2nd generation Canadian, multi-genre singer-songwriter Ginalina has recently unveiled her album, Going Back: Remembered and Remixed Family Folk Songs, Vol. 1.
The 7-track release features English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese while celebrating forgotten and remembered Far East family folk songs blended with her Canadian West Coast sensibility.
“Going Back” begins the release with an uplifting, cheery melody. Ginalina’s vocals are clear and expressive throughout the track, and she transitions from one language to another flawlessly. The lyrics of “Going Back” create vivid images in the listener’s mind. The lyrics “Back to where my grandma’s dreams began, back to stories from forgotten lands” touch on embracing the traditions of the past.
At the halfway point of the album, we have “Jasmine Flower.” The track possesses a tranquil, simplistic tone and showcases beautiful vocal harmonies while doing a great job of conveying deep emotions through the lyrics.
“Two Tigers” is straightforward and engaging, with easy-to-sing-along lyrics and a fun beat throughout. This song appeals to children and adults alike, with a whimsical tone and lighthearted lyrics.
The album as a whole is a great example of how the power of folk music can be used to convey deep emotions and tell meaningful stories. Ginalina shows her skills as both a singer and a songwriter with these perfectly crafted family tunes.
My name is Ginalina, and I write music inspired by the beauty of the West Coast and my journey as an artist, mother, and everyday environmental steward. Being rooted in Family Folk music, my songs tend to lean toward gentle storytelling, playful arrangements, and a special emphasis on sparking joy, hope, imagination, and love – for themselves as well as for others.
My latest album was inspired by conversations with my parents about their homeland and childhood folk songs. Going Back: Remembered and Remixed Family Folk Songs Volume 1 is a collection of vintage Chinese and Taiwanese folk songs that I translated and rearranged for a modern Canadian audience. My hope for this album is for it to help preserve and celebrate a piece of Asian heritage within Canada. It’s presented in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese and features songs such as the ancient “Jasmine Flower,” “Taiwanese Train Song (Diu Diu Deng),” and popularized Lunar New Year tune, “Gong Xi Gong Xi.” Instruments are a fusion of West and East and include guitar, banjo, accordion, fiddle, drums, as well as the erhu, a 2-string Chinese “fiddle” held in the lap and played with a bow, and a 21-string plucked zither. I loved working with longtime producer, engineer, and studio musicians Mario Vaira, Brock McFarlane, Steve Charles, and Spencer Capier, and talented new friends Ji Rong Huang and Sarah Yu Sha Tan. The artwork, done by Kelley Wills, symbolizes harmony and co-existence of East-West modes, and the title, Going Back, is my way of honouring my parents’ roots and my Asian heritage.
The official Going Back album celebration is this Sunday, February 26, inside Vancouver’s Chinese Classical Garden featuring Ginalina on guitar and vocals, Ji Rong Huang on erhu, Sarah Yu Shan Tan on guzheng, Steve Charles on banjo, and Joseph Lubinsky-Mast on upright bass, as well as more special guests from the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble. Tickets can be purchased here.
There is a lot of positive curiosity about this trilingual fusion music, and my team and I want to bring it on tour for 2023 to keep the light shining. A lot of empathy, understanding, and interconnection can be experienced through sharing remembered and remixed cultural folk songs.
Connect with Ginalina:
I’m Jenna, the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be.
Canadian Beats has grown to become more than media, and what a journey it’s been.
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