Hailing from LA, Andrea Lin is better known by her stage name, SUPERDOLL – a passionate and charismatic artist with a unique approach to her image and persona. As a dancer and choreographer, SUPERDOLL appeared on the screen alongside iconic artists such as Madonna or Britney Spears, but her creativity reaches even higher heights when she steps into the spotlight with her unique vision: her music is much more than a bunch of catchy EDM songs: SUPERDOLL set out to actualize female ideologies in a revolutionary and forward-thinking way, blending her message and lifestyle with a truly appealing sound that defies genre definitions and rules. Through her songs, SUPERDOLL connects with her listeners through high-energy releases, uplifting melodies and earth shattering grooves!
In an exclusive interview, this extremely positive and deep thinking artist shares her own pearls of wisdom on how to pursue, find and maintain personal success as both a creative artist and as a simple human being in a highly competitive and often discriminating world. In almost 12 years of activity within the entertainment industry – working with little-known artists, to so-called ‘major-league superstars’ – I have hardly known an artist with as much positivity, self-determination and self-empowerment as insistent as that of Andrea Lin. SUPERDOLL will be launching her musical onslaught with her latest single titled, “GASOLINE”.
- Producer, Designer, Director, Dancer and Music Artist. How long have you been in the music entertainment business and how did you get started in the first place?
Superdoll: I started in about 2002 I would say, and I guess it’s in my genes in some ways. Entertaining people is sort of what I’m born to do, and other than that, I also enjoy telling people what to do, ha! So I guess that makes me a natural leader or a #girlboss. I really didn’t know a thing when I arrived in the U.S. with nothing but a backpack. A foreign land filled with dreams and desires, I was much too innocent, ambitious and hardworking for my own good in so many ways. I often say I make my own destiny and that my coming to the U.S. and making a life of my own would have to give great thanks to the Internet. Such total freedom and accessibility of information has allowed me to achieve my American dream, as without it, my story would be non-existent.
- Who were your first artistic influences that you can remember?
Superdoll: Saitou Chiho for sure! I was so in LOVE with her and I would sometimes stare at her work for hours just studying how she draws eyes and arms and hair…etc. I was fascinated with lines. Gosh I live for LINES. I can see shape, composition and rhythm and emotional context just looking at lines. The arch of a foot, the shape of a dance posture, the wrist’s gentle gesture, the drape of a fabric and the lines of the body… these things I can see and feel and it translates to everything I do. From there, I dance, I do music, I design artwork and I direct the camera. I can see things that are invisible to the naked eyes, it’s sort of like everything fades away in elemental senses and boils down to simple line work in my head and there I see those dots connect and bounce. That’s how my mind works. And in any science really, I only think in abstract terms and not material terms. I can take concepts and see the execution through elemental processes. To me, that is ART. It’s the alchemy of creation from A to Z without boundaries or limitations. That is true unconventional thinking at its best, to then invent, re-invent, create and then evolve… I LOVE that process immensely. I LOVE art. It’s incredibly empowering and giving… Oh, she is a Manga artist by the way, she is my first inspiration.
- Which artists are currently inspiring you? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Superdoll: In the music world, it’s more than definitely Lady GaGa, a NYU drop-out she is, young, full of ideas, creative and dare, that’s HOT. I love that. I also love her intellect and wit as well as humor. It isn’t so much of art that inspires me but rather it’s her personality coupled with her knowledge. Her performances are literally a walkthrough of art history and fashion courses combined together. I am not like most people that get too fascinated by the presentation of her so called “weirdness”; perhaps I’m a weirdo myself. I just am peculiarly interested in her way of being, a pop singer with an artist soul, rocking a heavy metal personality all put into one, that to me is absolutely fascinating. If I ever get a music collaboration with her, definitely we’ll out-do the Telephone music video she’s done. I’m interested in revolutions, things to pave the way for the new comers and the future. She has done that. I admire her for it.
- You’ve switched countries as well as artistic roles. Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that?
