Melanie Zhang (Zhang Xin)
Vocalist and Pop Artist
Melanie is an internationally acclaimed vocalist and pop artist from China. Born just years after the curtain closed on China’s Cultural Revolution, Melanie began singing in the early 1980s. At that time, the voice of Deng Lijun was just beginning to herald a new contemporary popular music industry and aesthetic less directed by the government. Popular songs inspired by the folk melodies of China’s northeastern plateau—the symbolic origin of China’s civilization and “Mecca” of the communist revolution—also experienced a commercial revival in the mid-1980s.
Trained at first by her father—a former music composer in the People’s Liberation Army—Melanie was recognized as a music prodigy as an elementary school student. A music teacher at China’s elite Jingshan School—magnet school for the progeny of China’s leadership—invited Melanie to attend the prestigious school. Melanie subsequently garnered first place in Beijing’s annual vocalist competition each year from elementary through high school. In 1997, Melanie won her first national competition—first place in China’s “Rising Star Cup”—hosted by a major record label in Hong Kong. Two years later, competing with vocalists from fourteen countries, Melanie received the “Silver Cup” in the 1999 Shanghai Asian Music Festival. In 2004, she won first place in China’s Ministry of Culture’s National Pop Vocalist Competition, and in 2005, she came in 2nd place (top among pop vocalists) in the Ministry of Culture’s Nationalist Vocalist Competition.
Producers and composers praise Melanie’s voice for its power, precision, and versatility. Melanie has recorded the title tracks for more than fifty nationally broadcast television series, including The Modern Family, Life Show, Bloody Sunset, and Return of the Condor Heroes, which were broadcast by more than twenty television stations in China and received top viewership ratings. Melanie has recorded duets with China’s top male pop artists, including Liu Huan, Guo Feng, Huang Zheng, Yang Hongji, Han Xiao, and Jin Xuefeng. Her voice is behind the jingles for nationally broadcast commercials, such as China’s top-selling beer, Yanjing Beer, as well as for Honda, Cherry Auto, and Kraft. She has also recorded songs for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Melanie regularly performs with China’s Foreign Ministry’s Celebrity Art Troupe, China’s Railway Culture Troupe, and China’s Coal Industry Culture Troupe. She has performed in many unique settings, from 60,000-seat stadiums to “reeducation” facilities for Falun Gong convicts. She has performed in more than one hundred cities throughout China, from Tibet’s Lhasa, the Mongolian grasslands, to coal mines in Yunnan Province. She has had guest performances with the China Broadcast Symphony, Minister of Culture’s Spring Festival Galas, and China’s National Lottery and televised performances on Central Chinese Television (CCTV) and dozens of local networks throughout China, including Beijing Television (BTV), Tianjin TV, Hebei TV, Shandong TV, Inner Mongolia TV, Chongqing TV, Wuhan TV, Shanghai TV, etc.
Melanie’s music aspires to promote cultural understanding and international peace. Her first recorded single was “On the Way to Little Rock,” which was presented to President Clinton in 2000 as a gift of diplomacy by China’s Foreign Ministry. Melanie visited the United States for her first time in 2000, invited by China’s Foreign Minister to perform in Washington, D.C. and New York City in a Chinese Music Charity Gala. Melanie performed again in New York City in 2001 for the Chinese consulate and delegation to the United Nations. She has also toured Russia, Finland, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt as a cultural “ambassador” for China.
Melanie’s voice is powerful and expressive. She performs and records diverse musical styles, from folk to fusion. She has recorded two solo albums in China and hopes to record an album in the United States.