What would it feel like to put the best effort into your hobby to get supported by a lot of people and find an opportunity to work abroad?
Liyuu is a Chinese cosplayer, singer, and voice actor working in Japan. She could not speak Japanese a couple of years ago. Now, she shows off her incredible talent, releasing solo albums in Japanese and working as a voice actor for Tang Keke in Love Live! Superstar!!
We got a chance to talk with Liyuu to ask about her life story, her new song “Ambition” revealed on December 24, and her new album “Fo(u)r YuU”, which will be released on February 9, 2022.
Could you introduce yourself and greet readers and fans from all over the world?
Hello. I am Liyuu, a singer and cosplayer from Shanghai, China. I’m pleased to do this interview.
Why did you start cosplaying, and what is the biggest appeal of cosplaying?
I liked anime ever since I was young, and found out about cosplaying on social media. As I immersed myself more and more in the world of cosplaying, I found the urge to cosplay myself. I think the biggest appeal of cosplaying is that I can become a character I like.
I heard that becoming a singer was your dream when you were young. Unlike other cosplayers, you did character voices impressions like voice actors and uploaded your anime song covers. Did you think of becoming both cosplayer and singer from the beginning?
Becoming a singer was my dream ever since I was young, but I never thought that I would make that dream. I still can’t believe that I’ve made it. I became a singer because a lot of people supported me when I worked as a cosplayer, which led to my career in Japan. It still feels like a dream that I am working as a singer.
In terms of voice acting, I thought it was unreasonable to become a voice actor because I am Chinese. I still think that I wouldn’t be working as a voice actor if not for Love Live! Superstar!!
I heard that you entered college to study design. Now, you are working as a singer and a cosplayer in China and Japan. What made you decide to work abroad?
A college degree was something that both my family and I felt necessary. I posted my cosplay photos on social media as I studied in college, and the number of supporters in Japan increased a lot. That led me to find opportunities to work in Japan, so I decided to work abroad.
Living in a foreign country is never easy, yet you also sing and do voice acting in a foreign language. Tell me about your experience working in Japan.
It was very difficult. Language is only one of the difficulties. Living in Japan is very different compared to living in China, and even the smallest differences in life habits were stressful until I got used to it.
However, my efforts paid its dividends, as I have a lot of fans who support me. They're my source of motivation that keep me going and work harder.
Tell us about your new album “Fo(u)r YuU”, as well as your latest single, "Ambition".
“Fo(u)r YuU” is an album that explores many different genres of music, and it's very different from my previous music. I've explored with many different genres — I've never made a rock song before, and "Ambition" is my first time exploring that genre. It was a fresh challenge, and I think it's a very cool song. I also never thought about myself singing a rock genre song. When recording "Ambition", I tried to express a Liyuu that even I have never seen before.
You're also rapping in your latest single, just as you once did on the song "Carpe Diem". Isn't it difficult to rap in Japanese? I'm curious if you always liked to rap.
Just like "Ambition", I never thought about rapping before "Carpe Diem". Of course there's rap music in China, but I've never rapped before in my life. However, I've been rapping since "Carpe Diem". I learned how to rap for the first time, and it was even more difficult because I had to do it in Japanese. Even now, I ask myself, "Can I really pull this off?"
Because of such, I actually can't rap in Chinese. [Laughter] I still like rapping though!
I heard you're hosting your first ever concert called “Liyuu First Concert 2022「Fo(u)r YuU」”, on February 2022. Please tell me more about it.
I got a lot of messages from fans who told me they were sad they can't visit Japan to attend. I keep asking myself what I can do, but I'm disappointed that there's nothing I can do for those fans unable to attend.
Many people around the world found me through various platforms and became fans, and I'm very upset that they can't attend. I'd like to have more concerts so that they can all come watch the show one day.
Any last words to the fans all over the world?
I never had a chance to visit a country outside of Asia before. Whether it's on Youtube or Instagram, there are a lot of comments in various languages. It always surprises me to see so many international fans, and I'd like to travel to other countries to interact with my fans!