Music: 3 Chinese Talent Show Performances

in music •  7 months ago

Voices from the east. 10 SBI contest at the end.

"Singer" (歌手, Ge1shou3) is a Chinese singing show that differs from its Western counterpart in that it is a competition between already established singers. From such a large country with diverse cultural heritages and with invited international contestants (such as Jessie J who won the 2018 season), there are going to be some exciting singing styles that are not familiar to western ears. I have already featured, and plan to feature, individual artists from the show, but here I want to pick out three outstanding performances.

Angela Chang (張韶涵)- "A Diao" (阿刁)

Alternative link
Angela Chang is a Taiwanese actress-singer. This song is about human strength sung about a mature Tibetan woman called A Diao (translates as "Sly one"). The song has amazing vibrato control in a sweet song. The rap bridge has a Tibetan backing singer and is sung from the silent voice of A Diao herself. This technique takes us from the viewpoint of the pitying singer and allows the more passionate voice of the subject come through.
Here's what A Diao says for herself:

I will not give up hope even if it is painful
Wounds become scars where beautiful flowers bloom

By the end of the song, the singer and by extension, the listener realised that A Diao accepts the freedom of her life. If you like your music bittersweet and your characters determinedly complex then this song is for you.

Tengri (ᠲᠡᠩᠭᠡᠷᠢ) - "Heaven" (天堂)

Tengri is from the Inner Mongolia part of China and is aged in his late 50s. His name means "Sky" and refers to the supreme god in the Altaic religion. This is a song of love for his homeland. The song starts with some Mongolian throat singing: the droning noise sounds a bit like a didgeridoo. The flute-like overtone is sung by the same singer - it's not a separate instrument. Tengri's singing style is passionate and the power clipped and restrained. You can feel the power and emotion building until he can hold it no more and he releases it in wolfy hoooooos across the steppes stadium. These are sounds unfamiliar to a stage performance but are precisely how you sing when your homeland sings with you.

Aska Yang (楊宗緯) and Zhang Bichen (張碧晨) sing - "Bracing the Chill" (涼涼- "Liang2 Liang2")

"Chill" is the ending theme song from fantasy TV romance "Eternal Love" (三生三世十里桃花). The show's title translates as "3 lives, 3 worlds and ten miles of peach blossoms". To give an idea of popularity, it has over 50 BILLION views. The original TV show song (subs available) is sound mixed appropriately for the credits of a TV drama, but I love the live version because Ms Zhang explores the personality in her voice. Female Chinese pop-singers often have a thin breathy style that sounds very young but, in this performance, there is a plum-chutney-like richness in Ms Zhang's voice that will only grow as she matures. I'm a sucker for diction, so the way Ms Zhang sings "hua zuo" (1:55) the first time gives me goosebumps. Aksa and Bichen are both much more powerful and freer in their duet, and the live arrangement has their voices overlap more.

"A Diao" and "Heaven" both showcase singing styles that are unfamiliar to western ears and are great studies for those interested in vocal technique: "Heaven" for the power that is held back before being released and "A Diao" for the perfect vibrato control. "Chill" is a well-performed live duet where personality raises a song above studio polish.
There are many other great performances from the Chinese talent shows. I will showcase particular artists in future articles. But, if you think I've missed a performance, then please let me know in the comments below.

SBI Contest

Did I mention my diction addiction? And what is that? Diction is the way that a singer voices the words. Diction is a mixture of the accent, syllabic stress, prosody, annunciation and timing of the delivery. Rihanna is a master at diction because she uses diction to give variety to repetitive lyrics. Anyway, the contest is to find somewhere in one of the above three songs where the diction is goose-bump inducing good. Please specify the song, the time within the song and the particular lyrics as best you can spell them.
10 SBI for the winner. 1 SBI each to the first 3 guessers.

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I am trying to learn some songs in Chinese. I really don't know the language but I watch lots of wuxia and fantasy series from that country, and I've always loved the tratidional guzheng and erhu as one of my most favourite instruments.

A competition for already established singers, nice. I expect this to be highly competitive.


