If you have been an avid k-pop fan from the mid 2000s, you’d recognise the song ‘Timeless’, a beautiful song sung by a beautiful Chinese songstress who debuted in Korea as a Korean singer. Zhang Li Yin’s debut song was a remake, originally a duet by Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini.
Born in China, Li Yin debuted in Korea under SM Entertainment. In her early years, she was labelled the ‘Chinese BoA’ , alluding to her talent and potential. To date, she has been added into the artist lineup in SM Entertainment’s ‘S.M. The Ballad’ project group, which boasts other names like TVXQ!’s Chang Min and Super Junior’s Yesung. During our interview with her, Li Yin showcased her bilingual abilities, expressing herself well in sharing her hopes and dreams for her bright future ahead.
Li Yin started having dreams of becoming a singer when she were 8-year-old. What started as a hobby later developed into a deep and fierce passion. She was recruited into SM Entertainment in 2007. She can not only sing, but has also been known to be competent in composing songs and writing lyrics. When asked what she looked towards for inspiration, her explanation was succinct and simple: “Nothing.” We learnt that she was more prone to exploring new ideas and does not like to limit herself. Showcasing an interesting vocal colour and technical skills in delivering her songs, she believes that the most important part in singing is to deliver the message and feeling of the lyrics and music:
“It is easy to sing, but it’s a struggle to make sure the listeners get the emotion that the singer really wants them to feel. As for me, understanding the lyrics and the story behind the song is the most crucial part. If you’re able to nail this, then recording will be more smooth and enjoyable.”
Recently, her duet with EXO’s Chen for the Mandarin rendition of the song ‘Breath’ has been the talk of the town. Fans and the general public spoke highly of the pair’s wonderfully matched vocals.
Every singer has their own idol that they look up to. For Zhang Li Yin, Coco Lee has been the ultimate role model. She hopes to one day share a stage or collaborate in an RnB track. “It will be a dream come true!” she gushed.
In 5 years’ time, she hopes that music would still be the main focus of her life. She is optimistic in preparing and delivering good music for her fans. She also wishes that one day, she would be able to meet her fans here in Malaysia and is very thankful for their unconditional support throughout the years.