Huang Hongying is a Hakka folk singer, and very much a
Hakka sister too. She was born in Huizhou, Guangdong, China, on August
24, 1962. Huang was taught the art of singing Hakka folksongs by her
mother. Huang believes that Hakka folksongs are the natural voices of
the Hakka people which developed from the daily chores performed by
ordinary folk. She has performed in various countries in Asia, Europe
and Northern America, and continues to promote Hakka folksongs as a
flourishing art form. At the age of twenty four, she had the opportunity to
develop her musical skills in Beijing, but she preferred to stay in the
"culture-soil" of her beloved Huizhou.
particularly focuses on adapting Folk Songs to the new aesthetic needs
of the times - that traditional Hakka folk songs have not fully adapted
to modern life. As she says " without undermining the basis of its
original spirit, we have to do something to enhance the work, making it
both artistic, but also universal ... " She goes on to mention reaching
young people particularly, as well as a wider audience in general. This
was something Contemporary English Folk Music also addressed, and very
As well as giving everything to her Guangdong roots, Huang has regularly toured Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and the United States for concerts and in particular, cultural exchanges. She is a National Class One Performer, trained in Chinese ethnic vocals under Chen Ling, and then studying at the bel canto school of singing under Cai Jingyi. Her wonderful voice has won her numerous accolades and awards. Huang is Deputy Head of Huizhou City Musical, and has served as the main soloist, personally involved in the preparation Huizhou Folk Art Troupe. I998, the Guangdong Provincial Federation of Trade Unions awarded her the prestigious "Guangdong Province May 1 Labor Medal".
So much more than just a singer – Huang is an ambassador. She also sings in Cantonese and Mandarin. Whether sentimental love songs, or loud, high-pitched songs, she excells. Her highland twang and magnetic stage presence often has native Hakka speakers in raptures. Elegant and refined one moment, sparkling and effervescent the next. A Hakka Diva who just loves to sing ... and sing. And is so true to her star energies – Virgo and Water Tiger!! The sheer energy, as well as quality, of Huang's voice continues to inspire me.
The Hakkas or Khek, literally “guest people”, are a Chinese dialect group that migrated from Northern China to the South over the past millennium. Settling mostly near Huizhou in Guangdong province, they are distinct from the Cantonese and known for their circular community houses or tulou.
You can see
Huang in concert singing various songs at You Tube and she gives a
fascinating interview in Singapore on Hakka culture at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7uAIElT15o