Larissa Lam is an award-winning pop, dance and soul-influenced singer and songwriter. Her current single “I Feel Alive” won the 2015 Hollywood Music in Media Award and Akademia Music Award for Best Dance Song. She was named November 2015 Best Vocalist of the Month by SingerUniverse Magazine. This petite, Chinese-American woman defies stereotypes and expectations with her powerful and soulful voice. However, what makes Lam stand out is her range and ability to craft memorable melodies with lyrical depth and empowering themes. Lam can energize you with club anthems, show some sass with a jazzy twist or bare her soul with a tender ballad.
Lam recently released her fourth solo album, Love & Discovery, which takes listeners on a musical experience that includes EDM, R&B and jazz. More impressively, she penned all 12 songs on the album. These songs are not just about love, but a discovery of one’s inner strength and character. She worked with producer, David Longoria, who has collaborated on numerous platinum-selling recordings with artists such as Sting, George Michael and De La Soul. The album also features remixes by Robert Eibach, who worked on the Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samsara” by Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman. Lam spent nearly four years working on these songs and the long journey pushed her to the brink of walking away from music.
Lam explains, “I had many moments of self-doubt and that’s definitely reflected in some of the songs. I encountered many obstacles along the way and really had to ask if this was something that I should be doing. In the end, I believe the struggle inspired better songs.”
In the age of instant video starlets, Lam is a road proven performer who has toured all over the U.S and Asia at major venues such as The Dolby Theater, Lincoln Center, The Grammy Museum and Staples Center. With every performance, she uses her music to empower and inspire people to make a positive impact in the world. She brings incredible energy, showmanship and passion not normally associated with nice Asian girls like her.
“I had someone once tell me ‘You’re the Asian with the most attitude I’ve ever met’ and he meant it as a compliment,” Lam shares.
More than just your average artist, Lam picked up the nickname “The Singing CFO” when she put her Business Economics degree from UCLA to work as the Chief Financial Officer of NSOUL Records. It was also at NSOUL where Lam’s singing career began when she became one of the lead singers of the gospel/techno/house group Nitro Praise. Legendary DJ, Scott Blackwell (Madonna, Taylor Dayne, Amber), produced the group. Lam toured nationally and recorded three albums with the group before embarking on her own solo career.
Her first solo album, “On The Way Up,” featured the single “Say a Prayer,” which garnered airplay on college and public radio. However, it was her third album, “Revolutionary,” that saw wider success with distribution in the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. It spawned a Top 10 CCM Rhythmic hit, “Breathing More” and the song also appeared in the video game, Dance Dance Revolution: Universe 2.
Lam has also composed original music that has been heard across the TV landscape including on Days of Our Lives, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Oz, E!, TLC and more. She has produced and written music that has appeared in feature films (Dead Man Down, Gone) and video games (Sleeping Dogs). She also collaborated with legendary best-selling author C.Y. Lee (Flower Drum Song) on a new musical, Lady of Joy. In addition to being a recording artist and composer, Lam spent nine years hosting a weekly talk show on JUCE TV (formerly JCTV) broadcasted across the US and on almost every continent.
Growing up in Diamond Bar, CA as the only daughter of Chinese immigrants, Lam thought she would become a doctor like her father. For someone who hated practicing piano, Lam never imagined a career in music. Classically trained in voice and piano, Lam gravitated more towards jazz and R&B. Instead of listening to Bach and Beethoven, Lam preferred listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. Her musical path really began to take shape when she wrote her first song at age 13. When she broke the news to her family that she wanted to pursue a career in music, she was met with much skepticism. As the only daughter of Chinese immigrants, Lam was told she would not gain acceptance in a predominantly non-Asian industry.
Struggling to reconcile her Chinese heritage and American upbringing propels Lam to help others also struggling with identity issues. It took her many years to stop feeling inferior and ashamed of her culture.
“When I was a kid, the most popular girl was blond, the top models were blond and my favorite actresses were blond. My favorite movie was Grease. I wanted to be ‘Sandy’. I wanted blond hair and blue eyes but I would look in the mirror and just see plain black hair and dull brown eyes. Now as an adult, I’m proud of the unique way God made me. I’m proud of my heritage and skin color.”
Lam believes her music can bridge cultures and shatter stereotypes. She has performed and been a keynote speaker at numerous events and at universities such as Yale, UCLA and MIT promoting diversity in media. She hopes audiences of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds not only love her music but also discover the empowering messages in the songs for years to come.
Lam is currently based in Los Angeles with her husband and fellow artist, Only Won. She is one of the hosts of a new radio advice talk show for young adults, UTalk. In her spare time (when she has some), she enjoys watching TV shows like Person of Interest, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time, Fresh of the Boat and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She is a big musical theater geek and NBA fan. A highlight of her life is singing the national anthem at a Laker (her fave team) game. She also has an unhealthy obsession with Garfield and penguins, which she probably shouldn’t be confessing here.