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January 27, 2024 6 min read


Yify Zhang is a “cinematic-electronic singer-songwriter and sound healer” based in Berlin. Gaining music exposure through violin study at the age of five, Zhang never considered a performing career until she sustained a spine injury and began piano music composition. Now, her work is heard in over 90 countries, gathering over 1 million streams! When Zhang isn’t songwriting, she hosts a sound healing project during full and new moons, “where singing bowl sounds are mixed with piano and electronic binaural beats to provide relaxation and transcendental activation for listeners.” She finds the ability to provide healing and comfort for her audiences to be exceptionally rewarding, and strives to take her healing project on a world tour someday! Her advice to young artists? “Even if there is rejection along the way, or feeling like your execution may never reach your vision, you (and your art) will keep getting better… Find artists who not only inspire you, but also give you that feeling of "if they can do it, so can I.” Read on to learn more about Yify Zhang and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts! 

Name:   Yify Zhang

Heritage:   Chinese American

Hometown:   Beijing, China

Current City:   Berlin, Germany 

Current project:   “This Is the Year” (coming in late Jan 2024 or early Feb) 

What are some of your favorite credits/projects: 

I am really excited for people to hear this latest single. It's the most upbeat music I've ever written, and the song is about devoting the year to being unapologetically yourself.

Any advice for young people getting into the arts? 

Keep moving forward. Even if there is rejection along the way, or feeling like your execution may never reach your vision, you (and your art) will keep getting better. It's by showing up everyday in a way that hones your skills and finishes your projects that helps you progress. Find artists who not only inspire you, but also give you that feeling of "if they can do it, so can I." People these days talk a lot about manifestation, and I feel like this is the best way to do that.

How did you get your start? 

I studied violin at the age of 5, and never really fell in love with performing until I began composing music on the piano. I found out that creating music was what I loved. I began pursuing songwriting and pop music making just after college. Something in me deeply wanted to be expressed not just in the way of pursuing music as an outlet or hobby, but by devoting my life to becoming the best artist I can possibly be.

Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share? 

I began a sound healing project during the pandemic, and found a newfound avenue to connect with my audience not just through lyrical songwriting, but healing frequencies such as those of singing bowls, chimes, with the support of what I'm most comfortable with – piano and electronic drum programming. I hosted full moon healing sessions, and watched as my audience truly let go, found more relaxation, and connected with themselves in a deeper way. I felt like my music and I were in service of their experience here on earth. It was a different feeling than my career up until that point, which had been about expressing my experience. 

What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career? 

I've found it hard as the years go on to set goals that feel both big enough and achievable. I also think that it's important to find mentors who can expand your point of view, and help you set these goals in a way that feels right for you.

Did you always want to be in the arts or did you have another path before you got here? 

I first pursued becoming a performing violinist. I studied for years on the path of becoming a classical violinist, but always found it challenging to focus during my practice hours. I'd somehow find my way to the piano, and end up writing my own music and "doodling" out pieces where time just flew. It wasn't until I had spinal injuries in my neck that prevented a career in violin performance, did I allow myself to fall in love more fully with composing and songwriting.

When did you know you wanted to have a career in the arts? 

I didn't fully know this until I began my first job out of college. I was a business consultant, and thought it was a good path since it promised financial stability. While others plotted advancement within this field, I remembered thinking, “this can't be all there is to life.” Those were some of my darkest days, but they were also when a fire lit within me, and I decided to devote as much of my life to making music as I can. Music was the one thing I couldn't live without doing, and I felt the urgency of it calling me to truly pursue it.

Is where you are now where you thought you’d be? 

I feel like a career in the arts is very hard to predict. Unlike other paths, it is rarely linear. Some years I feel like I've accomplished so much that I'm proud of, but there is very little external validation. Other years, there is a lot of growth externally – my stream counts are up, more and more people are watching my videos, but I still feel empty inside because I'm not expanding my skills and growing as quickly as I want to be. In short, I try to not think beyond 1-3 years at a time. I have big dreams that I am calling in, and I feel I am on my way to realizing them :) 

Do you have any side projects you’d like to highlight? 

I have a sound healing project that started in the pandemic. I host full moon or new moon healing sessions, where singing bowl sounds are mixed with piano and electronic binaural beats to provide relaxation and transcendental activation for listeners. During this time, the audience is mostly lying down. I try to provide comfortable mats and blankets for people in these sessions. It's such a magical experience for me as an artist, to feel like my work is in service of others' healing.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self? 

I would tell her to not be so afraid to spend time where her heart truly wants to. In school, I felt like I wasn't "supposed to" spend so much time on the piano, since I wasn't pursuing it professionally like I was the violin. I didn't know at the time that songwriting and composing were careers that were possible for me. If I could go back, I would let my younger self know that her inner desires are a compass, and to follow them in spite of what others think.

What skills did you find to be the most helpful in your career? 

I've recently started to learn production, and put out my first self-produced song last month (“Berlin 29”). I find production to be one of the most helpful things I've learned, because it opens up my mind to sounds and ways of writing that I wasn't used to. It also helps me be a better collaborator even when I am working with other producers on my projects. By knowing what all is possible, I can better describe my vision and help everyone bring the soundscape to life.

What are some goals you hope to achieve? 

I would love to go on a world tour one day, hosting concerts that are bigger-scaled versions of the sound healing sessions I do. I want to blend music with sound healing frequencies and create environments similar to that of EDM concerts, but ones that people can find deep healing and activations through.

What do you love most about what you do? 

I love the moment when a song comes together, and I realize that it can be much bigger than my experiences. I love moments when the song writes itself and I become a channel, just letting through what needs to be said and finding the best sounds to bring the words to life.

How do you deal with performance anxiety? 

I'm still learning and growing as a performer. I find that meditating before shows really helps me. Practicing a lot, and making sure that I am so well rehearsed that I could truly let loose and have fun is the second most important thing. 

Do you have any self care practices you do to stay focused and sane? What was your self care routine before the pandemic and how has that (as well as your views of self care) changed throughout the pandemic?

I love to take long baths and all of the self care modalities for wellness – acupuncture, massages, saunas, etc. Spirituality and wellness are core values of mine, and I make sure to invest in these areas, because they make everything else in my life more enjoyable.

How do you think your creative process has changed over time? 

I used to write my songs almost exclusively on the piano first. Now, sometimes I'll write over a beat, or a few samples I find on Splice. It's a much more fluid and open process, and I'm excited to delve more deeply into production so that I can write more fluidly.

To find out more on Yify Zhang, please visit her on: 

YouTube:   @yifyzhang


Instagram:   @yifyzhang

TikTok:   @yify_zhang

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