This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Dadawa performing at the 2009 East Asian Games closing ceremony
15 July 1968 (age 47)
Dadawa is the stage name of Zhu Zheqin (朱哲琴), a Chinese singer/songwriter and contemporary Chinese music’s first independent producer. Of Hunanese origin, ethnically Han and Miao, she was born in Guangzhou, China. Dadawa has been referred to as the "Chinese Enya". She has also been described as China's Ry Cooder, for her eclectic forays into world music including one recording and tour with Ireland's Chieftains. Dadawa has collaborated with composer/producer He Xuntian for several of her albums. A Shanghai music professor. In 1994 He Xuntian and Dadawa travelled to Tibet to research Tibetan culture and music. The result, Sister Drum (1995), her second album, was an international success, selling millions of copies worldwide. Following that, Dadawa's album Voices From The Sky was released in 1997. Dadawa was the first contemporary Chinese musician to have her music released globally, for which she has received an MTV award for her contribution to Asian music.
Dadawa has developed a reputation as a world traveler and adventurer, visiting many countries and immersing herself in a variety of cultures around the world. She has also worked in television journalism, in particular hosting a major Chinese television documentary, "Into Africa", which introduced that continent to hundreds of millions of viewers.
In August 2006, Dadawa released the album "Seven Days", her final CD collaboration with composer He Xuntian. This album did not contain any overt Tibetan elements, but still maintained lyrical references to Buddhist ideas. Musically, the concept leaned more toward Chinese traditional folk songs with pan-Asian elements. However, her trademark melody lines, East Asian percussion, and ambient electronic and classical instrumentation persisted. Meanwhile, she created a band made up of Canadian musicians including Ron Ron Korb, George George Gao, Bill Bridges, Paul Hoffert, Lew Mele, and Ben Riley and toured in China to introduce her new music to the Chinese public.
Dadawa's work on "Seven Days" was nominated for a BBC World Music Award in 2007. In the same year, Dadawa won the prestigious Tom.com award for the "Most Influential Woman in Chinese Music" and "Seven Days" was voted a Top Ten album in China by both Sina.Sina.com and the Beijing Evening News. "Seven Days" also went on to win an award for best world fusion album at the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards. In 2007, Dadawa completed a documentary film of her musical sojourn to India, Nepal and Tibet, co-directed with Oscar winner, Ross Kauffman. In January 2009, Dadawa was appointed a United Nations Development Program Goodwill Ambassador in China, with a focus on preserving ethnic music and artisanal handicrafts.
In the years that followed, Dadawa continued to record, and tour, taking multicultural Chinese music to the world. In 2009, in her capacity as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Dadawa embarked on an ethnic music exploration tour, travelling over 20,000 kilometers to collect over 1,000 songs, and 20,000 images in Yunnan, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet. To reach a broader audience she produced a 17-episode documentary of her musical journey for the Travel Channel.
Since 2009, in China’s major opera houses, in Hong Kong, as well as in Europe, in collaboration with young Mongolian composer Zulan, Dadawa has performed a new synthesis of multicultural Chinese music which includes on stage many of the ethnic music masters Dadawa met on her travels. This new wave of Chinese music was written, arranged and mixed by Dadawa and Zulan and performed on stage in collaboration with many of China’s avant garde musicians and artists. The 2013 “Show the World” campaign and tour, presenting works inspired by and collected during her exploration resulted in her latest album “Moonrise”. In November 2013, the title track was released on the Chinese Internet and trended immediately to the top single. Produced over a period of 4½ years, with hundreds of hours in the field and in the studio, the much awaited CD was released to critical acclaim on December 7, 2013.
- 1992 - Yellow Children (黄孩子)
- 1995 - Sister Drum (阿姐鼓)
- 1997 - Voices From The Sky (央金玛)
- 2006 - Seven Days (七日谈)
- 2013 - Moonrise
In 2007, she sang the main title theme of Taiwan's anime "MAZU". She also provided her voice for some tracks on He Xuntian's albums Paramita (波罗密多) (2002) and Tathagata (2008) . She guests on one track of Jonathan Elias' Prayer Cycle: Path to Zero (2011).
- Dadawa's Poetry Hides Politics
- Dadawa: Voices from the Sky at the Internet Archive, original site closed
- Ectophiles Guide
- Dadawa.net at Internet Archive, original site closed
- Celestial Voices
- Dadawa's Blog
- BBC's entry on Dadawa
- China Tibet Information Center - Total Eclipse of the Heart
- Answer.com entry on Dadawa
- Dadawa Fan Club
- Moonrise - Wind Music