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A singer in tune with her audience

Updated: 2021-10-26 07:55 ( China Daily )
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Cheng Fangyuan performs in her unique style at a live house venue in the Sanlitun area on Oct 19 during the Beijing Music Festival. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The lights dim, a hush falls over the crowd, a palpable air of expectation is evident. Then Cheng Fangyuan starts to sing.

"After all those years of performing onstage, I finally found the most comfortable way of singing, which is what I am doing now," the 61-year-old Cheng says to the audience after she finishes her first song of the night, a Chinese song called I Want You, written by Fan Chong, which was featured in the Chinese movie, Mr Donkey, in 2017.

"This is the first time that I perform in such a venue, which is small, intimate and flexible. I really love the atmosphere and make music with the other musicians," says Cheng, introducing her band members: bassist Huang Yong, guitarist Feng Chong, percussionist Gao Xing, keyboardist Feng Wei and drummer Liu Ziyi.

During the Oct 19 concert, Cheng performed songs covering a diversity of style, such as jazz, bossa nova and pop. The event, held in a live house venue in Beijing's Sanlitun area, was part of the Beijing Music Festival.

Cheng Fangyuan performs in her unique style at a live house venue in the Sanlitun area on Oct 19 during the Beijing Music Festival. [Photo provided to China Daily]

She performed in multiple languages, such as Chinese, English and Spanish with songs she wrote herself and songs she adapted from classics, such as L-O-V-E, written by Bert Kaempfert and Milt Gabler and first released by Bert Kaempfert in 1964, My Favorite Things from the classic musical The Sound of Music, and Latin pop-inspired song Mojito, written and performed by Jay Chou in 2020.

Cheng, a Beijing native, rose to fame in 1981 as a pop singer-songwriter after she released her debut self-titled album. With more than 10 albums under her belt, Cheng has won a number of music awards, including the prestigious China Gold Record Award.

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