Zeng Yan (Chinese: 曾檐; born July 28, 1985), is a Chinese neo-folk musician from Chengdu, Sichuan province. She is known for her whisperish vocals and for her experimental folk sound. She debuted in 2010 with the album “I Am Singing In A Dream”. Since then she has released two more studio albums and one soundtrack LP. Source
直到世界末日 Until The End Of The World
很久以前的故事 The Story Of A Long Time Ago
I first discovered Zeng Yan when I was on JPS and saw one of her albums on the recent recommendations list. I decided to check it out an immediately fell in love with “Until The End Of The World”. It was very different from any other Cpop songs that I heard at the time. Her voice works really well with this style. The whisper singing added onto the traditional aspect of her music creates this mysterious and ancient vibe. It also adds a dream-like quality to the more mellow songs. Somehow her soft voice never feels overpowered by the instrumental either.
I know now that mixing traditional and modern sounds isn’t uncommon but her style is still different than that of artists like Jay, Leehom, or Seven Sense. I would say that Zeng is more similar to Sa Dingding that is more experimental and folk sounding. They actually have a lot of similarities. Other than the style of music, they also sing in Tibetan and other dialects instead of just Mandarin. If you like Sa Dingding, you would probably enjoy Zeng Yan also.
Last thing I want to say is that she didn’t have that many videos on Youtube, or at least the ones I really wanted to be on Youtube weren’t there. I’m not sure how many people take the time to go through the Other Songs section but I highly recommend listening to the first two songs. I really like “Exorcism” and “Where Is Your City Of Sky” but couldn’t find videos for them to feature.