“Do you put on sunscreen?” Lexie Liu asks out of the blue, turning me into the interviewee throughout her go to to the Attract workplace. If one among my buddies had requested this query, I might have rolled my eyes, however coming from somebody who simply turned 20, her question is extra endearing than insulting. “Sure, day-after-day,” I inform her. The Shanghai-based rapper reveals that she does not put on sunscreen, regardless that she’s heard it is “efficient.”

As I give her my sun-protection PSA, I virtually neglect that Liu has made headlines for being the “Chinese language Rihanna”. Like Rihanna, Liu’s discography has the makings of the brand new soundtrack to each your morning commute and an evening out with buddies. With glowing cheekbones, lustrous lips, and exact liner, Liu might have simply walked off the set of a Fenty Magnificence photograph shoot. The model has but to recruit her as a mannequin, however she’s a self-professed fan of it. She shares up on Fenty’s newest highlighters and glosses; the Diamond Bomb is her most-recent buy.

Ziming Qin

Not like Rihanna, Liu has but to develop that enviable superhuman high quality that makes Rihanna seem to be she operates on the next wavelength than mere mortals, together with, however not restricted to, her capability to stroll over grates in stilettos and go away eating places with a wine glass in hand. As a substitute, Liu is about as regular as my 21-year-old sister, Kendall. Regular is a relative time period, however each stay for a very good Instagram meme account, really feel most snug in athleisure, and possibly suppose approach an excessive amount of. Liu prefers to do her “each day overthinking” in a bath-bomb-spiked tub with neon lights on. Kendall will do her overthinking anytime, wherever. However not like most 21-year-olds, Liu can vacillate effortlessly between rapping in Mandarin and English.

Liu prefers to do her “each day overthinking” in a bath-bomb-spiked tub with neon lights on.

The diamond-encrusted chain-link necklace that encircles Liu’s black Adidas turtleneck is a reminder that she’s one of many solely girls signed to 88rising, a rising report label devoted to signing Asian artists, together with Niki, Dumbfoundead, Joji, and Wealthy Brian. Her black wide-legged monitor pants with rainbow stripes down the perimeters are the true model of the obvious $12-knockoff pair I bought — costlier model existed was information to me. Earlier than assembly Liu, I seen that a few of the most fascinating folks I observe on Instagram, like GOT7’s Jackson Wang and tattoo artist Dr. Woo, observe Liu. Sitting along with her, that thought pops into my head, and I notice her title stands all by itself. She does not want “Chinese language Rihanna” to preface her title for context. She’s merely, powerfully, and confidently Lexie Liu.

Liu’s Okay-Pop Begin

Her first EP, 2030, drops at present, February 1, however Liu has been within the music sport since she was 16. In 2015, she had a brush with Okay-pop stardom whereas showing on Okay-pop Star 5, a Korean actuality present about rising singers competing to signal with a serious report label. Throughout that point, she realized how she needed to current herself within the business.

Employees for the present had Liu colour her hair chestnut brown, marking her first-ever dye job. “I believed it was approach too candy, and I could not pull it off,” she says. After putting fourth, she determined to bleach her hair platinum. “I ended up wanting like a really unhealthy pupil,” she provides with fun. As somebody who by no means wore make-up to highschool as a result of she was afraid it could get her in hassle, Liu could not relate to the ultra-blonde fantasy.

Lexie Liu/Instagram

Liu’s Look of Confidence

Now that Liu is releasing her personal music with 88rising, she’s virtually the antithesis of a Okay-pop star, beauty-wise at the very least. Her “power-giving” look, as she calls it, thrives in its no-frills consistency. You’ll be able to normally catch her carrying the aforementioned make-up look and middle-parted, smooth hair that grazes her collarbones, which was impressed by futuristic photos of ladies with straight black hair.

“I’m simply getting began, so if I swap to too many seems to be, they may not bear in mind what I look or sound like.”

For the foreseeable future, Liu plans to stay to this aesthetic, as an alternative of altering her hair and make-up drastically each time she releases a brand new track, as Okay-pop stars are recognized to do. “I’m simply getting began, so if I swap to too many seems to be, they may not bear in mind what I look or sound like,” she explains.



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