1) What led you to do a cover of Adele's "Hello"? Did you expect your cover to go viral?
Actually, it all started as part of a school project where students get to cover songs of what they like. Fortunately, one of my favorite musician 'Adele' had her album released that time which led me to do a cover of her song. I absolutely did not expect that cover to go viral. I was so lucky!
2) Your new title song "Blue". Is there a specific meaning or message you wanted to convey?
'Blue' is a very special song for me. Since it was my first single after the cover, I wanted to introduce myself to the audience as who I really am. The song is based on my personal story of having a blue birthmark on the left side of my face. The whole half of my face and even the white of my eye where literally covered up in blue. The lyrics are written about that experience. Through my "Blue", I wanted to say that being different and being blue is totally okay and it's nothing to be ashamed of.
3) Who is your favorite singer?
It is so difficult for me to choose ONE favorite singer, but recently I am enjoying Lianne La Havas's album named "Blood" enormously. Her voice is phenomenal and her songs are so soothing. I am also in love with Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Ady Suleiman, King krule, Damien Rice and so much more. I really can't stand just naming one of them!
4) You made a guest appearance on 'Ellen DeGeneres Show'. Were you nervous? Share your thoughts on that whole experience.
Without any doubt, to perform live on 'Ellen DeGeneres Show' was my turning point throughout my music career.
The whole experience on Ellen was extremely surreal and exciting. Literally felt like a dream! Totally beyond my imagination. Just by reminiscing it, gives me chills! But it definitely was nerve-racking. I was shaking, my heart was pounding so fast I could hardly breathe properly. Everything happened so fast I can't even put the details into words. But again, the BEST experience I've ever had so far!
5) Who or what inspired you to pursue a singing career?
Damien Rice is my biggest inspiration. He opened up a whole new world for me. I've learned the true essence of music through his pieces. I was amazed by the fact that he could give such an inspiration just by that subtleness. His songs were so genuine and raw. That's when I started to prioritize the rawness in music.
6) Talk about some of your favorite moments while living in New Zealand.
Every single memory I had back in New Zealand are my favorites. One of them is that I met my loving dog in New Zealand and she became a part of the family since then. The school was amazing, I met one of my best friend in NZ as well. I consider New Zealand as my second home.
7) If given the opportunity, is there an artist you would like to collaborate with in the
I would love to collaborate with Damien Rice. It was surely on my bucket list since I started perusing music!
8) Favorite K-pop artist? Korean drama/movie?
Recently, I was so into a Korean drama called 'Dokkaebi (Goblin)'. I am normally not a big fan of drama since I am not patient enough to wait for the next episode and also get easily distracted while waiting but 'Goblin' was not the case. Obviously, I fell in love with 'Gong Yoo' and loved the characters inside the story.
9) What are some of your hobbies besides music?
I love watching movies. Discovering new favorite movie is my hobby. Michel Gondry, Xavier Dolan, David Lynch and Dominique Abel are my favorite directors. I would love to get involved in a film industry in the future.
10) What led you to enter the U.S. music industry as opposed to Korean?
It happened naturally, I think. I always love to sing songs written in English, and I've always thought that I could deliver my emotions better when songs' lyrics were written in English. After a few months since my appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, luckily I've met amazing artists and producers in Korea, while they were participating a songwriting camp by SM entertainment. We met up again at Phil Tan's recording studio (Grammy award winner/Engineer) in Atlanta for my single album. Without these great friends' help, I wouldn't have ever entered the U.S. music industry.
11) After you went viral, were there any Korean labels trying to contact you?
I was lucky enough to get in contact with some labels in Korea. It was a true honor to even get a chance to talk with them and knowing that they are aware of my existence and my music.
12) What is your Favorite food?
I adore food in general, it releases all my stress from anything. I enjoy Thai food and pizza. McDonald's are my best guilty pleasure!
13) What are some things you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy listening to all different genres of music. Sometimes, I even feel like I enjoy listening to music more than singing it for myself. I can't live a day without listening to jazz which is my favorite genre! One of my habits is to turn on jazz while studying.
14) What kind of singer/person would you like to be known for?
I would like to be known as an artist beyond musician. My ultimate goal is to be an influential artist who can tackle every part of art and has the ability to combine them to a whole masterpiece.
15) Who is your celebrity crush?
I guess 'Gong Yoo' at the moment? I assume every woman in Korea has a crush on him by now.
16) What would you like to have accomplished five years from now?
It would be a dream come true if I could see my songs in the Billboard Chart! Whether people like it or not, I understand it is totally up to the listeners, I would appreciate if my stories and my voice could reach out to many people and hopefully be someone's biggest inspiration someday.
Video shout out from Lydia:
Photographs by Suan Lee.
You can support Lydia by purchasing her single on Apple Music.