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A Chinese singer performing in Italian

Heidi Li sings folk songs with local artists in various regional Italian dialects

A Chinese singer performing in Italian

Claudia Astarita

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The Hong Kong Free Press recently reported a very interesting story about a Chinese artist in Central Italy. According to the Hong Kong magazine, everything started on a sunny afternoon of 2014, when Heidi Li was writing a love song in her apartment in Perugia, in the hills of Umbria. The song was a soft jazz ballad about love and loss, but too sad for Li's roommate Emanuela Steri, who then tried to make it "lighter" by translating some words into the local dialect.

The result was the wonderful song "Tu qui", in English "You, here". A song about unrequited love. A melody who gained an unexpected success in Italy, where the YouTube became a hit in no time. Heidi Li decided to organise a proper tour to promote her new song, so she started travelling through the country to perform folk songs with local artists in various regional Italian dialects. Today, she wants to bringllthese songs to Hong Kong, China and Asia, to show through music how diverse Italy is. "It's a project that unites Italian culture and language. It's such a diverse country: each region has a dialect that is a proper language, and a culinary tradition."

Now Heidi Li has a band, which carries her name, and she just produced a jazz debut album with original tracks in English, Italian, and Cantonese. "Throughout the album, Li sings her multicultural and polyglot adventures, in a quirky - yet soulful - style". She titled the album 'Third Culture Kid', because the term is about kids that grew up and lived in a culture that's different from their parents.

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