Taiwanese-Australian indie folk singer-songwriter Kim Yang started her music career in 2019 and has since played some great local festivals and supported a range of musicians including Josh Pyke, StiffGins and Ben Lee. Her lyrics speak of her experiences as a partner, daughter, and traveller with sounds that balance vulnerability and power. She has been described as a humbling ‘force of nature’ by Triple J with clear, breathy vocals that have been likened to Eva Cassidy and Sarah McLachlan.
This September, Yang released her sophomore EP Brave, which speaks of being brave enough to share your personal stories. Debuting at The Street Theatre on December 17th at 7:30pm, the show will see Yang supported by her five-piece band and opening act Evan Buckley from The Burley Griffin. The project is partially supported by artsAC, the territory’s government funded art agency that provides support to a diverse range of local artists.
How did you begin your music journey?
I’ve been singing since I was a child in Taiwan. During trips with my family, we’d sing along to cassettes of Taiwanese folk songs and Mandarin pop songs in the car. During high school and university, I went to a few singing contests, made singing videos on YouTube and started collaborating with musicians around the globe. In 2012 I came to Australia for love. As an introverted person I rarely express my feelings in conversations, so I started writing music and busking in 2017. Now I have been a full-time musician since December 2020 and performed alongside a few well-established musicians in the country! I’m really fortunate in this position right now.
Can you tell us a bit about what this EP is trying to say?
The Brave EP is full of emotions and messages that need to be told in our modern world. I use my music to tell people that being different, being vulnerable, being courageous and being loving is okay. Life is short, we should be honest, and we should look after ourselves.
The title track Brave is to tell people that it is OK to say no when you find yourself overcommitted to things and it effects your mental health. Dominoes is to tell people that being different from others is fine, we will find our own path to our own destination when the time comes. Garden of Eden is about my traumatic experience during the black summer in Eden, NSW, it emphasises the importance of talking about trauma when support is much needed. Fantasy is about longing for my parents’ love and validation. My family is a typical Taiwanese family that never really expressed love in a physical or verbal way. This was compounded when I travelled around the world, moved overseas, and again with COVID-19.
You usually perform as a solo artist – what’s it like to be supported by a five-piece band for this project?
This really is something new for me to play with a band as a leader. I played with an indie-blues band Muddy Wolfe between 2018-2020 and I can comfortably accompany others with my vocal skills. However, most of my songs are very acoustic, I need to plan and arrange the songs, talk to my band and see how we can make the songs sound fuller without being overpowering. It is a learning curve for me to master the communication with a band, but also it is very exciting to hear that my songs come to live with the talents in the band. I’m grateful to have these legends to support me and have a good time together.
What can we look forward to hearing from you in the future?
I will be on my EP tour and folk festivals in 2022 and there will be more interstates show to come! I’m currently upscaling my music production skills and I’ll be working on new collaborations with local musicians. I’m also open to collaborations in the next year, so if you are serious about making something together, hit me up!