Superdoll: Oh dear, in the name of prejudice, I’ve experienced all kinds and still do today, but you know what… the strange thing about being alienated is that as long you don’t alienate yourself, you fit in wherever you go. Being laughed at, taken advantage of, screwed over for jobs, dismissed for my language skills, hated by women or humiliated by men, all old stories sung in a different tune through different individuals. I’m not going to say what I did was easy, no, the opposite; it was incredibly hard as well as heartbreaking in many ways. But I knew one thing then, now, and forever, my purpose on earth is to live up to my full potentials and beyond my own limitations, and I call it – “Excellence.” I never think about persevering or patience, because I never thought I had any. I simply had a belief that I make my own destiny. If a true philosophy can be tested through time and space, then it is the Truth. I do not and will never live outside of Truth. That is, no matter what happens and what others say or do, I will remain steadfast to my truth and my virtues. In Chinese, we have a popular saying, “You can’t change the weather, but you can change your mood; you can’t change people, but you can change yourself.” My Chinese roots and culture teach me the virtue of humility since a very young age, and as my heroes are all mainly the ancient poets and politicians that got killed for righteous beliefs, certainly I’m a modern world weirdo in that sense. So that’s how I deal with hardships, I look inside of myself and tell myself “I can be better than that, and I’ll be so good that I will not be dismissed.” That’s how I train myself, I don’t complain and bitch, I simply get better and better.
- You’ve worked with some major stars like Britney Spears, Madonna, P.Diddy, Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz, to name a few. How did these collabs come about?
Superdoll: Dancing definitely and some acting of course; mostly for their music videos and sometimes videos for their concerts. I remember Britney the most, because she is who I consider the milestone of my dance career when I was in New York. In Taiwan, I had seen Britney’s CDs at music stores and of course Mariah as well. I danced for many stars but the first big one was Britney, who was the only artist I knew when I was still in Asia as a youngster. Before her, there were also many stars I danced and / or performed for, but none of them were people I knew growing up. Therefore, the significance is quite different for me. It was when I saw her on set, that I realized one thing – I DO make my own destiny. That to me is a humongous ZEN moment… Since I don’t do drugs, that would be a high for me, not in terms of happiness or thrill in that sense but in a way of confirmation of one simple fact, that is – LIFE is what we make of it. I was a young teen sitting in front of TV watching “Hit me baby one more time” music video in Taiwan, then 3 years later, I was in America on set for her next MV with Madonna. It was a miracle and an awakening moment, and I didn’t even think about the amount of bananas I had to eat to spend only $1 a day to get there or the smaller the shack size room I was living in and/or all the wrongs people had done or said to me. I thought about where I wanted to go, I just kept walking, then when I got there, I thought – “oh they told me there’s sunshine on the other side, I went and saw it, and now what’s next?” Then I kept walking and continued with one faith that – “nothing is impossible.”
- What would you say were the most important lessons you came away with after these important experiences?
Superdoll: Fear not, fear what you’ll regret. I have many quotes I’ve written on my website and I never quite understood that what seems so clear to me is so difficult for others to understand. Perhaps I’m just different or perhaps I have a different goal with living. I live for the high, and I’m incredibly intellectual, that is the only value I truly am obsessed with that gives me pleasure. Nothing excites me more than possibilities, solutions, empowerment, knowledge, future and change. My life is incredibly wealthy, not only I feel loved by both people I know and don’t know, I feel blessed by people who support me and those who don’t, then I also feel incredibly gifted that I literally can do anything I put my mind to, then suddenly it becomes a skill I can use any time in my back pocket. I feel powerful in my own kingdom and I cannot understand why there could be so many un-necessary sufferings and regrets in this world. I have many problems of my own and my upbringing is filled with pain and violence as well as poverty. But I just never looked at things that way. I know we come to deal with things that are given to us, body, family, wealth and health. Yes, these are a given, BUT you ALWAYS have a choice. I don’t believe in giving into the things we have no control over just so we give up on the things we do have control over. You can work on your muscles all day long, but you are still a coward if you have no ability or emotional strength to change your circumstances or achieve your goals. I rely on my mind heavily but I never let it deceive me. True intellect has to come from purity and not ego.
- Studio work or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why?
Superdoll: I think they each have their own charm. I love how ‘live’ can bring forth such energies; it’s sensational and full of vibration. And the studio has such intimacy and soul baring and captured emotions are so vivid and naked, it’s almost like you’re making love to the mic and everyone who hears it agrees with you. I like putting things in sexual terms because I find it simply beautiful. Mother earth and the universe made us in such a way where we get to create beauty through primitiveness and beyond; we make art to motivate others. That’s just such a blessing, I think about it often, that what a blessing it is to be an artist, to have a vision and how much time I have left to gift it to others before I pass. I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to exhaust my talents, body and mind, share visions and leave no drops behind before it is my time to go. That idea is what I now live for.
