While the pandemic has been an enormous challenge for the creative industries like music and the arts, I have a lot of hope that it will be able to recover and adapt with the help of technology. The internet has been an important platform for my own creative development and most artists in recent years have been discovered online. With everything currently being virtual, the industry has become more accessible for a new generation of musicians. The pandemic has also allowed me to sing and play the piano more often and expand the platforms I share my music on.
As a young musician, I see music as a powerful platform to promote social change. It is also an effective means to convey emotions between people and, through this, promote empathy.
I wrote “Be as One” for the “Solidarity for All” awards to tell listeners that they can overcome anything. When I began writing the song, it was a challenge to write something that represented hope. Through shifting my focus away from myself and towards our entire community, my ideas started to flow more smoothly, and I remembered that this is a collective experience. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was struggling, and my music had less light to it. Recently however, my lyrics have shifted into a more positive, hopeful outlook. My aim was to remind those who feel overwhelmed by their emotions that they are not alone.
I wanted to show how every person is capable of uniting with others and overcoming adversity, even when they do not have faith in themselves, because there is always someone who believes in them. We are our own worst critics, and despite our differences, we are all in this together. I believe that this is a time when we can reach solidarity.
I have been singing since before I can remember. I was adopted when I was thirteen months old from China and, according to my parents, I sang my first notes on a bus ride shortly after they held me for the first time. I began taking piano lessons at the age of five. I am the only musician in my family, but through choirs and competitions, my passion has helped me build a community.
When I was thirteen, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. Songwriting became my main way of coping with my most difficult thoughts and emotions and inspired me to keep going and share my story. Now I compose original songs relating to mental health. This has proved to be one of the most incredible, helpful coping strategies there is. These challenges have led me to advocate for the importance of mental health beyond my music. I run a local group to reduce the stigma surrounding discussions of mental health, and to create a safe and caring community for everyone. Additionally, I have started making wellness videos to spread awareness of the importance of mental health especially during this time, along with tips and strategies for others to use.
My hope is that my music spreads to a wide range of people all over the world. I hope that whoever is listening can find something within them that resonates with the lyrics of my songs and remember they are not alone.