Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jane Zhang: China's Mariah Carey?

One thing I've noticed in my travels is that every country seems to have its own American Idol type TV show. China of course is no exception which has its incredibly popular Supergirl show which started in 2005 which was reportedly watched by more than 400 million Chinese fans. Apparently, the show has since suffered some problems (see this article).

One of the problems for Chinese singers in developing any recognition and success in the U.S. and elsewhere is of course the language difference. Jane Zhang (Zhang Liangying - 张靓颖), one of the Supergirl Season #1 contestants may have a good chance of doing so due to her Mariah Carey-like voice, attractive looks and ability to sing in English. Ironically, although her choice of English songs and a Spanish-language song in addition to Chinese during the Supergirl competition impressed the judges, it may have alienated some of the Chinese voters who voted (by text messaging) for Li Yuchun.

Zhang's first album, The One, includes 3 songs in English as well as 7 in Chinese. I've listened to it and although its good, it may be a bit overproduced and doesn't seem to show off her vocal talents fully. On her 2nd album, Update, Zhang takes some risks by veering a bit away from tandard Chinese pop and experimenting with R&B and a little jazz.

Zhang is known, among other things, for her vocal range - from D below middle C to G above soprano C, as illustrated by her performance of Minnie Riperton's 1974 hit Lovin' You on the Super Girl show (see video below)




Here's a video of a live medley performance including Don't Cry For Me Argentina.




And, a Chinese song with a little hip-hop flavor:




One thing I can say for sure is that Ms. Zhang has more talent than anyone I've seen on that annoying America's_Got Talent/ show that they play here in Hong Kong. If that's really the best talent America's got to offer, I'd vote for Jane and I'm moving to China.

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Anonymous said...

Jane is blessed with an incredibly good voice. When you hear her slow ballad, you cannot tell if an angel is singing or a human being. Her voice is not only beautiful it's also powerful, making her very versatile in the choices of songs she could sing - from the slow jazz ballad to the catchy tunes of pop rock.

Adding to her credit, she can sing in other languages, and did it superbly well. Unbelievable! Though she came in third place in the Supergirl Contest 2005, I think she has more talent than the other two ahead of her. Vocal to vocal comparison, you can hear immediately she has the superior vocal quality than both of them.
Not only that, she has good looks and figure also.


I wish her success in the international musical stage.
Goodluck to you Jane!

Patrick Teng
Singapore

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My brother will be playing with her in china november 2008, Anthony Spruill the sax man we love you Tony. mommy trish gee and brandon ooops almost forgot Ray

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