- You are already involved in so many projects, like Dancing, Choreographing, Fashions shows etc. How did the Superdoll project come about?
Superdoll: Thought leadership. To me, none of those skills mean anything. Not literally of course, but in a sense it really doesn’t. I don’t see values in skills or craftsmanship in any arts of sciences if that’s all they are as the end goal. I find that quite meaningless, and I also find the turbulence of getting there for fame and money even more meaningless. This is not a Zen idea for peace sake, but an idea for personal achievement that is truly free and unconditional. I believe in excellence and I believe in personal legends. I believe any art and science in the end is about an empowering faith and belief, and the beauty that constructs such brilliance behind one’s work as well as the ultimate pursuit embedding a spiritual meaning is the ONLY thing that truly matters during and after our lives. Our only aim with living is to find such beauty and magic and nurture it and share it. This life is simply empty without it, and one lives in fear and distractions to never have to think about it. So there it goes all sorts of problems people have today, rich or poor. Their thoughts and their actions focused on the wrong things. The journey of such brilliance however is more than definitely acquired through such hardships of obtaining the genius skills. It’s only with this training, that one can gain the necessary wisdom through the necessary struggles. The question is when you do get there, what do you do with it? I don’t ask that question when I get there, I think about it before I’m there or will ever get there. SUPERDOLL is my identity, my movement and my belief that everyone can be a superhero in their own right. Each individual must take his or her own responsibility to become an amazing human being and create his or her own personal legend. Empowerment is my mission and armor.
- Will you still be continuing your Dance a GoGo and other projects and how important is the Superdoll project in your general scheme of things.
Superdoll: DANCE a GoGo is a nation and it lives on forever through liberal wisdom. SUPERDOLL is my identity and my stamp on earth. You work on yourself then you help the nation build. It’s a real world concept and it works exactly that way. If I were to have millions of dollars, that’s exactly what I would be doing then as well. My own happiness is important to me, of course, but if my personal happiness that is entirely irrelevant to social issues, then unfortunately my personal happiness suffers in every possible way. It is my genes perhaps. I want to see the world to be in a better place, though that dream may never truly be realized as history tells us. But it is my job to live up to my own virtues, which is, to help.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in the entertainment business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion, pride or whatever and why?
Superdoll: None of those really, I make art, it’s what I live for and love regardless the industry is golden or trash. But if I have to pick a feeling of what I think about it, it is sadness. People are mean and hostile and angry, it is a common theme but even more so in the industry. I retired from it since 2006 and I’ve not been back in any real way. I look at it as an outsider and I don’t let anyone’s decisions to affect me, nor do I let the conventional opportunities or successes to dictate my living and happiness. I’m no saint and have been to all of those places, good and bad. But right now, I live in the now and whatever is imperfect is perfect, whatever happens or doesn’t happen is also perfect. I am happy now because I live in my truth and my virtues at last, and for that I feel very lucky. Living in the cares of the world is a hard life, and I experienced it full on, the auditions, the looks and the approvals, every day is a constant battle and even if you have one job, you worry about the next, you achieve a certain status, you work to maintain it to get even more approvals. I find that exhausting and I find the stories of how those successful people live completely un-inspiring. In the end, you work on you, your self-development and nurture your values and vibrate at full power. That’s your only task. Many years later, I finally understood this… and I feel blessed to be out of the emotional rat race, to be able to detach true values from conventional values. So now, I make art focusing on conscious entertainment in hope that I can make a difference.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Superdoll: I LOVE writing songs, how FUN is that! With dance, I’m controlled by the emotions of the artist and what he/she says in the lyrics which I may or may not relate to. But NOW! Bang, I get to have a voice and share that completely and vulnerably, what an amazing thing that is! I don’t know how / why people can and would get so bitter about what they do, I just don’t get it. I think you need to be very grateful that you get to express your feelings when most never get to do in their entire life time. I think perspectives are so important; you’re a winner because you always find a way. Losers don’t, nothing to do w/ fame or money, you get stuck because you have much to learn. I can say so for myself. I have failed so many times, been screwed over and abused, and looking back I realize how much I know now and how wise I have become. Without failures, we never learn, and it’s the truth because we are all generally lazy. Challenges are simply blessings in disguise. Expressing my opinions and my feelings is the greatest feeling on earth in the form of art that uses not only your mind but also your body and then vision. That’s storytelling at its best. It’s a whole 2 hour Hollywood movie compacted into 3 minutes. What a medium to move the world! I think music industry people or like any other, people get stuck and focus on the wrong things. They simply need to go back to basics and find the things that still withhold their innocence, and then they will be happy no matter what. It’s about music but it’s not really about music; it’s about dance but it’s not really about dance. It’s about a message, like all things in the universe; it’s truth that empowers and beauty that inspires.
