Alice Longyu Gao celebrates individuality, success, and her devotion to her art on her debut EP, High Dragon and Universe. The project draws from the trending hyper pop genre while still feeling authentic and uniquely Alice! Even the title is an extension of herself:
“High Dragon and Universe” is the direct translation of my actual name on my passport. My family and my dad didn’t want a girl. Not knowing what “gender” I’d be, this name was made before I was born. I used to hate it. But a girl who I had an e-relationship with said a girl with a boy’s name is really cool. So I started to like it. Growing up as a petite Asian girl living in foreign countries, extremely detached from her family, I experienced a lot of invalidation, dismissive treatment, misunderstanding, and lies. Life has been cruel to me. I don’t have a plan B. The dragon in my blood is self-affirmation. I know I’m special, I know that my goals and my mission are real, and I will keep walking on this path.Alice Longyu Gao
Let’s take a look at the project’s six exciting tracks!
The EP opens with the flashy ‘100 Boyfriends,’ a track with hip-hop influences that exudes confidence and energy. With production by Dylan Brady of 100 gecs, it kicks off High Dragon and Universe with an unapologetic attitude that’s super inspiring!
How it feel, how it feel to be lying awake?
Always on your phone just stalking my page
What’s the deal, what’s the deal? I’m stuck in your head
‘Underrated Popstar’ touches on Alice’s experiences with fame and how excited she is for the day she gets the recognition she deserves. The first verse closes with some helpful advice for anyone trying to find their place in a creative industry: “be an icon, don’t flop.” We love the song’s edgy electronic feel!
My saga is only getting start
Shut up, keep streaming my song
Making dope sh*t, it takes long
‘Never Coming Back’
The upbeat ‘Never Coming Back’ sees Alice demanding the respect she deserves on a creative and social level. It’s a moment of realization and reflection, letting Alice celebrate her own identity while refusing to compromise who she is! While your experiences may be different than Alice’s, there’s something for everyone to relate to in this song.
Growing up, fashion catalogs I browsed solely used white blonde brunette models. After I came into my questioning phrase as a human, I wondered why they’d try to promote their brands with girls that I could never look like. I found myself desperately trying to find all the reasons why he is not into me, I tried to change myself, but there is a task that is mission impossible. I could never ever look like a white girl. It’s unbelievable how much I cried for that reason, and it is stupid.Alice Longyu Gao
‘Bleeding in the Studio’
‘Bleeding in the Studio’ describes Alice’s dedication to her artistry and her love of music, contrasting a pretty pre-chorus with a hard-hitting chorus that shows off her perseverance! It calls out people who don’t believe in her while also sounding effortlessly unbothered, making it a perfect anthem for women who want to go into male-dominated industries.
It was the first day of my period, but it makes no difference for me in terms of working. I got into the studio, telling Wyatt, who co-produced and co-wrote the song, how exhausted and in shock I am. I believe no one in my circle are necessarily ‘bad people,’ however some of those egotistic and basic heterosexual bros made out-of-touch decisions. I am here to make music. I didn’t want drama, I didn’t expect to be gaslighted, manipulated, and taken advantage of. Guess me as a petite Asian girl who in real life is pretty soft-speaking, caring, and bubbly, made some of them [see] their chance. I’m frustrated from dealing with tragic events caused by their lack of sympathy and empathy.Alice Longyu Gao
The buzzy ‘Kanpai’ talks about Alice’s impact and popularity, with fun nods to pop culture icons like Taylor Swift and Britney Spears! “Kanpai” is Japanese for “drink your full cup,” making it a perfect celebratory bop. We love the track’s upbeat sound and energy!
Britney, Lindsay, Amanda Bynes
I am the new b*tch on the cover headlines
I am the new b*tch on the billboard sign
The EP closes with ‘DTM,’ an ode to Alice’s love of music and the technology she uses to make it. With shoutouts to the EDM genre, Ableton production software, and singer and producer Charlie Puth, it feels like a party for fellow music lovers who appreciate the creative process!
I got a proposal from a major label proposing an all-female “hyperpop” project produced by a DJ from the 90s. The last slide on the proposal titled: “what is hyperpop.” They threw all these genre’s names on it and put “hyperpop” in the middle. One of the terms they used is “DTM,” and it really amused me how people are trying to figure out who we are, label us quickly and so they can capitalize on this. The holiness in my art practice and the community that supported me are always being ignored. If we are being marketed as a sound, a trend, or a wave, I could barely agree that is beneficial, ‘cause in a capitalist world, those things fade quickly.Alice Longyu Gao
High Dragon and Universe see Alice Longyu Gao coming into her own and refusing to be anything but her authentic self, carrying a timeless message with nods to the digital age and modern celebrity culture. “At the end of the day I think we should listen to music and let it lead you to find the light of life,” Alice says, and we couldn’t agree more!
What do you think of the High Dragon and Universe EP? Tell us your favorite tracks in the comments below or on Twitter @TheHoneyPOP!
Featured Image Source: Olivia Aquilina