Shanghai-born performer Ling Li came to America in 2008 to study business. But her heart wasn’t in it; business was not her true passion. She’d been singing since she was very young and had won a variety of awards in China. Sadly, though, her opportunities there were limited. But once she arrived in Seattle, WA, options abounded and she could deny her inner or outer voice no longer.
“That’s why I love this country,” Li says of her new home in America. “It’s full of opportunity for everybody. In China, there wasn’t much available [for singers]. I still loved singing when I came here. I got invited to participate in competitions and appear on local Seattle TV. I also performed in various schools along the West Coast.”
“Organica was thinking that I do one single first,
if I can find a good enough song that everyone can relate to.”
In 2013 she released a Mandarin cover of “The Moon Represents My Heart.” Soon after, she was asked to perform at a fashion show after-party, where she caught the eye of Elton Ahi, a music producer and engineer who has had a hand in more than 100 films including The Last of the Mohicans. “Elton introduced himself and invited me to audition at his studio,” Li recalls. “Two months later, he signed me to a management deal.” Through his connections, Ahi then helped her land a deal with Organica Music Group.
Li’s plan is to record a single or two for release in June 2015, once the right song can be found. “Organica was thinking that I do one single first,” the singer explains, “if I can find a good enough song that everyone can relate to and can create a buzz. That’ll test the market to see how I do. If that goes well, we’ll move to the next single and then, hopefully, an album.”
Li says she had to be realistic, “because I’m 25 now. I’ve passed the age of becoming a pop idol like Britney Spears.” Indeed, she hopes that through her Music Connection Signing Story, songwriters will contact her with potential singles.
Album and single titles are still up in the air, but of course there’s still ample time––for titles and for her career. – Rob Putnam