If you’ve been following trailblazing Chinese rapper/songwriter Lexie Liu closely, you might have noticed how the Beijing-based 21-year-old has been wearing a manta ray necklace a lot lately. That quirk is not surprising when you consider how the underwater creature is the spirit animal of this bilingual talent, whose genre-bending sound has earned her the moniker “the voice of a Chinese generation”, according to a report in Dazed magazine.
The main trope of her 2019 album Meta Ego – noted for its sleek cyberpunk influences – saw her living in the body of a manta ray while navigating an apocalyptic world. “I saw manta rays for the first time in an aquarium behind those thick glass walls. I was in awe of these exquisite and delicate creatures with a little black tux on,” says Liu, who became a household name in China after her turn as a finalist on The Rap of China competition in 2018. “A manta ray is like an elegant emissary or a rhetoric traveller between the stars and the ocean.”
Yesterday, Liu revealed that the manta ray necklace which she has been wearing a lot of comes from a design tie-up with jewellery collective Collec. The latter was formed earlier this year and works on the concept of artistic collaborations with creatives from the realms of music, cinema, fashion and art.
The collection by Liu – she is Collec’s debut collaborator – comprises four 925 silver designs spanning two necklaces, a bracelet and a pair of earrings. Priced from US$70 (S$95) to US$215 (S$293), the pieces will be retailing at www.jd.com. Collec reveals that rose gold-plated versions are expected to be rolled out later this year.
Here, Liu shares her inspirations and creative process.