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Yellow River's gift of life inspires tide of praise

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-01 10:42

Veteran musician Lao Lang, who rose to fame during the 1990s with his popular folk songs, co-initiates the idea of making the album, Nine Songs, along with singer-songwriter Su Yang, dedicating to the local folk music from nine provinces along the Yellow River.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"It's a great experience to write a song based on my memories about my hometown. There are lots of folk songs from my hometown," says singer-songwriter Yan Zehuan, 25, who learned to play the drums as a child and taught himself guitar and keyboard. He rose to fame after performing on the reality show, Chuang, which was launched by online video platform Youku, in 2019, and released his debut album, Y.Z.H, the same year.

"One of the folk songs that impressed me is a song without a name. It touches me with its lyrics talking about people leaving their hometown to pursue their dreams in bigger cities while the parents miss their children and hope they will come back more often," says Yan, who adapted the folk song into his own creation."I returned to my hometown every year to spend some days with my family and old friends. I love talking to them in the local dialect, which makes me feel warm and close to them."

Other musicians who joined in the compilation include signer-songwriter Zhang Quan, who was born in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu province, singer-songwriter Zhang Qianqian from Northwest China's Qinghai province, and singer-songwriter Liu Dongming from Shandong province.

Su also wrote and performed a song, Green Leek on the High Mountain, which was inspired by a folk song from Yinchuan.

"The original folk song is very popular in Yinchuan. It reminds me of the yard of my home, which had lots of green leek. The song symbolizes thriving and lasting life," says Su.

Su formed a rock band in 1995 and has been traveling around Northwest China since 2003 to collect folk music materials from local communities. In 2006, he released his debut album, Able and Virtuous. Four years later, he released his second album, Like A Grass. Both of his albums feature elements of Chinese folk music, such as Hua'er and Qinqiang Opera from Northwest China.

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