Chinese mariachi music singer wins Mexican audience

Global Business

Chinese mariachi music singer wins Mexican audience

There may be nothing more traditional in Mexican culture than mariachi music, which is why it’s surprising that a singer from China has been winning fans with her unorthodox approach to this music.

CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports.
Follow Martin Markovits on Twitter @MartinMarkovits

Chinese mariachi music singer wins Mexican audience's heart

Chinese mariachi music singer wins Mexican audience's heart

There may be nothing more traditional in Mexican culture than mariachi music, which is why it's surprising that a singer from China has been winning fans with her unorthodox approach to this music. CCTV America's Martin Markovits reports.

Arriving in Mexico City, Jasmine Tang got hooked on mariachi music.

“I didn’t speak Spanish, but I started listening to Mexico’s romantic ballads, which are quite similar to some of the music from China. I really liked it, and that is why I started to sing it,” Tang said.

Tang is considered to be the first professional Chinese mariachi singer. Her unique style includes singing traditional mariachi songs in both Mandarin and Spanish. She has recorded an album and performs regularly in front of audiences.

But she has her work cut out for her. Mariachi music has been hit hard by a drop in record sales and by new styles of music.

But Tang’s producer Chucho Lopez believes she can play the right tune and bring things back.

“In my 50 years in the business, I have never seen a Chinese person singing mariachi. It really impressed me, and above all, she really showed a passion for singing. And now that China has become as important or even more important than the United States in terms of its economy, it shows us that it could be a new market,” Lopez said.

Tang said mariachi music transcends borders and cultures because of the universal feelings of love and loss that this music reflects. She’s planning a trip to China as part of a cultural exchange program and hopes her love of this musical form will entertain Chinese audiences.