Telihana is a singer who is based in Belgium and China. She represents an emergence of artists who due to their cross cultural heritage, influences them to produce unique fun loving party vibes. Her summer anthem ‘ All Night’ is gathering momentum and Telihana speaks to Nee Hao Magazine to tell us what’s going on in her life at the moment.
So what’s your background Telihana?
Well…my father’s Belgian and my mother’s Chinese. I grew up mostly in the US and then did my studies in Australia! Been living in Belgium in the last couple of years. I have the opportunity to go to Beijing for work and for my family! It’s so amazing to be able to switch between such contrasting cultures. I really love it.
Where are you currently based?
I’m currently based in Belgium, between Brussels and Antwerp. And YES! I love it here. I’ve gotten really comfortable in this little country in the middle of Europe! Great people, fashion, food, and of course, music! Belgium is a serious mecca when it comes to innovative artists and DJs. I love it when I hear Belgians are making it big in the international music scene. Asian population is pretty low – but I feel like that helps to keep us special.
What differences are there in work /play between China and Europe?
I think the biggest difference is the market size. Get on a hit radio station in Beijing and you’re hitting 10 millions listeners! That’s the entire population of Belgium! So everything is relative to that. Then of course there’s the style of working, the massive differences in culture, the languages (I don’t speak Flemish) - the markets are intricately different but I feel fortunate to have an insight into both sides.
Hehe in terms of play, I have a great time in both places. China is full of expats with new energy, and that can get pretty wild, but Europeans are the originators of clubbing and they certainly have perfected the party scene. There are things to do in China that you’d never get away with in Europe! And vice versa… Both places are highly entertaining in their own ways.
When did you start singing?
Been singing before I could speak! But it was only about two years ago when I decided to pursue my dream.
What style would best describe your sound?
Definitely Dance/Pop… though keep your ear out for some edgier sounds coming soon…
Do you write your own music, and who do you work with?
I write a lot of my own lyrics /songs and I work closely with a talented production team, The Bionix in Brussels.
What’s performing like?
You’re really taking a risk and putting yourself out there when you’re performing. I can usually control my feelings but when it comes to music/performing/fans/critics – I can completely lose it. (ie. Lady Gaga – those tears are not fake).
Who are your musical influences?
So many! From the legends - Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Beatles to modern day pop stars – Gwen Stefanie, Gaga, BEP, Beyoncé, Usher, Shakira, Pink… but also don’t be suprised if you hit me up and I’m grinding to low bass Dubstep or belting out to a Broadway soundtrack. I just like GOOD music.
What gigs have you done so far?
It’s been unreal! From Paris to Beijing to Melbourne to Brussels to Ibiza! I can’t believe I’m living my dream. Sometimes my advisors tell me that maybe I shouldn’t smile so BIG when I’m on stage. But I can’t help it! Haha, my happiness gets the best of me. I love it.
What’s your favourite city seeing as you been to quite a few?
There’s so many it’s hard to say, but I love Sydney, New York City, Beijing… and the beautiful island of Sardinia. And Ibiza. Definitely love Ibiza!
What’s Beijing like?
It’s a city full of surprises. Things change in a flash and usually for the better. The news can’t even keep up with how the city is evolving. People are full of energy, ideas are fresh, people take risks that can lead to incredible results. There are endless opportunities for entrepreneurs! I love bringing foreigners there – Beijing never fails to impress.
What is a typical day for you?
Wherever I am in the world I make sure I get my emails done, some excercise in, and if I can I spend the rest of the day on my music business. Haha, too vague? Sorry! There’s just no such thing as a typical day…!
What other projects do you have going on at the moment besides singing?
Check out www.rogueconcepts.com my little tech-fashion company!
I’m only interested and involved with China’s growth and international influence.
How do you normally chill out?
Beach. Suana. Couches to huggle in. Expresso martinis with my favorite people at my favorite spots. Skyping with my fam. Beach.
What are your future plans and aspirations?
I want to make the world dance. I want my music to cross through borders/cultures/boundaries. I want to perform in front of a hundred thousand people jumping up and down to the beat. And I know I will help make other people’s dreams come true…
Will you like to come to the UK to do a gig?
I would love to! I can’t wait to perform there.