Baiyu (singer)

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Birth name Baiyu Chen
Born Xiamen, China
Genres R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2006–present

Sara Baiyu Chen, known professionally as Baiyu, is a Chinese-born American singer-songwriter and actress. In the early 90's, her family moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland[1][2] where she was then given the American name of "Sara". Baiyu has appeared in several independent films and was a VJ for the mtvU show "The Freshmen" from 2006–2008.[3] She completed high school in three years' time, and later graduated from Princeton University in 2008 with a degree in Sociology.[4]

Early life[edit]

Baiyu was surrounded by music at an early age, and grew up in the presence of parents who were both musicians themselves. She resided in Xiamen, Fujian until the age of 8 and reunited with her parents in the United States after having lived with her grandparents for 2 years as her mother and father paved the way for their new life.[5] Baiyu attended Quince Orchard High School where she was a member of the Track and Field team as well as a dedicated member of the school choir. She took both the second semester of Junior year, as well as the second semester of Senior year off to pursue a career in music.[6]

College years[edit]

While attending Princeton, Baiyu traveled to New York City in between classes and school work to develop her musical talents as well as to be a VJ and host for mtvU's show The Freshmen. She also used those years to hone her performance skills as a vocalist for the university's jazz ensemble headed up by Anthony Branker, and as a member and co-director of the school's hip hop dance company BAC. She sang at multiple functions and venues around campus, and was often seen writing, referencing and recording music late into the night in the school's various common areas. She was a member of Colonial Club.[4]

Music career[edit]

2010–11: Career beginnings and B-Side & Fan Fair[edit]

Baiyu released her first EP "B-Side" in December 2010. Most of the songs from this project were completed during her 6-month stay in Kauai, Hawaii where she also completed the filming for an independent film, along with a music video for the single "Sweet Misery". While in the mountains of Kapaa, Baiyu also took this opportunity to record a remix version of Ryan Leslie's song "When We Dance", for which a video was also released[7] and subsequently featured on The Fader,[8] Bossip[9] and the likes.

In 2011 Baiyu decided to donate all profits from her follow-up EP, "Fan Fair" towards Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.[10][11] "Fan Fair" generated buzz and her single "Take a Number" featuring Fred the Godson received airplay on Hot 97 along with numerous college radio stations.[10][12] Her music video for the second single "Together" premiered on MTV Networks' Logo TV in August 2011.[13] Subsequently, the video also got picked up by MTV UK,[14] MTV Latin America,[15] MTV Canada,[16] MTV España,[17] MTV Brasil,[18] and VH1 Latin America[19] among other television stations. She was since then been featured in Celebuzz,[20] GlobalGrind,[21] TheSource,[22] MTVIggy,[23] SoulTrain,[24] and various other blogs and magazines.[25] "Fan Fair" hit over 200,000 downloads via the Frostwire platform.[26]

2012–present: Hunter, CW The Next, and debut album[edit]

On June 13, 2012, Baiyu released the first piece of her "Hunter" project from her self launched label "Shredded Music". This is a 13-song album[27] that is accompanied by an animated short entitled "The Illuminators" for which she is basis of the animated heroine. The album features several up and coming, as well as established artists including Los of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records; Rotimi, a singer-songwriter who is known for his role on the show "Boss" from the Starz Network; Barbadian soul singer Hal Linton; as well as Paul Kim of American Idol.[28]

For the launch of the music portion of "Hunter", Baiyu held a release event at the famed Custo Barcelona flagship store in SOHO.[29][30] The music video for her first single from the album is a tune entitled "Invisible" featuring Rotimi, which garnered over 6 million views on WorldStarHipHop[31] and is on regular rotation on Canada's MuchMusic television station.[32] Upon release of the video, Vibe coined Baiyu as "an industry one-to-watch, Baiyu is on the verge of stardom."[33] Shortly after the release of the album, MTV Buzzworthy crowned Baiyu's track "Journey of Souls" one of its "Top 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs of the Week" paying her a "major compliment".[34] The album was produced primarily by KQuick of Grand Staff LLC, who is known for his work with artists such as Ryan Leslie, Chris Brown, Fabolous, and Mýa.

Baiyu became an official brand ambassador for Sprayground in July 2012, a line of backpacks and accessories that has become a closet stable for the likes of Chris Brown, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Ziggy Marley, and others. She is seen on Sprayground's homepage and in their Summer 2012 lookbook.[35][36]

Having been chosen as one of the top four talents in New York City who are on the "verge of stardom", Baiyu was highlighted on the CW Network show "The Next" by executive producer Queen Latifah. Within the premise of the program, Baiyu was mentored by famed, Grammy winning hip hop artist Nelly who spend 72 hours with Baiyu by immersing himself in her life and story in preparation for her New York performance at The Paramount. The show premiered on August 16, 2012.[37]

At the onset of 2013, Baiyu earned the prestige of being named as one of Yahoo News' "Top 10 Musicians to Watch for 2013".[38] Along with that title, she was also coined one of UNSound Magazine's "13 Artists to Watch in 2013".[39] As a public figure often in the limelight, Baiyu took a divergent approach in 2013 where she is staying behind a veil of mystic. Releasing a new single on the first of every month starting 1/1/13, she moved away from album covers that showcase her image and opted instead for artwork as a representation for her music. This is believed to be in an effort to encourage listeners to focus on her voice and message, instead of making assumptions based on her looks and heritage.

