Interview: AMBER LIU Takes Us On Her Musical Journey With Her “No More Sad Songs” Tour

From barking to traveling through several different time zones, Amber highlights some of her most memorable moments on her recent concert tour!

By: Apr. 13, 2024
Interview: AMBER LIU Takes Us On Her Musical Journey With Her “No More Sad Songs” Tour
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Since 2009, Amber Liu has been making music in the spotlight. Since her early beginnings in the South Korean music industry, she has not slowed down since then. The 31-year-old Chinese-American singer, rapper, and songwriter has truly shown what it means to be an artist, by relentlessly pursuing her truth and embracing her differences through her songs. 

After passing the SM Entertainment Global Audition, she trained for a year and a half under the company before debuting in their incredibly popular 5-member K-Pop girl group, f(x), in 2009. The group went on to dominate the 2nd generation of K-Pop releasing 4 studio albums, 2 EPs, and 15 singles. Topping the charts with their addicting electro-pop songs accompanied by eye-catching choreography and flashy visuals, f(x) was part of the movement that paved the way for the future success of K-Pop in the global entertainment industry. 

In 2015, Amber made her solo debut with her EP entitled, “Beautiful.” Featuring the very popular song, “Shake That Brass," with Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation, the album peaked at number 2 on the Gaon South Korean charts, spearheading the future of Amber’s solo career. Since then, Amber’s solo music career has taken off with 5 EPs, several singles, and several collaborations so far. Currently under Steel Wool Entertainment, Amber’s latest releases include her single, “Dusk Till Dawn,” released in January of this year and the single, “No More Sad Songs,” released in 2023 which is also the name of her latest concert tour. 

This month, I had the pleasure of attending the "No More Sad Songs" tour stop in Vancouver, BC and chatting with Amber on behalf of BroadwayWorld. Reflecting on both her recent tour as well as her career past and present, it was clear that her journey as an artist was about more than just her music. Through self-discovery, embracing different perspectives, and just enjoying the process of everything, Amber has found true happiness in herself. Read the exclusive interview below! 

To start, what do you think sets the “No More Sad Songs” tour apart from your previous tours? 

I simply feel like a different person, a different performer and a different artist this time around. I think that is what makes this “NO MORE SAD SONGS” tour different from my past ones. Over the last couple of years, I’ve really gotten to know a side of performing that is raw and unpredictable and I enjoy finding fun and spontaneity with it. That’s why, even 26 shows in, I still feel like every night is a different night and it never gets old. 

Any particular memorable moments that you have had on tour so far? 

In Sydney, Australia, the crowd started barking at me, and I kind of froze and just went with it and started barking as well. We love animals!

Have there been any unexpected surprises or challenges during this tour that you didn’t anticipate? 

Though I’m used to flying between time zones, the past 30 days we were not only going between time zones, but also different types of weather. I definitely caught a cold early on this past leg, and felt days where I was sick. Luckily, I can fall asleep anywhere to get extra rest, so I was able to get through it. 

Interview: AMBER LIU Takes Us On Her Musical Journey With Her “No More Sad Songs” Tour

Photo Credit: Christian Haahs. 

The last time you were in Vancouver was in 2020 for your “Tour X.” Do you have any memories of your Vancouver show back then and/or do you have any places you want to see when you visit again for your show here in April? 

I’ve only been to Vancouver on some short trips (including tour) and I’ve always wanted to go to Stanley Park. It looks beautiful and I just wanna walk alongside the water and  relax. Honestly, for a majority of the cities I just like mindlessly walking around to take everything in. Somehow, my friends and I found some really cool hole-in-the-wall places doing this! 

How do you think you have changed as an artist from your time in f(x) to your career now as a solo artist? 

I was very young when I debuted in f(x), and my solo career has definitely changed from my early 20s now to my 30s. I’m experiencing and looking at life in different ways and also learning to find peace with myself. I feel like when I was younger, I was really trying to prove myself and was stressing so much to an unhealthy degree. Now, I just really love enjoying the process and since I have been doing this for so long, I have so many more tools, and so much more knowledge which makes me feel like the things that I can create are limitless.

What messages or themes do you tend to gravitate to through your music? How do you hope your listeners and fans connect with it? 

Naturally, I feel like I talk about finding myself and what that means. I think about my frustrations and thoughts that go through my head when times get really tough. I’ve always felt like the weirdo and was bullied a lot when I was younger. I just want to sing to my younger self and tell young Amber, it’s ok to be weird and feel different because that’s what’s awesome about her. I’ve always felt like I had to keep changing myself to please people and in the end, I forgot how to make myself happy and feel fulfilled. I want to live my life because it’s mine and I hope that anybody struggling with that can know that they’re not alone.

You have had the pleasure to collaborate with and feature a variety of artists over the years. From Luna to Peniel and James Lee to most recently, Jessica Jung (with the song “Get It? Got It? Good?”), is there one that stands out or was particularly memorable? 

Every time I collaborate with my friends it’s always so fun and special. The general vibe is: I send them a track and I say or do whatever they want and what feels best (and vice versa). It’s honestly very “smooth.” We talk a lot about ideas and how to help bring the vision to life. With Jessica, when she sent me the track, I asked if I needed to record other vocals, and she said to record whatever I felt was best! She was used to everything that I sang. I really thank her for trusting me with  “Get It, Got It, Good”.

Interview: AMBER LIU Takes Us On Her Musical Journey With Her “No More Sad Songs” Tour

Photo Credit: Christian Haahs 

Are there any achievements or specific moments in your career that have made you proud of your journey as a musician? 

Every day that I am on stage, I just feel so lucky and thankful. During one of my shows on this tour, I talked about how the “Now More Sad Songs” album was the first time in nine years that I put out a physical album. I expressed how I was proud of myself to the audience and they all cheered and screamed for me. I naturally got shy, but my music director was talking to me through my in-ear monitor and said, “soak it, soak it in … you deserve it!” I don’t even remember how I came back from the shyness, but it was an awesome moment for sure. 

How has it been navigating through your career as a solo artist compared to your early beginnings in a K-Pop group? 

I’m an indie artist now and it’s a big change compared to the beginning of my career. My team and I are always trying to find different ways of doing things. To be honest, I’m sort of learning the structures of the first 10 years of my career and it’s a lot to catch up on. Sometimes I feel the pressure and the sleepiness, but I’m very happy. Everyday I’m getting more and more comfortable in my own skin. 

Looking back to when you first entered the entertainment industry, what piece of advice would you have given your younger self? 

I would say to never forget why you started music and to keep reminding yourself that. This industry can be really hard and soul-sucking, but I started music because I loved how it brought people together. Music gave me a safe space when I felt the loneliest. As an artist, that is what I want to give to the people who come to my shows or listen to my music, a place or a moment to relax. I’ve also heard a lot of fans have made friends at my shows or got their partner into my music (and now their partner loves me more), it’s just so heart-warming. 

AMBER LIU recently completed her “No More Sad Songs” concert tour. After traveling worldwide for her tour that began last year, the “No More Sad Songs” tour concluded last week in Montreal, Quebec. Amber Liu’s “No More Sad Songs” concert tour dates were as below: 

Interview: AMBER LIU Takes Us On Her Musical Journey With Her “No More Sad Songs” Tour

Top Photo: Amber Liu. Photo Credit: Christian Haahs.


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