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Yijia is a Chinese multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, Guzheng (Chinese zither) player based in London.

She started her music career as a finalist in a 5M viewership Chinese music show and has won the CMA (Chinese Music Awards). Yijia is also featured on BBC World Service, and Radio 3 and performed at the Royal Albert Hall, WOMAD Festival and O2 Kentish Town.

 She studied Music at SOAS and the University of Oxford and has a ‘Global Talent’ endorsement from the Arts Council UK.  Yijia was also featured on the single ‘It’s Not Up To You’ with the iconic English folk band Stornoway joined the band as special guest across the 2023 UK tour. In 2023, Yijia has also released an EP ‘Chinese Whisperer’ with BMG/Alt-Life music. Yijia hopes to create music to transcend through time and space and take her audience on an multi-dimensional experience.

Photographer: Isabelle Offer (@izzyoffer)

Ethnicity: Chinese
Location: London, UK

Instagram: @yijia_music

GET TO KNOW - completed May 2024
3 words to describe you:
Zen(-aspiring), dreamer, INFP

3 words to describe your music:
Etheral, 'shanmanistic', indie

Describe the moment you knew that you wanted to pursue music:
When I was 11 and watching Hannah Montanna and wanted to have a secret 'pop star' career while being a normal student in class! So I attended a music show when I was 16 and luckily had the dream come true! I've also LOVED listening and creating music and singing for as long as I could remember so everything came into place naturally! 

How does your heritage impact your art?
I am conflicted as an artist as I want to be proud of my heritage and pass down the folk music tradition so it can be known to a wider audience, however as a songwriter I also would like to explore the innovative side of my creativity.

Now I give myself room to explore both ends of the spectrum, as I also believe my heritage will naturally flow through my innovative/songwriter side without trying to label or put myself in a box. Although compared to mainstream music, I am probably leaning towards the more traditional/heritage side of the spectrum with my musical style, singing style and traditional instrument!

What moment are you most proud of in your music journey so far?
I am quite proud of my insecure 17-year-old self for winning the CMA Chinese Music Awards for Media's Choice Album in 2015! I am also very proud of myself for deciding the leave everything behind 6 months later to come to the UK and pursue further musical education and have started a brand new journey which I haven't regretted a day of!

Your next career/music goal:
I'd love to dedicate more time to doing music full time and let more people hear my music!.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who and why?
I would love to collaborate with the Faroese singer-songwriter Eivør! She is a musical genius and naturally has her musical heritage flow through her whilst still being herself! Which is what I am aiming to do with my music and cultural identity as well.

Top 3 go to songs/artists:
Jay Chou - HuoRuanJia霍元甲
Enya - Aniron
Eivør - Salt 

Words you live by:
You are the universe having a human experience for a little while. 

Anything else you'd like to share:
I am open to doing music collab/projects/gigs so if you have anything in mind hit me up!!