In July/August 2013, Baiyu collaborated with Eckō Unltd. Canada as the soundtrack and model for one of their largest campaigns, while in September of that year, she also teamed up with Complex (magazine) on their #oneofakindstyle campaign with Dr Pepper. It is rumored that on 12/1/13, after a year of single releases, Baiyu will be dropping a full-length album that is yet to be titled.

Her latest full-length album Ayahuasca takes her fans even deeper into a journey of introspection as she chronicles her experience with the sacred brew.[40]

Charity and Non Profit[edit]

From the start of Baiyu's career, she has been dedicated to non-profit work in an effort to give back to not only her local community, but communities at large. Outside of donating the proceeds of "Fan Fair" to the Japanese Red Cross to aid in the tsunami relief efforts, Baiyu became a voice and beacon for DonorsChoose, working with its board of directors to raise funds for music programs in schools throughout various high poverty neighborhoods.[41] Baiyu has also dedicated her time to performances that benefit both kids – via the Sneakers for Scholars program and Camp Good Grief, as well as the homeless – via the Gala for the Homeless event. She is also a volunteer for New York Cares, and has been honored by Well Done! NYC as an outstanding individual who has "given back to various communities of New York City" as presented by the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer.[42]


Television Appearances: As Self[edit]

  • 2012: CW's "The Next"
  • 2011: MYX TV's "MYX TV Top 10"
  • 2006–2008: mtvU's "The Freshmen"

Film: Actress[edit]

  • 2012: "The Illuminators: Division"
  • 2012: "The Chronicles of Elijah Sincere"
  • 2012: "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You"
  • 2011: "Queen of Media"

Film: Producer[edit]

  • 2012: "The Illuminators: Division"


Full Studio Albums[edit]

Year Album
2013 Ayahuasca
  • Released: December 1, 2013
2012 Hunter
  • Released: June 13, 2012

Extended plays[edit]

Year Album
2011 Fan Fair
  • Released: April 15, 2011
2010 B-Side
  • Released: December 7, 2010


  1. ^ Tom Laventure. "Baiyu releases new EP". Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ Baiyu Bio Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  3. ^ Baiyu Chen – IMDb
  4. ^ a b Wistar Wilson (March 9, 2006). "Sara Chen '08". Archived from the original on June 3, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2006. 
  5. ^ Baiyu releases new EP | Asian American Press
  6. ^ Dailyprincetonian.Com
  7. ^ "Ryan Leslie – When We Dance ft. Baiyu". Youtube. January 20, 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2010. 
  8. ^ Video: Ryan Leslie f. Baiyu, "When We Dance" « The FADER
  9. ^ "baiyu_bossip_press.jpg". 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b iTunes – Music – Baiyu
  12. ^ 2/21/2011 Record Breakers Chart | Rapnetwork Record Breakers
  13. ^ "Baiyu – "Together"". 
  14. ^ Together Video | Baiyu | MTV UK
  15. ^ Together | Baiyu | Videos de música | MTVLA
  16. ^
  17. ^ Baiyu | Biografias de Artistas, Videoclips, Noticias, Fotos | MTV España
  18. ^ Baiyu | Together | 06/08/2011 | Vídeos | MTV Brasil Archived March 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ Baiyu | Biografías de artistas, videos de música, noticias, fotos | VH1 LA
  20. ^ "The Meet & Greet: Baiyu". May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  21. ^ kynyus (April 6, 2011). "Baiyu "I'm Like Eclectic R&B Pop"". Global Grind. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Baiyu feat. Fred The Godson – 'Take A Number'". January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  23. ^ MTV IGGY | The Future of Music – Discover the Best New Music from Around the World Archived June 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Sound Check: Baiyu – B Side". February 1, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Press". 
  26. ^ "Baiyu: Fan Fair – an amazing pop/hip-hop album featured on FrostWire". December 11, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  27. ^ HUNTER | Baiyu
  28. ^ BAIYU | Official Website » a night to never forget: hunter at custo
  29. ^ "Baiyu Celebrates the Release of Hunter at Custo Barcelona". June 19, 2012. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Baiyu Celebrates The Release of Hunter at Custo Barcelona in NYC, Plus Download The Disc Now". June 18, 2012. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  31. ^ Video: Baiyu Feat. Rotimi – Invisible [Unsigned Hype]
  32. ^ Baiyu | Pictures & Songs | Baiyu 2013 Videos on
  33. ^ "New Videos: Streamz, Baiyu & Shaliek Rivers". May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  34. ^ Brad Stern (June 19, 2012). "Cheryl, Eva Simons, Dawn Richard + More: Top 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week". MTV. Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  35. ^ Sprayground Backpacks, Bags, and Accessories – Home Spring 2013
  36. ^ Celebs
  37. ^ Gabriel (July 27, 2012). "Fly News: Singer Baiyu Will Be On CW's 'The Next' w/ Nelly As Her Mentor". Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Kenalsworld llc generates list". Archived from the original on February 11, 2013. 
  39. ^ Tyson4kgc (January 26, 2013). "13 SO UNSOUND Artists to Watch in 2013". UNSOUND Magazine. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  40. ^ "New Album: AYAHUASCA". November 30, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Baiyu's Giving Page". 
  42. ^ "Well Done! NYC Award Benefit". Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]