIU

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Alternative

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"Premiere: Listen to Effie Liu's Tropical "Getaway""

Previously known as Bebe Panthere, the California-born, Williamsburg-based singer-songwriter has stripped down her Kill Bill alter ego and re-emerged as Effie Liu and today, we have the exclusive premiere of her latest offering.

Produced by Woodro Skillson and Dahlquist, "Getaway" is a bombastic, tropical island infused swig of pop that mixes breezy vocals and balearic bounce before going down smooth like an island breeze fated to take you away. "'Getaway' was born after a House of Cards binge. I was sitting in my living room afterwards thinking to myself how easy it is to find parallels in reality after watching a show like that. I think sometimes we get consumed by our issues and I just want to say that it's okay to ask for help!"

Take a "Getaway" below with our exclusive premiere and be sure to catch Effie at one of her upcoming shows (full dates on her website). - Complex


"SINGER EFFIE LIU MAKES HER OWN CLOTHES, MUSIC & CELEBRATES GIRL POWER"

Rising pop star Effie Liu has a stellar ability to fuse style and pop, creating a glamorous universe that is truly all her own. The world is starting to take notice of Effie, the breakout star of 2015, with her singles and flashy videos for “Wings on Fleek” and early summer anthem contender, “What Do I Hafta Do”. Effie is channeling her unconventional influences, plus a longtime love for fashion and pumping out girl power anthems fit for this generation.

Pre-show and munching on some sweets at Steiber’s Candy Shoppe, we dove into the early days of soon-to-be pop princess Effie Liu. Turns out Effie actually grew up listening to Ska and punk records, which she credits for her early love of finding the connection between style and music. She said, “Listening to genres of music that innately had style involved kind of drove that interest early on, everything is about being creative and being yourself.” As many a cool girl, Effie had a major girl crush on Ska-influenced pop queen, Gwen Stefani. Effie recalled wanting to make her own fuzzy bras and wear bras outside of her tank tanks just like the No Doubt singer. “Just knowing that she made a lot of her own things definitely inspired me,” Effie said, “Instead of buying things off a rack, I was always thinking, ‘how can I make something on my own?’”

This inspiration lead to countless occasions spent at thrift stores, finding pieces she could reimagine and eventually pursuing fashion in academia. While Effie may not have as much time for drawing and sewing today, being a pop star and all, she is still passionate about collaborating with artistic friends – like Jenny Lai of Not – to make something stylish and beautiful. Effie is constantly thinking to herself, “How can I empower other people that I love and how can I appreciate their stuff?”

It’s this same kind of creative support and girl power at the core of Effie’s music. It’s easy to write off “Wings On Fleek” as something that is simply ultra-trendy but it’s more than just a gimmick, it’s about girl power.

“Sometimes you see a girl with really great eyeliner or eyebrows and you’re like, ‘hold on let me tell her that her makeup is amazing’,” Effie explained. It’s about the behind the scenes of being a girl and supporting our community. Instead of tearing other girls down, maybe girls should think about supporting one another. Effie stated, “We’re definitely raised to be competitive with other girls and I think that breeds a little negative feeling towards our own kind, it’s about appreciating each other and empowering one another, as girls.”

“Wings on Fleek” is just the beginning of a successful career in supporting girl power through music. Effie continues to work towards more ‘on fleek’ material for her upcoming EP. - Galore Mag


"EFFIE LIU: In Conversation"

Effie Liu is the real deal: an eclectic pop songstress committed to her vision, and an avid business woman who understands the game.

She grew up in California, where her creative spirit first blossomed. Now she lives in Brooklyn, a stark pink contrast against the music scene she is very much becoming a leader of.

We met up at Brewery Recording Studio in Williamsburg to discuss her past, present, and future.

She had just finished up a press photoshoot, and was in full regalia: pale pink fur coat, metallic leggings, heels, and of course, her staple pink hair.

Main topics of discussion? Music and style. For Effie, one cannot exist without the other.

So, how important are visuals to you in your music?

“I’ve been a visual person since an early age, ever since I could pick up a marker to draw with. I also studied fashion design back in Los Angeles.”

How did you end up in New York?

“When I lived in LA, I became the muse of a luxury shoe designer, and then one day, they asked me to be a fulltime assistant to them in New York.” After her design stint, she decided to take a break from the fashion industry, and focus solely on her music career.

So why pink? What does it mean to you and why is it such a consistent color in your aesthetic and artisty?

“Well, there are three main parts to that story. Are you ready?!

Okay! So first, the color pink had a lot of significance in my childhood. When I was really young, I remember my parents painting the walls of my room pink. I hated it!” Later on, she was listening to a lot of punk rock, and while vintage shopping, found an amazing skirt. “It was plaid. But the colors were unique. It was black and hot pink.” To Effie, this unusual combination of colors symbolized a rebellion against the standard plaid garbed punk. Pink was a traditionally feminine color, but when combined with the starkness of black, it took on a whole new meaning. Also pink and black just look great together. She started basing her whole wardrobe around this one pink and black plaid skirt.

