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Amber Liu is excited to meet her Australian fans at Sonica Music Festival – how do we know? She told us!

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As you should all know by now, the Sonica Music Festival is going to be held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne on Friday, 17 March 2023. The event will be co-presented by CA&C and Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Live at the Bowl. Live at the Bowl is a summary festival programme curated by Arts Centre Melbourne and supported by Creative Vic.

One of the headline acts performing at Sonica Music Festival is Amber Liu. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down and have a chat to Amber about her music, her first visit to Australia and her excitement at meeting her Australian fans.

Amber thank you for taking the time to talk to us today.

You’ll be performing at Sonica Music Festival in Australia in March.  Will this be your first time visiting Australia?

Yes, this will be my first time in Australia. When I got the request, I was like take me, I wanna go, please take me.

How did this opportunity come up for you?

My manager got hit up by the promoters.  I’m really excited to come to Australia for the first time.  I came close when I went to New Zealand a while back, but I didn’t get to Australia.

What’s the first thing you want to do when you get to Australia?

I definitely want to walk around and explore.  I’m a big fan of Pokémon and that’s my excuse for walking around. 

Other than that, I want to see the typical view of Australian wildlife. I do want to see – I definitely have to – it’s been on my bucket list since I was a kid, to see a kangaroo in Australia.  Satisfying those childhood goals a little bit! 

I would hopefully like to go on an actual run through the city.  When I was touring previously, I would definitely run around the city to explore.  You know, look at street signs; that sort of thing is fun to me.

I’m just excited to explore.

Amber Liu ‘Easier’ (feat Jackson Wang)

Are there any kinds of foods that you’d like to try while you’re here?

I’m not really aware of any ‘traditional’ Australian foods. Do you have any recommendations?

A typical Australian meat pie could be considered ‘traditional’, either that or vegemite.

Amber did sound a little stunned at the suggestion of a meat pie, but the option of vegemite garnered a very normal reaction for anyone not from Australia.

Oh no, oh no, I might give that one a thought for a minute.

In terms of the Sonica Music Festival what are you looking forward to most about performing here?

Other than meeting the fans for the first time face to face, I’ll be performing new music. I have a new song releasing the day of the Sonica Music Festival. I got my ‘Avengers’ together for this Festival because who doesn’t love Australia?

I’ll be performing with my choreographer on stage for the first time, I’m really excited for that.  My music director – he’s a total boss – he’s taking my music to a new level. Even though people are used to hearing studio versions of my music, my band has revamped the music to a different level and I’m really excited to share the energy with the fans and hopefully they’ll have a lot of fun as well.

Any spoilers of the new music?

My album has been delayed for a while now, I think it’s been for the best, as we have had some time to rework a lot of it with my team.  What’s to come for my music over the next year is just a lot of what I feel is the best stuff that I’ve made with my team. 

I’ve definitely taken a direction in writing from a more open but vulnerable mindset. I focussed a lot on my mental health last year, it grounded me – adulting is hard. The song that is going to be released relates to something that I’ve been trying to repeat to myself. That is the best spoiler I can give at the moment. 

There’s a lot of things going on in the world and the thing that I love about music is that it can bring people together and create a vibe. As a musician, I want to help people get through the day and help them feel that they are not alone.

It’s been almost a year since your last album ‘Z’.  Was there a message that you were wanting to convey through that album?

It was a natural progression through the albums ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’. With ‘Z’, I think the self realisation that I need to be brave and start trying to just take a leap of faith and be bold with whatever I do. 

It’s funny, I was listening to my old demos and music and reflecting on them. I feel that with each album I see a progression and I hope that my fans see and hear that.

Is there a song on that album that you want to recommend to the fans that they should go back and listen to again?

The song ‘Lately’, is one that I hold very dear and is treasured. It was dedicated to one of my friends that passed away. It was like writing a letter to him to let him know how I felt. I’ve lost a lot of people that were close with me, and it’s hard. The song is so emotional and it was hard to release it.  But, when fans heard it they thanked me for writing it, but I was more grateful, and thanked them for listening to it.

I know we’ve been talking about your new music and in particular the release that coincides with the Sonic Music Festival.  What else is on the horizon for you?

There’s a lot coming! I’ve often been asked what’s the difference between working solo and with a team is like. Right now, I’m working as part of a team, and there’s a lot of things in the works right now. 

My team is going full steam ahead right now and they’re busting themselves to help me create my art. A lot is coming. I’m hoping that we get to do a world tour later this year and I’d really like to include Australia in that.

Given that we are still early in 2023, are there any future goals for this year that you can share with us?

I’ve realised that over the years, I’ve had a very extreme experience. I’m either fully focussed on working and I grind it out, or I fully take a break. I’m either doing this or doing that or nowhere to be seen.  As I mentioned earlier, I did a lot of mental health work last year. So I think it’s time to find that work life balance. 

Secondly and equally important, in this chaos of whatever my life is I want to stay connected with family and friends. I barely see my family even though I’m in LA most of the year. Finding that balance and making time for my family is important.

Amber Liu ‘Other People’

Now that you’ve reached your 30s, is there any reflection or anything you want to tell your younger self?

I think what I want to tell my younger self is something that my mentor told me a few years ago and I’m now understanding what it means. Even though you’re going a million miles to where you want to go, don’t forget to look around and enjoy what’s going on. 

I feel like, even when I was listening to my old demos and group stuff there’s a bit of – I don’t like to regret things and I don’t regret, everything has its reasons and lessons if you look for it – a sense that my initial thoughts were like – that was a good time, but mentally when I think about it I wasn’t having a good time.  There were a lot of negative things attached.  I need to take the time to enjoy my life. I need to prioritise enjoying my life. Not everything is about the grind.

Do you have a special message for your Australian fans?

I would love to learn about the local slang. I had a couple of friends from Australia and I used to know some of the Australian slang, but now I don’t.

I’m really excited to see my fans and I hope they come prepared for some Llama energy.

It was at this point that we taught her about the Aussie chant; Aussie Aussie Aussie.

Amber took notes and is going to make sure to try that one out at Sonica Music Festival – so you can blame us for teaching her that one!

All Access Asia would like to thank Amber Liu and Sonica Music Festival for the opportunity to have a catch-up and chat about Amber‘s plans for 2023.

If you haven’t got your tickets yet, they are on sale now, but are limited. Head here to secure yours: Sonica Music Festival Tickets.

Are you excited to see Amber at Sonica Music Festival? What do you think her new music will sound like? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Stay up to date with the latest in Asian entertainment with All Access Asia.

Written and edited by Tracey and Narelle

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