Sweet melodies: Exploring anime, the “Honey”EP, and beyond with Peach Luffe


Jong Lee, professionally recognized as Peach Luffe, has carved an international path, assimilating diverse cultural elements that intricately shape his distinctive dream pop art. Originating from South Korea and now calling the musical epicenter of Toronto home, Lee has tirelessly dedicated himself to his craft. In just three years, he has garnered recognition and demonstrated prolific creativity, delivering five EPs and his debut album, Shimmer.

Now, Lee invites us into a new chapter with his latest offering, the six-track EP Honey, a melodic infusion sweetened by the nectar of a deeply impactful relationship that inspired the entire project.

In a candid conversation, Peach Luffe unravels the anime-inspired genesis of his moniker and shares insights into the unique muses that fuel his creativity, including the endearing presence of Mango the Cat. From the dynamic cultural elements of South Korea to the pulsating rhythm of Toronto’s music scene, Luffe unfolds his musical evolution, offering a glimpse into the personal and artistic metamorphosis that shapes Honey out on March 8.

Jess Smith: Where are you right now and how’s the weather?

Peach Luffe: I’m currently in Toronto and the weather sucks. It’s just been so cold 🙁 But I’m looking forward to spring and summer as always!

JS: I know you are a classically trained violinist. Some people would say it’s a huge jump to go from classical to indie dream pop. How has being classically trained helped with your journey into finding the sound you have now?

PL: I started playing the violin first before any singing or writing music. Lucky for me, violin is the ultimate melodic instrument. Melodies just came easier; unfortunately, rhythm did not!

JS: I know you’ve said that anime has influenced the thematic elements of your music, as well as your name Luffe from Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece. What anime do you think inspired you the most, whether it’s the soundtrack or any other sound elements from it?

PL: Overall, characters from anime inspire me. They’re just so determined and inspiring to me. In one scene, they can be carefree and airy, then serious in the next. The music just fits those epic scenes. The soundtracks almost always have a guitar and violin!

JS: Sonically, how have you evolved since your first EP, Shimmer?

PL: My vocals have sure improved, “Shimmer” was my 2, 3rd year of singing. Sometimes I cringe at how I sang the parts! But I’m proud regardless. Overall, the tone and sound more “polished” as the years went on. Probably because me and my co-mixer have gotten better.

JS: We heard your song “Shimmer” in Swearing Jar. Would you be interested in exploring creating soundtracks for movies or shows?

PL: YESSSS THAT’S ONE OF MY GOALS THIS YEAR. To land music or create music for movies/shows would be a dream.

JS: How has the diverse cultural journey from Seoul to New York and now to Toronto influenced your musical style?

PL: Koreans love beautiful ballads, and it’s in my blood. People in Toronto love vibes more so. I’ve been mixing them both from being exposed to both worlds!

JS: From Drake to The Weeknd to NAV, there is a lot of music coming from Toronto in the last decade. Is there anyone from Toronto (and beyond) that you would make a joint album with?

PL: Daniel Caesar would be awesome!!

JS: I must say your Mango the Cat is an ultra-cutie! Has being a cat dad for the past three years influenced your music or visuals for your music in any way?

PL: Yes! Somehow, I became more soft as a human being. Overall, I’m just more happy. I’m sure it translates into the project

JS: If you could feature Mango on any of your songs from Honey, which one would it be?

PL: To be honest, he’s probably in the recording somewhere because he meows sometimes when I’m tracking. If I were to isolate the tracks…He might be there. If not, I would feature him in Honeymoon. It just NEEDS one of his “longing meows” to add some emotion

JS: Where would you like to see Honey take you next?

PL: Maybe it can help open doors for syncing the music into films or something!

All images by Alex Lam, courtesy of the artist

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