One of China’s most loved and respected artists Na Ying performed at The Star Event Centre in Sydney as part of her NA World Tour presented by UGG Eversheepskin.
Na Ying, considered as one of the best present-day female singers in Mainland China after having sold more than 10 million albums. She is also noted for her buoyant and forthright personality. Born in Shenyang in Liao Ning province, Na Ying is an ethnic Manchu. Na Ying made her performing debut in 1988 and she is known internationally for her role in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
NA World Tour presented by UGG Eversheepskin was performed to a sold out The Star Event Centre with many tickets sold out weeks beforehand. This is testimony to the popularity of Na Ying with the local Chinese diaspora which has followed her career and her appearance as the judge on China’s highest rated television program “The Voice of China” for the past four years.
The night began with Sydney’s Danceskool providing the support act. The dance school performed a series of urban style dances to start the part vibe.
The lights went down and waltzed in Chinese diva Na Ying in a full length to floor black dress with dark blue sleeves. Her first song was “Better to Miss Than to Meet” which was off her hit album which was originally a Japanese Chage & Aska composition. Na Ying‘s silky smooth vocals and emotional delivery is textbook C-Pop style. It is a restrained style with Na Ying that differentiates her from her contemporaries in China and even from Taiwan and Hong Kong. The style of C-Pop in comparison to its contemporaries in Asia is the concept of songs “that touch the heart”. Most is ballad heavy, strong chorus and exact pronunciations.
“Hello Sydney!” says Na Ying. “I have finally realised my dream of performing in Sydney. I have been to Sydney before and the most memorable moment is visiting theSydney Fish Markets.” Na Ying engages the crowd in an easy manner even though she admits to nerves in the opening address. “I didn’t prepare a speech”.
Na Ying dips back into her considerable back catalog with “Falling in Love with you is Falling in Love with Loneliness”, “Bet is Bet”, “Betray” and “Love is Not Perfect Without You”.
“I believe many of the friends here in the audience came to Sydney in the 80s. This song is from the 90s.” Na Ying reminds the majority migrant crowd of the homeland they left to begin another life. For many Na Ying is the bridge for them to their heritage. Many in the audience carrying flashing coloured blowup tubes carrying the main sponsor of the concert.
A nice visual touch was the video display of Na Ying and her seven member band and two back up singers rehearsing in Sydney after their arrival. The band consisted of well know Chinese session musicians and one Korean guitarist. As per large scale Chinese pop shows, the backup band played tight and restrained.
Na Ying has always indicated to the media her love for Taiwanese singing legend Su Rei and on this occasion she didn’t disappoint with a moving tribute to Su Rei.
“I always lived under the shadow of Su Rei. I now appreciate her because without her, I wouldn’t be the one I am now.” said Na Ying.
Even though Na Ying is know for her forthright personality, she has a sharp wit “Where are you from? Where are the people from my city? Shenyang? Where are you at?” (Laughs). Na Ying makes fun of her local dialect and accent from Shenyang.
Na Ying acknowledges her time in the smash hit Chinese TV show The Voice of China. “The TV show made my second career peak. Now everyone calls me The Mentor Na Ying when they stop me on the street, instead of the singer Na Ying.” She sings the songs that was sung by the mentors/judges incl Yan Kung, Jay Chou, Yu Chengging and Gao Feng.
A nice touch for the evening was her backing band performing Hong Kong legendary band Beyond’s hit “A Brighter Future”. It is a powerful track in its own right but Na Ying’s backing band performed it with emotion that made your hairs on the back of your neck stand.
After two more costume changes Na Ying performs a new track from the Chinese movie Goodbye Mr Loser and the OST for film You Are My Sunshine. Both delivered in powerful Na Ying fashion.
The two hour concert finshes with a three song encore and the steady stream of stisffied Na Ying fans files home. Safely acknowledged to the fact that they are satisfied after seeing one of China’s best performers putting on a polished and professional performance.
All photos courtesy of Chinatown Cinema.