Montreal-based genre-fluid artist Hua Li continues to expand her musical horizons with her latest release titled "Bennie and the Jets", which is a modern-day rendition of the classic hit song from Sir Elton John. Hua Li's take is quite bold, unapologetic and unique in many ways. From the atmospheric and cinematic production, the R&B-styled vocal rendition and the Trap-infused groove, Hua Li breathes new life into this one. The core melody and feel of the original are still intact but the catch is the way Hua Li's vocals are layered. Her laid-back whispered melodic runs are bolstered by parallel vocal effects that add a unique psychedelic depth to the track.
For the visual concept, Hua Li explains "Bennie is an ageless representation of fashionable femme rebellion and travels the decades, just like the source material for this video." Instead of opting for the obvious performance-styled videos, she and her team spliced together retro clips that are in the public domain and the result is as spacey and trippy as the track.
The clips used in the video include "Design for the Future" (1956), "The Human Voice," "Growing Things, A Film Lesson in Nature Study," "New York World's Fair 1939-1940," "Relaxed" (1957) and "Princess Nicotine" (1909).
Hua Li is performing around Montreal this Spring. See below for dates and watch for more being announced soon.
May 13 – Secret Show – Sainte-Thérèse
May 18 – Le Système – DJ set
May 28 – Picknic Electronik – BAD WRLD stage
Hua Li’s hazy R&B and revolutionary rap cuts to the bone and shakes your frail ass to the ground. She released her debut full-length, Dynasty with Next Door Records in September 2019 which was followed up by her 2020 Yellow Crane EP, dedicated to her mother’s hometown of Wuhan, China and she is currently working on her sophomore full length to be launched in Fall 2023. A charismatic performer, she has been blessed to share her work on major stages around the world, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Pride Toronto and Reykjavik’s Secret Solstice Festival – if you don’t know her from the stage you might recognize her as unhinged music theory teacher for Landr Audio’s YouTube channel. Between all that she is an active DJ with residencies in her hometown of Montreal and gigs as touring DJ for Inuk electro-pop artist Riit. Subversive and sexy, Hua Li is the only half-Chinese, half-militant, half-rapper of your heart.
Connect with Hua Li: Website | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Instagram