Fast forward to a few years ago: Effie is in a salon with her hair stylist and best friend, and she’s talking about how she is tired of her blonde hair. Effie wants a change. Something new. Her best friend’s response? Whip out a bucket of hot pink dye, and start applying it... without asking Effie. That’s what friends are for.

As for the hair color? “People tell me that it really suits me.” And it does. In a way, it’s like her natural hair color.

Her style, and her hair, are the embodiment of her music: Embrace your individuality, and celebrate what makes you, you.

What are your musical influences, and what message do you want to push with your current and future music?

“When I first got to New York, I ended up vibing with the with people in the rap scene. The beats in rap music just make you want to move.” This feeling of positivity is something Effie wants to spread with both her sound and her lyrics.

Her single, “Wings on Fleek”, a girly anthem about eyeliner, features monochrome color palettes, an army of pink haired badass chicks, and appropriate representation of the LGBT community. “Wings on Fleek” is a celebration of the ritualistic process of many women when getting ready to go out. Effie states, "in the music industry, and in our culture, many women often treat each other badly”, and she wants to celebrate the bond that women share through their femininity.

What can we expect to hear in your new music?

“More pop songs… and more singing, compared to some of my older songs, like 'Gimme All Your Money'.” There will still be that element of individuality in Effie’s new music, but it will be songs that everyone can relate too.

Effie’s most recent single is an example of that. “Get Away” is a tropical island infused swig of pop that mixes breezy vocals and balearic bounce before going down smooth like an island breeze fated to take you away.

In the age we live in, where technology and social media are so prevalent, how do you approach this digital medium as an up-and-coming artist?

“Consistency!” In image, message, and sound. In a way, it’s like making a cake. “You need to create a consistent batter, with all of the right ingredients, and pink frosting, of course. The internet is amazing because today anyone can express themselves and get their message directly to people that care out there.” Although the internet and our culture are saturated with information, according to Effie, “realness” will still show through.

Now more than ever, branding and commercialization of all aspects of our lives are occurring. In response to this, authenticity in one’s message is valued by our society, which is exactly what makes Effie’s music, and broader artistic vision, so outstanding.

In a sense, Effie is still like that vintage pink plaid skirt; although she has her roots in a deeper historical dialogue, there is a freshness and sense of individuality in Effie’s music and image that sets her apart from the rest. She is a genuine person, with a genuine message, and a genuine desire to celebrate life. "At the end of the day," says Effie, "it’s about making people feel good." - Trim Magazine


"Effie Liu Snags The Pool Boy In "What Do I Hafta Do" Video"

Sassy pink-haired New York pop singer Effie Liu's "What Do I Hafta Do" is an effervescent tease, which finds her cooing what do I have to do to get through to you on the hook. And in the new neon-hued video, that "you" is a hot pool boy and what she's willing to do is—well, dunk him. "Do you ever drop mad hints to someone and they just don't get it? That's pretty much what I wrote this song about and what the video reflects," she says. Feeling her? Download the song below and add it to your own pool party playlist.
If Liu's punky-coo sounds sounds familiar, that's because it was recently featured on an episode of Broad City. The placement, Liu tells The FADER, was a great honor: "Having my music included in Broad City was a total surprise, but it was rad. I love that show! I'm glad someone was able to pair the sass of "Gimme All Your Money" with an orgy on a boat." (For more on how Broad City picks its jams, read our interview with its music supervisor.) - Fader


"Nicopanda: Meet Effie Liu"

Delivering a pink-hued manifesto, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Effie Liu has spent the past few years polishing her sound to create the perfect trop-pop debut, Magenta Agenda—a seven-track release that pulls inspiration from early No Doubt and provides the ideal late-night summer soundtrack.

Though Liu's breakout project will drop in full on August 19, she's been teasing the EP track-by-track, beginning with the airy cut, "Best Side," and today, we're excited to premiere another song off Liu's forthcoming release. Called "Devil On My Shoulder," Liu sings about doubting herself above colorful, electro-pop production.

Listen, below, and read Nicopanda's conversation with the pink sheep of pop.

Bring us through your background and early music-making memories.

I grew up in the Bay Area, California. My early involvement with music was playing struggle-piano and then violin, but my dad snuck me off on a Saturday afternoon to buy a guitar because I’d been listening to a lot of punk and ska. When we came back with the guitar my mom was furious and was like, ‘there’s no way you’re playing that until you master the piano,’ but there was no chance of that happening because I was far from proficient at it. Instead, I went on the Internet and taught myself how to play punk songs. I learned enough to start writing music and bring my angsty teen lyrics to life. The first time I heard No Doubt’s ‘Just a Girl,’ it felt so relatable and I knew I needed to pursue music.

What music styles have had the greatest impact on your sound?

I grew up listening to all kinds of music, from Reggae and Ska to hardcore and punk. When I first moved to New York to pursue music, I fell ill with mono. The day I found out that’s what was wrong with me, I got a Facebook message from Shaka, known as Tom Cruz, who I’d recently met through a few friends, asking if he could crash on my couch. I was like, ‘Dude, I have mono,’ and he was like, ‘Great, I’ll take care of you.’ He moved in and spent two weeks cooking me Jamaican food and educating me about contemporary Dancehall and Reggae music, and I fell back in love with it.

