Q&A with Yify Zhang

– Did you always know you wanted to become an artist?
 I did, but didn’t feel like I had the permission until later in life. Music was always my favorite subject in school. Whereas others struggled in classes like music theory, I found it very easy and “addicting” – I couldn’t get myself to leave the piano rooms to go back to studying for exams for other classes, and would just get lost for days on end there. I actually didn’t really know that being an artist was an option until I met songwriters and music makers to devoted their lives to their art. From then on, I realized there is no other option for me outside of doing what I love

 – What’s the inspiration behind your latest track “This is the Year”?
 I had reached a point last year where there were so many visions I had for my life, and I realized the only one holding me back from realizing any of them was me. The song flowed through me on its own and I just wrote from what I knew: which was this appetite for life, and a “I am done with this” kind of attitude for my current way of living life – which was really more about pleasing everyone around me instead of me.

– Your typical sound takes a notable turn with this song. What inspired you to explore the pop genre this time?
I have been really inspired by dance pop music this past year. I feel like music that gets people moving while having real / substantial feeling emotions is really therapeutic. Movement is very healing and I aspire to make more music that helps people get into their own rhythm to heal and activate.

– There’s a beautiful music video to accompany the track. Did you come up with the concept alone or did you work with a team?
 I worked with a wonderful team led and directed by Mo Kanaan. He and other came up with the concept, and I really just fell in love with that and the visuals they’d proposed. This Is The Year could take on different meanings for people in different situations, looking to make a change in their lives. The video really brought that to life.

– Any memorable moment to share from the set?
The scenes where the two actors were laying in bed with each other was so well performed, that you could hear a pin drop at that moment. We were in such a tight space (you couldn’t see that on the video), and that moment transported us all to a time and space filled with beauty. Another moment is when Lujain, our main actress started dancing freely in the open apartment scene. Everything was improvised, and we were completely transfixed by every move she made, which took the video to a completely new and elevated level.

– What do you hope to achieve this year?
I am exploring a few opportunities to place songs in my catalogue in films and TV shows. I absolutely love film and TV and aspire to connect with a wider audience through that medium. There is also new music and sound healing concerts that I am in the midst of planning.