Born in a modest Chinese town in 2000, Liu Yu’s journey to becoming a sensational young artist began in his early years, marked by a deep passion for music. His upbringing was characterized by a blend of traditional Chinese culture and the modern influences of the digital age.
Liu Yu found solace in music at a young age, singing along to tunes on the radio and performing for his family and friends. At four, he enrolled in traditional dance, a skill he would upkeep for the next 16 years. “I hold a profound affection for traditional culture, fueling my dedication to traditional dance. When performing traditional Chinese dance, I’m filled with confidence. This strength motivates me, growing stronger with every stage I complete. Therefore many of my performances incorporate clothing with traditional Chinese elements.”
Discovery and breakthrough
Liu Yu’s background in traditional dance not only left a mark on his career as a musician, but also helped propel him into stardom by defining his uniqueness. This was seen clearly when he participated in the reality competition CHUANG 2021, which aimed to create INTO1 – a new boy group by bringing together talented trainees from various entertainment companies. During his time on CHUANG 2021, Liu Yu showcased his dance skills and charismatic stage presence, impressing both the mentors and the audience.
After weeks of intense competition, Liu Yu successfully debuted as a member of INTO1. The members voted him to be captain. The group officially debuted on April 24, 2021 The band officially debuted on April 24, 2021, with the release of their first single INTO1 being performed during the live broadcast of the finale. The band gained a significant fanbase and garnered attention for their talents, visuals, and teamwork.
Alongside his activities with INTO1, Liu Yu also made his solo debut on April 10, 2022, with the release of his first C-pop single titled Willow-Leaf Saber. The song featured his unique musical style that combines elements of traditional Chinese culture with modern pop sounds, showcasing his creativity and versatility as an artist.
Since INTO1 officially disbanded, Liu Yu has continued to release music and build his solo career as both a singer and dancer.
INTO1’s captain and Liu Yu the soloist, what are the differences between performing as a group member and a solo artist? Liu Yu said, “When performing solo, it’s crucial to deliver each lyric with personal style, from start to finish. And upon returning to solo activities, I noticed a considerable increase in lyrics haha!”
He added with a broad smile, “Nonetheless, the joy of performing remains unchanged. Group or solo, each stage exudes distinct charms.”
Liu Yu’s new album Shi Fang Yi Nian: The sound of his maturity
Shi Fang Shi Nian was released in late summer, with a six-song tracklist and two main MVs. What does the album title mean? The young artist explained:
“The inspiration for this album actually comes from my name. My last name Liu embodies a balance between literature and martial arts, fitting for both movement and stillness, a gentleman without weapons, resolute in his actions to achieve great success.
On the other hand, my first name Yu holds the meaning of the universe and space. The universe can be described as the “ten directions” in Chinese (Shi Fang means ten directions, Yi is art, Nian means mindfulness). This concept forms the basis of the album. which aims to convey that within the boundless universe, the doors of time and space open to countless individuals like us.”
His fans expressed worries for Liu Yu seeing the tight schedule he put himself through for the release of this album. Dropping new songs and MVs back to back, then organizing a major concert in Shanghai on 19/8. But he insisted that everything was as planned. “While the preparation time for Shi Fang Yi Nian was tight, my fighting spirit never waned. My sleep hours might have decreased, but I managed my time well.”
Liu Yu felt that he had achieved definite growth. “In this world, possibilities are vast, and these potentials drive me to constantly learn. For this album, I dedicated myself to recording, filming, and performing, witnessing my progress along the way. The sound of progress? It’s those confident strides you hear, louder and firmer with every step. I hope to inspire people who are facing difficulties. All of life’s challenges can be overcome by focusing on being true to ourselves.”
** Team Credits **
Talent: Liu Yu.
Photography: Dalong Yang.
Fashion: Ivy Leung.
Makeup and Hair: Yin Xi.
Stylist: Chuan Jiu Mi Sheng (IVYPLUME)
Production: Cory Couture Productions
Executive Producers: Evan Xiong, Yoyo Xing, Oscar Leung.
Creative Direction: Haijia Zhu.
Photo Assistant: Lingliang Meng.
Styling Assistant: Chen (IVYPLUME)
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