Senior Government and International Relations (GIR) student Feng Qinyuan has another identity as Mai Lajiao Ye Yong Quan, the singer. Qinyuan sang a Chinese adaption of a popular Japanese song called ‘Envy’ (ヤキモチ). She transformed the song into ‘The Wind Rises’ (起风了) and now she has nearly 500,000 fans in NetEase Cloud Music (music.163.com).

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Feng Qinyuan

Feng Qinyuan first sang ‘The Wind Rises’ during her freshman year. At that time, she accidentally selected this song with friends and wanted to make an adaptation. Her friend was responsible for writing the lyrics and she was responsible for singing the song. After the song was released on NetEase Cloud Music in 2017, the total number of views and messages that commented on the song had reached 470,000. In the past two years, ‘The Wind Rises’ has become the background music of major video sites.

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In her words, she was attracted by the temperament of this song and liked the melody, rhythm as well as lyrics of the chorus very much. Some of her favourite lyrics in the song are "There is a feeling of wind on the face, but I will continue to move forward."

‘The Wind Rises’ was followed by many people. She said although she was very happy to get everyone's approval and love, the initial version was not good as the recording was rough.

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Feng Qinyuan recording 'The Wind Rises' in a recording studio in Japan

On 3 December 2018, Feng Qinyuan's new version of ‘The Wind Rises’ was officially launched. This time, she gained copyright and was invited to Japan to record it. She said the first edition of ‘The Wind Rises’ was of great significance to her. It was because of this song that she really had the opportunity to pursue music as a career.

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A short clip from the music video for 'The Wind Rises'

Compared to the first recording of ‘The Wind Rises’, Qinyuan explained the song has become gradually milder than what it once was when originally recorded four years ago. "This is a very complicated change. It is difficult to explain. It can only be said that people grow older."

She was very grateful and excited to be invited by the original party to travel to Japan and record a new edition of ‘The Wind Rises’. She shared that it was very fun to record this song in Japan and liked to stay in the studio.

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The latest version of ‘The Wind Rises’ includes some modifications, with the instruments more abundant, and the expression more delicate. Qinyuan explained that this time, she changed the vocals, using a different method to make it more comfortable to sing this. She jokingly explained, "Many people are not used to the new version”.

Although Qinyuan has always been a musician, the most important role in her life is being a UIC student. She says even though she performs, she still has to go through the same daily life as millions of other students. “Everyone is busy doing things that they enjoy, but in a different way.”

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In addition to her academic life, music is her placebo. She is willing to pursue music as it brings her happiness. When she is occasionally depressed, she can be seen in the rehearsal room wearing a pair of headphones using the power of music to cheer herself up.

Balancing these two different identities in her life is not a difficult task. She says they do not conflict at all; they can exist parallel with each other. For example, during the exam week, she will adjust her recording work schedule appropriately.

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Feng Qinyuan singing

When it comes to the future, she said she never thought about going to a music-related school because she only used singing as a hobby. She did not systematically study music and did not intend to regard it as a profession, however, now she will consider looking into it. Her plan is to continue her education after graduation. At that time, she will study and work as she does now, and continue to bring music to everyone.

"I want to continue singing, and I can have my own concert when I get an album! I really like to perform on stage, so I am looking forward to it!"

Reporters: Wen Yuchen, Wei Xiaojing
Photographs supplied by Feng Qinyuan
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Marissa Furney, Étienne Fermie
(from MPRO)