How do you describe your sound?

When started making music, I experimented with a lot of different styles. My biggest musical influence has always been No Doubt, but I didn’t want to recreate their music, so I shied away from making Reggae and Dancehall-inspired tracks at first. Last year, I threw an event at a candy store where I performed three of my songs. The third one, 'Getaway,' was my first attempt at bringing the island vibes into my own music, and that was the song everyone couldn’t stop talking about. Through that, I realized I can pay tribute to the music that inspires me without copying it—that I can make music that’s a progression from it, while keeping it authentic to who I am as an artist. The sound for the EP was born.

What's the central message of your Magenta Agenda EP?

I always felt like an outsider in my youth. I came from a place where everyone wanted to be the same and I went to a super preppy private school. I was bullied for being different—for not dressing like everyone else. At home, my mom even put pressure on me to be more feminine so ‘boys would like me,’ [and] to be more like my peers. I always felt like ‘a problem;’ I felt like I might be the only one in my world feeling like this, but there must be more out there than me. My parents always put pressure on me to be a doctor so I could ‘give back to the world,’ and have a ‘normal’ profession, but I always knew there’s not a scientific bone in my body, and I needed to find another way to give back. The overall message of this EP is to be yourself and not buckle to the pressures of others. The Magenta Agenda is my announcement to the world that I’m here, I’m pink, and I’m a force to be reckoned with.

What's the biggest challenge you've experienced on your *:・゚rise to the top?

Sexism. Boys don’t expect you to know what you’re doing, they don’t expect you to have an opinion and they think they can push you around in the studio. Unfortunately, men control a lot in the music industry, and it’s hard to work with them when you can tell they aren’t taking you seriously. I have to be careful in choosing collaborators because if they don’t see me as their equals, it’s never going to work. The other biggest challenge was moving to New York and not knowing anyone in, or anything about, the industry. Nepotism and networking is everything in this industry, so it was hard to have nobody to help me get started. However, building my own network, finding other people who are working hard and doing it themselves has been so rewarding and has made my relationships that much stronger.

What's the story behind the track we've premiered, "Devil On My Shoulder?"

I wrote this song after having a huge fight with my mom. I grew up as the pink sheep of the family, and my mother has never been able to see why music is so important to me. It’s ironic, because being an outsider is what motivates me to make music, but it’s always hard to hear someone you love unconditionally not believe in what you’re doing, and she really got to me that day. The song is about bullying and how other people doubting you can make you question yourself. Writing this song was catharsis for me, and I hope it can help bring others out of those dark moments.

As an artist, what do you stand for?

I stand for embracing your true self, even in the face of haters, doubters [or] adversity. I grew up as an outsider, and I’m here for anyone who needs to hear that it’s okay to be who you are, especially if people are telling you it’s not. Growing up, there were so few Asian role models in the entertainment industry, but even today we’re underrepresented. Especially in music, there are almost no Asian-Americans in the mainstream. I want to be someone for other people in that community to see and be inspired by, and for people in all underrepresented groups to see as an example of breaking the mold. - nicopanda.com


"BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Effie Liu’s Debut EP ‘Magenta Agenda’"

It may be summer, but these are dark, dark days indeed. Civil wars, terrorism, deadly floods…and perhaps our most divisive ever Presidential campaign. Is it any wonder we’d want to slip into something, well, pink and sexy?

The Cali-raised and Brooklyn-based (Nicola Formichetti fave) singer and glamorously flamboyant style muse Effie Liu – even her name is funtabulous – made her rep as a member of indie darlings French Horn Rebellion (she also had a track, “Gimme All Your Money,” featured on Broad City). But with the official release later this week of her truly self-definingly titled EP Magenta Agenda, she’s on the verge, surely, of total breakout stardom.

Fuchsia-fabulous but Teflon-tough, her reggae-grooved, punky-iconoclastic tunes are as much defiant, autobiographical fables as they are a showcase for her remarkable skill with an unstoppable hook. The impossibly infectious “Games,” for instance, marries an exuberant calypso cool with an uncompromising demand for respect – a late summer anthem if ever.

So turn off the grim television news, step out of the dark, and into the…Magenta! - BlackBook


"PREMIERE: NYC POP ARTIST EFFIE LIU'S COLORFUL VIDEO FOR "TEARS 4 U""

Rising pop artist Effie Liu has delivered a music video, premiering today on PAPER, that's as awash in magenta as her debut EP, Magenta Agenda. "Tears 4 U" features the California-raised, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter bopping along to the song's reggae-fusion that harkens back to aughts-era No Doubt.

Effie and her crew of ladies sway before a derelict, pink-tinged building, and with the lights of NY twinkling in the background.

The song and video are a perfect summer send-off, as we head into the full swing of fall.

Check out "Tears 4 U," and stream her entire EP below. - Paper Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos