This one is for all the Asians out there fighting against racism and hate crimes. It’s a rough time to be Asian right now. As an artist, Asian representations are so scarce in the entertainment industry, it’s easy to think being yourself will not get you fit in or you have to be like somebody else to make it. That’s what this song is about, is to remind not just me to stay true to who you are, but everyone out there to be yourself, bring out your uniqueness to the world.
I am a huge fan of the mixture of traditional Asian instruments with modern musical instruments. I am a big fan of Hiroshima and Hiromitsu Agatsuma who mixes modern sounds with traditional Japanese instruments to create something catchy and ear-pleasing. So, when I found out Jiexi Zhao’s “BE YOURSELF.”, I was curious about how he would mix traditional Chinese instruments with modern musical genres. And, it was a pleasant discovery!
Zhao features a traditional instrument called a Gu Zheng, one of the oldest instruments in the Chinese instrument family with over 2000 years of history. He flawlessly fuses the engrossing melodies strummed by the Gu Zheng with a funky beat that features vibrant vibes from the guitar and bass. Meanwhile, the artist’s vocals produce an array of vivid timbre. There are times where Jiexi Zhao’s vocals glide across the song with silky smooth colors. Then, there are other times where the artist reaches down to the lower parts of his range to display velvety, resonant depths. His vocals along with the instrumentation keep the listener enrapture with their unique yet delicious tones and melodies.
“BE YOURSELF.” by Jiexi Zhao is a wonderfully crafted tune that features a mixture of traditional and modern in a delightful way. Yet, the message is paramount to the Asian community anywhere in the world to just be yourself. If you haven’t heard of “BE YOURSELF.”, then you have to check it out down below and let me know what you think!
Be sure to check out Zhao’s latest EP down below. He explained the premise:
My childhood was almost like a parallel universe, my grandparents were traditional singers in China, and my dad was a 90s R&B music fanatic. Therefore, This EP, this song is really about bringing 2 universes together and making it my own. The EP consists of 3 songs, and I’ve featured an instrument or an instrument family for each song.
About the Artist: 赵杰熹 Jiexi Zhao
Jiexi Zhao, Artist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Record Producer, was born in Beijing, Currently in Boston. I was raised in a multi-cultural background, therefore I want to show that through my music as well.
Make sure to check out Jiexi Zhao at the following: