Chinese singer, Ruhan Jia, made her debut performance at the Ran Tea House in Brooklyn, New York on Friday, June 22, 2012. Jia studied piano at a young age. She then gravitated to vocal and musical studies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Although she is classically trained, she has crossed music boundaries by working with the likes of Damon Albarn for his rock-opera, Monkey:Journey To The West. The tune of “Dao Zai Fan Ye” was featured on Christopher Tin’s 2009 Grammy Award Winning classical-crossover album, Calling All Dawns. Despite her past accolades, Ruhan Jia moved on with her debut album, Time to Grow.
Ruhan Jia treated the audience by performing six songs. Don’t let her looks fool you. She may look like a delicate flower, but her voice packs a mean punch. Her operatic vocal training not only allowed her to hit the high notes, but her voice conveyed passion and rawness unlike anything you had every heard. Citing the influences of opera singers such as Maria Callas and Kathleen battle, Ruhan Jia is right at home with using her voice to tell her personal tale. She performed songs ranging from traditional Chinese tunes to western pop.
Time to Grow reflects Jia’s ascension not only from performing, but also crossing the cultural divide. It’s her point of view of going from the East to the West. Through her appearance at the Ran Tea House, she had also crossed the boundaries of style. Terry Nelson, President and Founder of Hip Hop USA, was on hand to present Ruhan Jia, a customized graffiti sneaker to commemorate her visit to New York. Hip Hop USA is an urban apparel and style innovator emphasizing multi-cultural collaborations. Graffiti legend, George “SEN One” Morillo, created the unique sneaker art for Ruhan. She was delighted as Nelson presented the sneaker to her. It was a truly unique meeting of the East and the West.
Growing up means you have to break away from your comfort zone and try something new. Otherwise, you will be stuck on a plateau. You cannot reap your rewards without taking some risks in life. Ruhan Jia is well on her way to new heights by doing so.
By May S. Young