- Do you ultimately see Superdoll as more of a live performing artist or more of a recording artist?
Superdoll: Why not both and then some? I see shows, stories, films, books, talks and inventions. SUPERDOLL is an artist, I am an artist, and I do whatever I want and create whatever I see. I don’t see limitations for what I’m supposed to do, should do and what industry thinks. I think about how to change things and defy traditions. That’s what I do and what I think. I’m independent, independent thinking, creating and living. I don’t need someone else’s rules in my kingdom, at the end of the day, it’s about success and business in everyone else’ eyes if and when they deal with you as a business. Business models have changed drastically; the YouTube generation is here, so it’s time to think different. I do, but I don’t expect anyone else to, or not to. I do what I do and it’s as simple as that.
- How involved will you be in any or all of the recording, producing, and marketing processes of your music? Will you outsource any of these processes?
Superdoll: I do everything but I don’t want to make beats because I know myself all too well. It’s the same reason why I will not do video editing ever again. I can do anything and I don’t want to do everything. Produce, edit, direct, perform, design, style, anything and everything, you give me 1 day, 1 month or 1 year, I can learn and do anything. I have a powerful mind indeed and I can slay dragons. That’s why I’m SUPERDOLL. Therefore my goal ultimately is to just talk and not touch anything. As of right now, I outsource half of my work, but when I started I did literally everything, just check IMDB. Then I realized it being the cause of my failure. Now I manage and direct and I’m very good at it. People listen to me and I know how to be motivating. I understand leadership and team building, thanks to my dance school and my creation – DANCE a GoGo. That business has taught me a LOT. I’m very grateful for all my failures to only now become truly ready to take ownership of my work.
- How important will video and the visual media be in the Superdoll project?
Superdoll: 50/50, like all of pop phenomenon. Just like Cirque de ?Soleil and all theatrical productions, you can’t have a show without lights, and without costumes and without music. It all needs to be there, it’s a SHOW. I’m not a TV person and I never truly owned a TV, nor do I watch TV. Theatre is my main background, I think about theatrics and a final product like any show producer would or an artist that sees his / her work through. I LOVE music, but music alone don’t do it for me. I need to see the show, the character, the message, the story and the journey. I’m a born entertainer, a kind of artist that understands showmanship and branding. When I directed a quarter million dollar show for the first time, I just felt at home directing the lighting, stage performers, costume changes and musical transitions. I really like seeing things come together. Making something from nothing is so exciting for me. I love music and it drives me to dance, but it alone for me however is simply not enough. In the end, I live for missions, messages and stories that inspire me. I appreciate singular emotions, and there are many hit songs just about that, but I much more admire complex truth, the whole experience of being human.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Superdoll: What worked is humility. What didn’t work is validity. What was learned is myself. You should do whatever you want without a care but you should care if it involves other people. Your energies and doings affect them. You want to dress this way, that’s your business; but if you want to be loud and annoying when everyone is sleeping, then that’s everyone’s business. Having a good judgment call is important. We’re all connected and don’t pretend it’s otherwise. You don’t need their approval, don’t think that’s important, but do know that they can help you if they so desire or if God so desires, but don’t let that dictate your happiness – meaning – don’t let external things build you completely or crumble you completely. If you do that, you’ll never be happy, with or without money.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and independent artists in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Superdoll: ABSOLUTELY. Without Internet, I would never have come to America, and yes I think it’s that black and white. And I don’t believe in repression. Freedom has its price, most definitely, but so does repression. In imperial days, things weren’t better. In modern days, things aren’t better either, or that’s not true, things ARE better. Freedom does embed risks and challenges but it’s still way better than barbaric life. I think real talents need to up their game and do better. Take a class about branding, take a class about marketing, do some yoga to reach your Zen, watch some videos about entrepreneurship, take initiative to think about humility and the purpose of life, you don’t think about how to change someone else and what they should do, you think about if you have absolutely done everything you can with your every possible brain cell to your aim, if you have not, just do it. Really, it’s that simple. Nike said it, just do it. I came to America without anything and no one, how did I do it? I just did it. It’s truly that simple. Or live your life as a coward and a whiner and know that’s who you are and be okay with it. That’s honest living too, to know that you live in fear and decide to be scared for the remainder of your life and that’s what life should be for you. We have to put things in explicit terms in order to purify our problems to find out the true truth about ourselves. I do that to myself constantly and daily. I’m very cruel with myself. I believe, only with training and discipline through such practice allows me the opportunity to create a self I want to live with and be. And yes, it’s that simple. I never go find myself, I go and create myself.
