Divas of Chinese Music 1: Na Ying

na yingI'm trying to come up with interesting subjects for the mp3 blogs. This is the first in a series on Chinese musical divas, I'm also thinking about one on minority music, and am willing to take suggestions on other topics. When I mentioned that I was going to write about Na Ying, I got criticized by multiple friends for using such "old" music that is no longer popular. Really? I would be shocked if people, even people in my age group, no longer listened to and appreciated Na Ying's music. For those who enjoy the mp3 posts that I've done, I'm very curious, what are you interested in hearing? I'm trying to figure out if this should be posting on the latest music (and I do intend on putting up newer music) or if you're more into finding out about the "classics" of Chinese music, so please leave comments or send emails.

Okay, on to Na Ying. She is originally from Shenyang (yeah!) and is ethnically Manchurian (double yeah!). This diva is now 40 years old, though she's aged very gracefully. She hasn't released a new album since 2002, but much of that is due to the pain she has been through in her personal life (though that pain is rumored to have inspired those albums in 2002). The star had what seemed like a storybook relationship with Gao Feng, a former Chinese soccer star, sort of the China version of Posh and Becks, if Posh was 10 times more popular and if people started referring to Becks as Mr. Posh Spice. Anyways, she kicked the cheating bastard to the curb and is getting things together (here's the news about her on sina (sorry, only in Chinese)). Alright, here's the music:

那英 - 梦一场 : Na Ying - Dreaming
& 那英 - 梦醒了: Na Ying - Waking Up From A Dream
These two songs are kind of like part 1 and 2, both come from the album "Conquer" (征服)and are 2 of my favorite songs of all time.

那英 - 一笑而过 : Na Ying - Passing Smile
Another one of her great ballad songs...

那英 - 一切都变了 : Na Ying - Everything's Changed
This is a song that comes out of her last album in 2002, representing much of what she was going through at the time.

那英 - 象我这样的情人 : Na Ying - A Lover Like
那英 - 相见不如怀念 : Na Ying - Missing You is Better Than Meeting You
Here are two songs that show she isn't just about pure ballads. I'm pretty sure the second is from a movie soundtrack, though can't remember which one...

Alright, so that's Na Ying for you. If it peaks your interest, I would either purchase a "Greatest Hits" album or go with "Conquer," a great album from start to finish that truly defines her style. And as usual, a bonus video:


chubby said...

I am looking forward to your next review.

I liked Na Ying until her marriage/divorce with Gao. Some of the bits almost feel like publicity stunts.

Nancy said...

you can't deny the cruelty of show biz. senior singers always being replaced by the new comers and korean hotties. Na ying is not an exception.... of course there are people who will never lost popularity. like Andy Lau, Jackie Chan...but what is so speical about them that makes them different from the majority?

b. cheng said...

Chubby, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I think a lot of great art comes out of pain, but I understand your feeling, the on again/off again nature of their relationship at times seemed more about keeping their name in the press than anything else.

Nancy, you're right, everyone's always looking for the "new" thing. Well, I will always listen to Na Ying and I don't think she's going to ever go out of style, or maybe I'm just getting old? Its really not easy to stay popular, you need to find a way to stay fresh while also making sure not to lose too many older fans. Definitely not easy!

chubby said...

Any good suggestions on good not-so-mainstream Chinese singers?

The Chinese singers I heard from TV or Radio mostly just sing about "love" or the loss of "love". And the lyrics often lacks of depth.

I like Nirvana, the White Stripes, david bowie.

b. cheng said...

chubby, its sort of hard to say. Have you heard Pu Shu or Xu Wei? Both of them have a bit different flavor from whats mostly heard on the radio, though they're definitely popular. Thy aren't really rock, but I guess I'd classify them as alternative. There are a lot of Chinese rock bands that are worth listening to (some even are available on iTunes) like PK-14, Hang on the Box, and Lonely China Day. With many of them, though, their lyrics are all in English. This week there will be a very different mp3 blog than usual, so stay tuned.

Jonno said...

Heah! I listened to all the tracks listed and she is very good - I will look for her CD, many thanks

I personally listen to Tong Li (From Beijing I think), Lui Fang and Teresa (Tiawan) - damned Chinese bow, brings tears to my eyes every time

I actually work with local musicians, radio,and a small recording studio here to promote Independant music and minor artistes - it is my path...

Most current Western music is stuck in a bad-place of commercialism and max-money, where tallent is irrelevent, and original writers are paid a pittance for their works and their hearts

This is my genuine friend and singer/songwriter Carla - she suffered terribly at the hands of Music Moguls, but told them she would do it all herself

Her small home studio has now grown into an online collaboration and websites that support Indie artistes worldwide, and she also has access to people like 'i-Tunes' etc. Good stuff - take a look:

We are looking to create an Independant Chinese Artists section - so your help appreciated

You will probably want to check me out also, and my personal website was ripped-off by internet traders in domain names - bastards!

These are my current websites:

Oh, I may be an international, and aged nerd hahaha!

l8rz J

w. minghu said...

Jonno, thanks for stopping by. I agree that the current state of music is far too focused on the commercial scene, but I think the situation is even worse in China. There are interesting small artists, but they typically get snapped up by smaller labels pretty quickly. Anyways, I'll be sure to check out those websites you mentioned, again, thanks for stopping by and hope you'll come back!

Anonymous said...

I recently got a few Na Ying CDs and have been having a hard time finding a resource as to album and track names. I quite liked what I heard, but it's annoying not being able to put a name to a track. Do you know of any place where I could find a discography (in English) with album photos so I can know what I've got?

SEO said...


4 合わせ//아무도 모른다//我不是天使 said...

i started to like na ying when i was 15... and atm i'm not even 18. :)
so i guess she ain't that "old music" even if, compared to few artists nowadays she's better... <3