'I've always wanted to be a musician': Simu Liu says he's trying a new career path
The actor joined Q's Tom Power for a special Junos interview
Simu Liu is a lot of things: an actor, a former accountant, a published author and a superhero. Now, he's also a two-time host of the Juno Awards, which is taking place tonight in Edmonton. As it turns out, he's interested in becoming a musician himself.
Last night, the Shang-Chi and Kim's Convenience star sat down with Q's Tom Power in front of a live audience at the Winspear Centre for the annual Juno Songwriters' Circle — one of the most anticipated events of JunoFest.
In a wide-ranging interview, Liu talked about some of his recent and upcoming projects, including his moving memoir, We Were Dreamers, and the release of new music.
On his surprising new career path as a musician
When he was making Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Liu got the opportunity to record a song titled Hot Soup for the film's soundtrack.
I'm about to turn 34 and putting out music for the first time.- Simu Liu
The Asian American record label 88rising oversaw the project. After it was done, founder Sean Miyashiro agreed to help Liu make his own music. While the actor hasn't released anything yet, he said working with the label has been "a really exciting process" so far.
"I've always wanted to be a musician," Liu told Power. "I was a part of a boy band when I was 12. I mean, nothing ever happened. It was called LX4 because all of our names started with L…. I'm about to turn 34 and putting out music for the first time. It's a bit of an interesting feeling. But, you know, age is just a number you guys! People can have career changes or new careers."
On showing gratitude to his parents in his memoir
Last year, Liu released his memoir, We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story, which begins with six chapters dedicated to his parents, their experience growing up in China and their journey to Canada.
"I truly believe that I would not be where I am were it not for the sacrifices of my parents," he said.
"For the doors that they opened up, the opportunities that I'm now able to have because of them — because of their hard work and sacrifice — I owe them my eternal gratitude. I realized I owe them my love, but I don't owe them my future … because if I remain indentured to them, and in gratitude and in service of them, then I will never do what it is that they originally set out to give me in the first place. I will never be able to embrace my destiny and be able to follow my path."
The full interview with Simu Liu (including a Canadian music pop quiz) is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Interview with Simu Liu produced by Mitch Pollock.
Simu Liu is back to host the 2023 JUNO Awards on Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m ET. Tune in on CBC, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and CBC Listen, and stream globally on cbcmusic.ca/junos.