The double life of Jane Zhang

[read italian version]

January 2018,

Jane leaves for one of her travels in the USA during which she goes to record the last songs of the long-awaited English language album.

It wasn’t easy. But I’m finally …

In a photo published on January 19 on her social profiles we see her hand raising a glass to toast the achievement of a goal and in fact his sentence in the margin of the photo is

It wasn’t easy. But I’m finally ratchet…

 “It wasn’t easy. But I’m finally ratchet …”

Someone will be wondering what means in English the word “ratchet” and I’ve to say that the question is more than legitimate, since, neglecting doubtful meanings coming from this or that other slang, actually the word doesn’t seem to have a consistent meaning with the context of Jane’s sentence. Let’s say that Jane is likely to have played with the words “reached it“. The sentence would then become “It was not easy. But I’m finally reached it … “.

Jane Zhang and Pharrell Williams

Two days after the realese of that photo, Jane appears in another image published on the Craig Williams Instagram profile, in which she is portrayed together with her husband Michael, with Craig Williams, Big Rick and Pharrell Williams.

Craig Williams, Pharrell Williams, Jane Zhang, Rick (Big Rick) Frazier and Michael

Craig comments on the photo in this way

Jane Zhang and Pharrell Williams finally meet ! Both artist have been recording at the same studio and had a great meet and greet ! Magic !

So we hope we can listen to from Jane’s upcoming album a song created in collaboration with Pharrell Williams who is one of music’s most successful producers of recent years along with Chad Hugo with whom he formed the famous duo “The Neptunes” which in 2009 was described by Billboard as the best ones in the ranking of record producers of the past 10 years. Pharrell, who is also an excellent musician (keyboards, guitar and percussions) has redesigned the American pop scene by winning 3 Grammy Awards. The list of his collaborations with successful artists is long: Jay-Z (Frontin’), Gwen Stefani (Can I Have It Like That, Spark the Fire), Madonna (Give It 2 Me), Kanye West (Number One),  Justin Timberlake (GirlfriendSenoritaLike I Love You, Take It From Here …), Britney Spears (Boys).

Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams

However, it is worth noting that the people portrayed in the photo aren’t occasional acquaintances but they are artists with whom Jane has been collaborating for many years for the production of successful songs. One example out of many is the piece “Fighting Shadows“, played together with Big Sean for “Terminator Genisys” movie OST.

J-Vu Entertainment

In the production of this piece took part (as well as Jane and Michael) just Rick (Big Rick) Frazier (who produced music for Nelly Furtado, Timbaland and the posthumous Michael Jackson album titled “Xscape”), Craig Williams and Cheryl Banks, Big Rick’s sister who is the founder of artist management company J-Vu Entertainment based in New Orleans and that manages the artistic figure of Jane in USA.

Jane Zhang – J’Vu Entertainment website

Jane’s friendships

To this circle of friends we can also add King Logan, another successful producer of Dallas, Will.i.am, famous rapper, record producer and actor, and founder of the Black Eyed Peas, then Jim BEANZ, composer, musician, singer and producer, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, another hit-maker of the US musical jet-set (Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Chris Brown, Nelly Furtado, Michael Jackson), NE-YO, the king of R&B, with which last year Jane has written and performed two songs, and finally, of course, Timbaland, the stratospheric King Midas of American music that turns into gold (and platinum albums) every piece he “touches” (see Dust My Shoulders Off).

The double life of Jane Zhang

In fact, on reflection, it’s like Jane has a double life: the one in the land of China, made of precious collaborations with fellow countrymen, self-production records, management of the other artists under the ShowCityTimes (the record label Jane’s owned) and a steady stream of awards that having made her the most famous and influential character in music not only in China but Asia as a whole. Then there’s the life in US, littered with long journeys, beautiful musical collaborations, whole days spent with the characters mentioned above in the best recording studios of the new continent, and participations in international events like the Grammy Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.

And it was during these trips that began back in 2006, shortly after achieving fame at home ’cause of the talent show “Super Girl“, which Jane thinks, arranges and recorded many hit songs with these awesome musicians.

Listening to some of his songs, both in Chinese and English, it must have happened to you to think that those arrangements, those melodies and those lyrics were so beautiful that they could compete head-on with the songs of the major international superstars … well, the reason is that those pieces are born from the collaboration with the same writers, composers and producers of the biggest icons of music world, people who believe in Jane from the beginning of his career.

NE-YO and Craig Williams

The bridge between American and Chinese pop

Jane Zhang is basically the “bridge” between Chinese and American pop culture, and more generally between Eastern and Western music. In fact she is the only musical phenomenon of this kind that has ever existed and, to date, she is the only Asian artist destined to become global.

The reasons are varied and for those who know her they are also obvious: her singing and interpretative skills make her one of the most beautiful voices in the world and make sure that every interpretation of her, even of non-her own pieces, is destined to remain in the collective memory. Its versatility leads her to explore always different musical genres and the reaction of the audience that hears for the first time a piece of a genre she has never touched before is silence. Yes, the silence due to the astonishment that every time Jane causes in the audience. It happened when for the first time she sang a jazz piece, then it happened again with the R&B, then with the opera, recently even with rap.

Craig Williams

Among the many names mentioned above, it is worthwhile to pay more attention to Craig Williams.
Craig is a musician, arranger and record producer highly successful, well-known for having discovered the R & B singer R. Kelly (I Believe I Can Fly) and for being, among other things, the composer of the famous “The Oprah Winfrey Show” through which Jane made her television debut in the United States on May 11, 2009.

Craig and Jane first met in the States during the summer of 2006 and he became the producer for 3 English tracks in “The One“, her debut album that was released on October 11 of that year, on the day of the 22nd birthday of the Dolphin Princess. The executive producer was Reid Hyams (Céline Dion).

Beijing, 2012: Jane Zhang and Craig Williams during an interview released at Sina TV

La doppia vita di Jane Zhang The double life of Jane Zhang

2012, Craig Williams and Jane Zhang

Speaking of Jane in an interview during the making of “The One”, Craig Williams said this:

Jane is an incredibly gifted and talented singer. This is my first time working with an artist from China and now that I’m here I’ve watched Jane become more than just a super girl but a superstar. I believe she’s just destined for worldwide renowned her gift vocally is very compassionate and she sings such passion. I was very impressed when Jane and I started working together. The power in her voice was incredible and I believe Jane is going to ride to the top above everyone else worldwide because Jane is “The One”.

World Peace One Concert

Subsequently, in February 2007, it was Craig who wanted Jane to participate in the World Peace One (WP1) Concert thus becoming part of the group of artists chosen to record the song “Give Your Love“. The humanitarian project was aimed at promoting awareness on the problem of poverty in Third World countries. Jane was the only Asian singer to receive the invitation and she shared the stage with world famous icons such as U2, Madonna and Pink Floyd.

The article on the WP1 concert published by Billboard on March 1, 2008 (tap to enlarge)

Miss “Coming Soon”

Well guys, the wait is almost over. Miss “Coming Soon”, as has she been dubbed recently by some of her fans, she is about to launch the new album “thought” specifically for the US market. Stay tuned because we’ll see (and hear) a lot of news.

Good Luck Jane !

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