When did you first decide that you wanted to pursue a career in the music industry?
I think when I was 15. I won a competition and I met my manager, and that is [when I decided on] music as my career. Becoming a singer actually feels like, “Oh, it’s getting real here,” because I started to sing when I was like three or four years old, but I never imagined that one day I would be on TV. To me, being on TV is like being a cartoon character—it’s so surreal; like it doesn’t exist in reality.
How has it been now that you're on TV?
Even today, it still feels surreal. Like a week ago when I was watching America’s Next Top Model, I wouldn't imagine that the next week I’d actually be in NYLON. So even until today, it feels like I’m dreaming sometimes.
How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it before?
I would say it’s a mixture of a lot of different cultures. I actually grew up with a lot of Western music. I'm Chinese and my producer is actually an Austrian man who lived in L.A. for 15 years, so every record essentially has a lot of different influences. When we actually get together in the studio, we always try to make a a three-minute track with as many here-and-there influences. From different life experiences and cultures, we create something really unique. Music is actually the only language between us; it makes it so there are no more language boundaries—music is the one bridge.
What are some of the songs you grew up listening to?
I love Whitney [Houston], Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey... A lot of different things play quickly in my memories of childhood.