Chinese pop star Sa Dingding

    Alex in our London office first alerted me to Chinese musician Sa Dingding. He mentioned she was in town collecting a BBC Radio 3 World Music Award and could stop by our studios there.  Sa Dingding was generating a huge amount of press because of the award.  It also happened to coincide with the weekend of the Olympic torch relay and Sa was under criticism for her country’s policy toward Tibet.

I listened to Sa Dingding’s music and dug it. Music critics compare her to Bjork, but I hear comparisions to Kate Bush.  And I LOVE Kate Bush (I like Bjork too, don’t get me wrong).

So, Sa Dingding came to our London studios. Most of the interview was in English even though she had a translator with her. I realize now I should have had her speak in Chinese. It would have put her more at ease. We talked about music and a bit about her personal background. I reserved most of my questions regarding Tibet toward the end. I did that because I didn’t want her to think I was playing a game of “gotch ya.” Plus, I was genuinely interested in her music and background.  Sa Dingding’s answers regarding Tibet were pat and polite — China is a culturally diverse country and Tibet’s contribution adds to its diversity.

Sa Dingding’s star has risen very quickly and she seemed a bit tired during our interview. She heads back to the UK in July for a gig at Royal Albert Hall and a performance at WOMAD. And the whole world may watch if she’s back in Beijing for the Olympic Games.  If THAT happens, then you can say you heard about her first on The World. Her latest CD is called Alive.

Thanks to Alex in London for the story idea!!

Audio Link:

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