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Angela Zhang to perform at the Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena
Sands Style / Interviews & Features

Angela Zhang to perform at the Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena

Angela Zhang's voice distinctive voice is set to stun Macao, writes Arthur Tam

Angela Zhang Shao-han’s singular sound is what sets her apart from the other pop starlets of the Mandopop scene. It is impossible to mistake the dulcet tones and buzzing textures of her voice. When she appeared on China’s version of The Masked Singer, the judges spent little time pondering the identity of the songstress behind the white, crystal-studded mask.

It is the type of voice that pierces your soul with longing and despair as exemplified by her repertoire of ballads. Given a lighter track, it is a voice that calms, inspires and uplifts. It is haunting, yet sweet; pure, yet pained – the voice meant to tell stories as Zhang skilfully demonstrated on Singer 2018, when she competed against Jessie J in the television singing competition reserved for the world’s most talented vocalists.

Hailing from Taiwan, Zhang found her way in the music industry by competing in a variety of singing competitions before being discovered, leading to the debut of her critically acclaimed album “Over The Rainbow” in 2004, where she turned Christmas classic God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen into a pop-folk hybrid track Fable.

It was this song that mesmerised listeners. Her pitch, inflection and rhythm produced a sound that Chinese pop needed so desperately as a break from the tedium of overly saccharine female voices of the time.

Zhang turned Christmas classic God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen into a pop-folk hybrid track Fable

Zhang continued to climb up the charts, frequently releasing albums while making her way into television and film. Her next big hit Invisible Wings, off the album “Pandora”, has become one of the greatest hits of all time with its tale of resilience and triumph. It is like a Chinese equivalent of Take Me Home Country Roads with rusty folk-style vibes that evoke nostalgia.

Zhang shines brightest when she covers songs with a more traditional Chinese mountain song quality, which can be heard in her performance of A Diao, a song about nomadic Tibetan life, and in The One Who Came In My Life, a Chinese opera number mixed with rock. It is a bonus that she looks the part for this genre of music with a beauty that comes straight off the pages of Chinese fairy tales and folklore.

For a while, Zhang’s popularity declined when she took a break from the limelight to deal with personal matters, but that has not held the star back a single bit. And now she has reached the second peak of her career after her stunning performances week after week on Singer 2018, tapping into a whole new fan base in China.

Zhang shines brightest when she covers songs with a more traditional  quality

Her cover of A Diao on the second episode of the variety show, alongside the Hunan District Youth Choir and Chinese folk singer Ximan, was a hauntingly beautiful performance. The song is a poetic interpretation about a lone condor gliding in the mountains and Zhang’s voice exudes vulnerable beauty to the imagery conjured up by the lyrics.

Do not let Zhang’s petite frame and delicate voice fool you; she is capable of delivering a powerful performance. She sang a medley of inspirational tunes on the 11th episode of Singer 2018 and her strong performance brought the some of the audience to tears. Now, she is coming to The Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena on March 23 for a performance that is sure to captivate and send chills down your spine. Do not miss it.