😂 @princeemmanuel you should read the post before comment


Lol😁 kindly correct me if I'm wrong or isn't "Singer" (歌手, Ge1shou3) a singing competition?

^^ meaning contest, I will participate. How many days is the contest ended? :o
choose one of the three songs on?


The contest ends when somebody guesses the correct answer.

Hi sir, again thanks for hosting more contests to help steemians ❤

i listened the 3 songs and i could say the one i like most was the one of Angela Chang "A Diao", her voice is really sweet and the melodic is very chinese tradicional style, i enjoyed that song!!

but having these hints in mind :

Diction is the way that a singer voices the words. Diction is a mixture of the accent, syllabic stress, prosody, annunciation and timing of the delivery.

Find somewhere in one of the above three songs where the diction is goose-bump inducing good

My guess goes for Tengri - Heaven, He repeats a lot of words often but his voice power is so powerfull that the song is still good, i guess that is what Diction is all about


I'm looking for a particular part of one of the songs where the diction is good. Similar to how I explained Zhang Bichen's diction when she first says "hua zuo" at around 1:55.


well let me try again:

at 2:32 he says

My homeland, my heaven. (wǒ di jiā wǒ di tiān táng )
I miss you, my homeland, (wǒ ài nǐ wǒ di jiā )
My homeland, my heaven. (wǒ di jiā wǒ di tiān táng)

and then he repeat the lyrics again and in the 3:59 he start to repeat these lyrics again with powerfull diction

My homeland, my heaven. (wǒ di jiā wǒ di tiān táng )
I miss you, my homeland, (wǒ ài nǐ wǒ di jiā )
My homeland, my heaven. (wǒ di jiā wǒ di tiān táng)


No. 1 SBI sent for your first guess. Truly awesome diction in this song.
"wǒ ài nǐ wǒ di jiā" is better translated to "I love you, my home". Homeland is probably okay given the context of the song (jia is home, guojia is homeland). Ai directly translates as love. Anyways.
HINT: The part I am looking for is not in Tengri's song.

I'll leave the guessing game to others. Great music though. Had no idea you were into this. So I'm back to my regular posting after the HF. Man that screwed up quite the rhythm. I'm sure I'll learn all about it at steemfest. You are not going are you?

Can you believe how far I've come since our initial correspondence; I was about to walk on third-world steemit as you remember now I'm going to Steemfest! haha

Hope you have been well my friend. From Odessa Ukraine -Dan


Oh steemfest! Wow. Good on you. Steem isn't without its problems but the potential is greater. Steem is still a third world economy but the middle/dolphin class is rising slowly.

I'm not even going to take a guess at this one. She is a beautiful singer but I don't have a musical enough ear to distinguish the right moment in the songs, especially in a different language. Hopefully somebody will get there.


Mandarin isn't my first language either. But fair enough, it probably is a little hard this week.



We'll I can try but it would be like trying to shoot an elephant with a slingshot. Not very effective.

Posted using Partiko Android

This doesn't promises to be easy



I'll give it a try

Say, do we get hints after every valid guess?


Angela Chang - A Diao

3:51 You are a free bird


No. 1 SBI sent for your first guess. That indeed was a huge power note!
HINT: It's not during the rap bridge either.

Wow, you just opened my eyes (or is that ears?) to some new types of music! I think I will come back and try your contest as soon as I have time to give a proper listen.


Thanks for stopping by. I have some earlier posts and will be posting more.

These types of programs are undoubtedly very important. So much talent in the streets that is not recognized, so little by little the world knows them.

So difficult for me, a Chinese native.
I have been listening to Angela's music since my primary school. I know some of her experience. So I think that in the song Angela is singing for herself, brave and strong.
No idea for any diction.
So I guess at 4:51 你永远都不会枯 (nǐ yǒng yuǎn dōu bú huì kū / You will never wither).
"枯" (kū / wither) from this lyric shares the same pronouciation with a Chinese character "哭" (kū / cry). So I would like to understand this lyric in this way: you will never cry


No. 1 SBI sent for your guess. That is indeed a beautiful lyric with an exceptional homophone. Since my Mandarin is limited, when I first heard the line I thought it was 哭 too.
HINT: The specific moment I'm looking for is in "Ah Diao". There is a list with 6 possibilities elsewhere in the comments.

her voice is heart touching

man.... 😍
''I will not give up hope even if it is painful
Wounds become scars where beautiful flowers bloom''

Please Ignore @cleverbot @automation @banjo


Can you tell me what is happening in Japan?


