Interview with WeiWei: Single Trophy Girl is Out Now
Single ‘Trophy Girl’ is Out Now
New York-based WeiWei is an Asian American Pop Singer/Songwriter. Born in Changsha, China, her family moved to the U.S. when she was four years old. As a child, WeiWei was a musical prodigy, playing the violin, piano and guitar; even then, she thought she could make music her life’s ambition. Her family, however, had other ideas! WeiWei explains that her mother was a stereotypical “tiger mom” and being a pop star was not an option in her household; WeiWei attended the University of Massachusetts at 16 and graduated at 20. She now combines her musical pursuits with a successful career as a Business Intelligence Developer at HBO, which she recently joined after working at American Express.
Her first single, ‘Forever’, was released in 2018, kickstarting her music career; WeiWei has since performed at well-known NYC venues such as Pianos and the Delancey. In the course of her varied career, she also worked as a Bunny (she lasted a month!) at the Playboy Club in New York. WeiWei’s music is autobiographical; her sound is electro/synth pop, and as an artist, she sees herself breaking down boundaries as the first Asian-American name in pop music that isn’t under the ‘K-Pop’ banner.
WeiWei is not only a musician but also a fashion influencer whose aesthetic, both musically and visually, really communicates her personality. Her music is not only representative of her story but also of freedom from cultural boundaries simply by the pursuit of it. She writes about the emotions we all move through in life (love, jealousy, regret) in a fun, honest and relatable manner. Her new single, ‘Trophy Girl’, is about a toxic, controlling relationship where the woman feels the pressure to conform to the stereotype of the submissive, quiet Asian woman. The song also explores issues around self-image and weight.
WeiWei says: “The track was inspired by the feeling of liberation from expectations of what a girlfriend, wife or woman should be. I was dating someone with traditional (and outdated, in my opinion) views, and we were discussing marriage. I got to a point where I realized that I simply wasn’t capable of being the perfect girl who cooks, cleans and listens to what the guy says. While I love to cook, I am terrible at cleaning, haha! I am far too strong for that. Writing the song really helped me heal and step into my power. I believe that when you heal yourself, you heal others, and I hope that when people listen to the song, they too feel empowered and confident and that it will also help them get out of controlling relationships.”
1. You have just released your single ‘Trophy Girl’ about finding your strength and leaving a toxic relationship! Can you tell us more about this single?
Trophy Girl is about the breakup of a long-term relationship, I was expected to be this perfect girlfriend, and I could never live up to his expectations. I wanted to write about being free from that. Nowadays, people are getting married later. You live with your partner before marriage and get a feel of what married life would look like before you actually marry.
The song is about the other person seeing the woman’s role in a relationship as very traditional – cooking and cleaning and how a girl should look as well.
2. How would you describe your music to someone?
Fun, bubblegum pop. Even if the message of the song is serious, I like the song to feel still fun. I like the BPM to be 110 and above, so it feels fast-paced, with a nice beat driving the song.
3. Can you tell us about your music background and who influenced you?
I grew up playing violin and piano and singing in a choir. I also played the flute and guitar. Growing up, I watched pop stars like Britney and Christina and thought I wanted to be like them.
4. What has it been like growing up as an Asian American Pop Singer/Songwriter?
It’s been a ride, as I think every artist’s journey is. The added layer is that in Asian culture, you are expected to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Although I have a technology career alongside my music, my family still thinks I’m a bit crazy to be pursuing music.
I really don’t have another Asian American pop star to look up to that has been on the same journey as me, so I love hearing stories in industries adjacent to music, like acting.
Awkafina’s story, I think, is the most similar to mine, and I have a lot of respect for her as a person and as an artist. People think it’s unusual that I am Asian and decided to step outside of those cultural expectations of having one of those boring jobs in a math or science-related field.
Fortunately, we are living in a time in a society where there have been a lot of cultural changes, and Asians are now more visible in mainstream media. Although the music industry still has an opportunity for growth in this area. Oftentimes people see Asian artists as only being in K-pop. I love K-pop and have respect for all music; however, I consider my music to be more pop.
5. You’re not only a musician but also a fashion influencer. How would you describe your style?
I would describe it as quirky and representative of my mood that day. I like to switch up my look. While I have a designer addiction. I like to thrift and also mix up my wardrobe with lower-end and higher-end items.
6. What have you been focussing on during lockdown?
I have been focused on different business ventures to help fund my music and strategies to get my music out to a larger audience. Personally, I have been learning to have more patience and acceptance of this journey called life.
7. You are based in New York? What are your favourite things about the city?
Right now, I am based in Los Angeles; however, I go to New York often and may move back. My favorite things about New York are the food, the fashion, and the hustle. My favorite things about LA are the space and nature.
8. As we are easing out of lockdown, what are the three things you can’t wait to do again?
Number one on that list is performing live and having large social gatherings where people are not paranoid. I am also eager to hit up more indoor workout classes with equipment so I can get back in shape!
9. What is your top tip for living your best life?
Gratitude. Write down and remember the blessings that you do have, and try not to focus on what you don’t.
10. What are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I want to take over the world in a positive way. I want to be able to influence people to step outside of their cultural boundaries and eventually fund artists that are not able to support themselves with their talent independently. For now, I will release more music and look for label support.