- At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit your artistic future?
Superdoll: I think the obvious answer is resources, but with or without it, it changes nothing for me. This is how I know I’m doing the right things. With or without wealth, will you right now be doing what you’re doing? If your answer is yes, you’re doing the right things. If not, then you’re not. We all have dues to pay but our focus should not differ. If your fears and longings are dependent on something outside it, then you’re not honest with yourself. Your ego is too big for your own good. Don’t worry about arrogant people, they’re simply ignorant people. Their knowing how to make money is like you knowing how to make cakes. It’s all a chemical process to each of our own talents. I do not care who and what the person is or does. It has no relevancy to me. I’ve spoken to people of all kinds, billionaires, investment bankers, homeless people or scientific geniuses, I’ve learned one thing that everyone has in common, that is they know only what they know and they don’t know everything, let alone happiness. We’re all in it together and we’re all trying to figure things out, life out and living out. I don’t think anyone is any special more or un-special than me. I do believe in equality like a fool would. And I believe I always will.
- Could you tell us something about your latest single, album or video releases and where and when fans can expect to find them?
Superdoll: I think by summer, the single will be out. Like all businesses, it takes a while to get things ramped up, it’s a start up business and in the art world, any kind of art, and it’s almost always a start up business because things are not predictable as manufactured goods like toilet paper or something. That’s why if you have a management team, big labels and solid distribution channels, you can easily just make music and look like you can perform a good show, then life is put together before you. But I no longer think that’s a good thing anymore, not that it’s bad, I think it’s just as good and just as bad. Everything in life has a price, and nothing is truly free. Spiritual debt, emotional debt, there are debts so long as we consume it without investments. I think you mature for a good reason and you become stronger for a good reason. I think it’s great you have help, but I think it’s also great that you don’t. You simply have to be 100 times better or 1000 times better than everybody else. That should be your focus. If and when God gives you that tipping point that’s because you’re on your path to your legacy. If he doesn’t, you’re still on your way to your own legacy; it should change nothing for you. You never changed your lane, you stick to what makes you happy, and that means you’re happy creating your life, and what’s more to ask for. To live independently means you’re truly independent inside and out, resilient and inventive.
- What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an independent artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?
Superdoll: Definitely myself. I can be better at my time, my focus and my rhythm and my balance. I think I am my own biggest enemy in every possible way and form. I could be more patient, I could be smoother, and I could be more observant. I constantly think about what I can do better to improve myself. I have complaints like everyone else and I did a whole lot of that in my youth, then I realized that the best solution to anything is to keep your mouth shut and just do, and if you need to speak, do so proudly and honorably and very loudly. Whatever you do, make it count and stand by it with your powerful presence. That is true living.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve wider spread success?
Superdoll: That would be – disgrace. I despise those who ridicule or humiliate themselves for success. Their souls are so broken, it’s beyond belief. I do not drink, do cigarettes or do weed or do drugs, and I do not desire them because I am simply happy to be clear minded and see things for what they are and have the courage to face them, past or present, good or bad. I have the courage to deal w/ myself. I have to say that is the most honest answer one can give. I have the humility to know that I’m far from perfect and that I’m not, and will never be, the most beautiful nor do I ever desire to be. I have the patience to understand that I do learn and I will only learn very slowly if I do not allow myself the patience to see my mistakes through constant self-reflection. So that’s what I would not do, I would not be disgraceful in my speech, actions, thoughts and business conduct. I find that below myself, knowing that it is a short cut and a technique many use to speed up their journey for gain. I do not need it and I do not want it. It cripples my mind and pollutes my virtues. I’d rather do things slowly; I would not be dishonorable and disgraceful. No, thank you.
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