Why? I am your good friend.


The world is ugly, but you're beautiful to me.

Two words. Power and control. This man understands his voice and has full control over it. The Mongolian throat/Overtone singing at the beginning was exceptional. A technique not seen or heard a lot in the west. Avi Kaplan, formerly of Pentatonix used a form of it occasionally in their music


除了佩服老爷子的功力,编曲也是超级厉害的,把这样一首经典整个升华到了一个神级境界。从前奏的呼麦开始,这首歌就给了我们一个全新的感觉。接着老爷子用那soft的A段描绘了草原的风光,A段结尾,初现粗狂的嗓音,草原的风仿佛就在耳边。进入高潮的B段,先是一段如草原野马般的嘶吼,接着那段如云端高的假声和嘶吼一句一句混合出了自然的力量。最高潮的是结尾,简直就是就是把整个人都变成了乐器,代表草原那种天降神力配合蒙古语的发音最后一下迸发出来,如果你感觉这就结束了,老爷子的嘶吼之后,减弱到零的收音,让我真以为这就是收尾了,转身之后,砰的一声巨响,震碎了所有人的心! 太棒了,腾老! 当捷西都傻眼的时候,你就知道连超一流的歌手都敬佩的人原来是这样的。而且腾老已经58了,人间兵器,可敬可敬!


不好意思 ,我的中文不太好。I'm glad you like Tengri's song. It truly is something special.

Absolute master piece. !!!!!
Fusion of chinese and western music at its perfection.
I felt like I'm in a movie theatre, having watched a movie about ancient china, and I feel like this is the ending part, where the people ride off on a horse to the green fields, after overcoming difficulties in life....
damn, this is music at a different level!


Oh my gosh.. This is the first time I ever watch this video but I already known the song long ago.. Well, this song actually make me cry everytime I hear this because it has strong connection to me.. The song is all about Tengri's home land, the Mongolian vast grassland or the inner mongolia which from decades ago was a beautiful green grassland but now a dessert.. This makes me cry because what happend to inner mongolia happend also at my homeland in the Phillippines.. I grew up there and I remember the lush grass lands and the rice fields in that place but it all turned into dessert like place because of water shortage and it pained me because I can't do nothing about it.. Hahays.. I miss the old place where I grew up.. 😢😢😢


What happened to the water in your homeland? Weather changes, or something else?

Your last hint simplifies things

I have two guesses out of the remaining possible three and I'm going with this

4:25 You are a Diao
Angela Chang - A Diao


HINT: None needed, going to be a race to see who gets it.

Let's hope this is the right answer and gets delivered in time

Angela Chang - A Diao

1:49 when you travel down a mountain remember to bring along your Tibetan knife.


Yes! 10 SBI prize sent your way.

Excellent! Talent for the world. My frustrated dream is to be a singer hahaha here in Latin America there are several programs like La Voz and the X factor that look for that talent and without a doubt, I support that action. Every human being has a gift and deserves to show it to the world, perfect it.


I'm glad you liked the music. I'll have a new post and contest up soon.

I don´t know why, it probably is because I don´t understand the language, but I always like to hear this type of singers. I say that because it doesn't really matter the style of music they are singing, they are very captivating.

I'm definitely not the right person to participate on this contest, but I need to focus the fact that I do love Rihanna for many reasons, and diction is definitely one of them :D


Glad to meet a fellow Riri fan :) I guess I listen to so much music in languages I don't understand that diction really stands out. This contest round was a bit of a tough one - I'll rethink the contest style for my next one.

Nice ones! I've already tried to learn Chinese, but I'm not succesful at it! Anyway, good songs!

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