Helena Li – Five Questions With

Helena Li

Sparks Fly on “Montana,” Helena Li’s Ode to a Secret Crush

Helena Li is a Toronto-based singer and songwriter whose musical journey started in Beijing in the 90s, years before she moved to Canada in her late teens. After spending some time in the music industry as a professional, Helena made the bold decision to embark on her dream path as a recording artist and break boundaries for artists with Asian immigrant backgrounds in North America and beyond — a dream which has come to fruition with her debut single, “Montana.”

To craft her unique, story-driven brand of pop, Helena draws inspiration from Western pop legends, including Ali Tamposi, Marina and The Diamonds, Ava Max, Sia, and Florence + The Machine, infusing the synthesis with a unique blend of Eastern elements.

“Montana” is written about Helena’s unrequited crush on a pharmacist, where she frequently picked up her prescriptions. Helena went back to China for some time, and when she went back to the pharmacy years later, the pharmacist was gone. She never even knew her name, so she called her “Montana.”

Watch the lyric video for “Montana” below and learn more about Helena Li via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

I am a Chinese-Canadian singer-songwriter born in China and moved to Vancouver when I was a teen. I have been singing since the age of 13 and started writing my songs at 16. After years of working in the music industry in both China and Canada. After being exposed to both cultures, I see a major difference between Chinese and Western music, and exploring them would be quite an adventure. Honestly, it took me a lot of courage to start being an independent artist, but I am glad I took a leap of faith. You only live once, do the one thing you love and focus on it.

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

Montana is the first single in my career as an artist. It’s about the unrequited love of my first girl crush and my newly discovered identity. She used to work at a pharmacy close to my home in Vancouver. Until today, she would never know there is a patient of hers who wrote a song about her. I hope one day she will have a chance to hear it…! But I guess even if she hears it, she won’t know it’s her because her name in the song is Montana, my imagined name for her.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

All of my works are based on my emotions and real-life experiences. I tend to write the music first, and the lyrics after and keep them simple. Sincerity is the most important quality in music, and no matter what happens in the current trend, never losing your direction is important.

Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to tell us about?

I would like to perform as I start to release more music! Going to shows is on my agenda after releasing my EP. Check my social media for upcoming songs.

What’s your goal for 2023?

My goal is to release an EP about the theme of love. In the last couple of months, I went through a lot of ups and downs, and I pour my feelings into my music and am ready to share them with the world…!

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