EDMONTON — Actor Simu Liu has a song in his heart and a debut album on his mind.
After breaking into renditions of Avril Lavigne and Nickelback hits as host of the Juno Awards, the "Kim's Convenience" star said he hopes to release some of his own tunes in the future.
Liu said he struck a deal with Los Angeles-based record label 88Rising, which specializes in the careers of Asian American artists.
He explained on the Junos red carpet in Edmonton that it has led to "collaborating on some music" with the label.
"I'm really excited to share it with people in the coming weeks," he added.
Liu, who grew up in Mississauga, Ont. and appears in the Hollywood film "Barbie" this summer, said that could mean his own album "might happen sooner rather than later."
The 33-year-old isn't entirely new to working with 88Rising, as the label collaborated with him on the track "Hot Soup" for the 2021 soundtrack of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."
Before he was a professional actor, Liu flirted with boy-band stardom when he joined the short-lived high school group LX4.
At the Junos last year, Liu surprised viewers when he pulled out a guitar and serenaded the audience with a parody of Lavigne's "Complicated," sparking questions about whether he planned to sing more.
He did at the Junos on Monday, which led one reporter in the media room to ask Liu about what he would sing on a hypothetical album of covers. He chose John Legend's ballad "All of Me," the rousing "Go the Distance" from the soundtrack of Disney's "Hercules" and "Lose Yourself" by rapper Eminem.
"This album (would) make no sense, but it (would) be amazing because I will have had a lot of fun doing it," he joked.
Liu also shared his enthusiasm for "Everything Everywhere All At Once" winning five of the top six awards at last Sunday's Oscars ceremony, the night before the Junos.
He said he watched the Academy Awards from his Edmonton hotel room along with friends "just screaming at the TV" as the offbeat Asian-American film won categories that included best picture and three acting awards.
"It's a wacky, weird story about multiverses and sausage hands, but at its core is a story about an immigrant family," said the actor, who immigrated to Canada from China as a child.
"It was just such an incredibly emotional night," he added.
"I was rooting for all of our stories and our culture."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2023.
David Friend, The Canadian Press