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10 Years of Sound from Shanghai’s YEHAIYAHAN, aka ChaCha (Exclusive Mix)

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Long before she began releasing music under her given name, producer and vocalist Yehaiyahan was an unmistakable presence on Shanghai’s underground music scene. The Guizhou-born artist moved to China’s biggest city in 2005, and in 2007 took to the booth as part of legendary bass/dub crew Uprooted Sunshine, toasting crowds and honing her vocal chops under her best-known alias, ChaCha. In the early years of her career, many of them spent in long-gone Shanghai club LOgO, Yehaiyahan cut her teeth as a DJ, producer, and vocalist with the heavy sounds of the Uprooted Sunshine entourage, in the process brushing up against bass music luminaries like Clive Chin, The Bug, and Kode9.

RADII presents: china.wav

Over the following decade, Yehaiyahan has gone on to stack more collaborations, career milestones, alter-egos and unreleased studio sessions than I care to list here. Highlights include AM444, a genre-bending duo formed with Dutch producer Jay Soul in 2010; a slot at the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy, where she was the first artist to represent China; vocal hooks sung for the cream of China’s underground hip hop crop, including MC Webber, J-Fever and Soulspeak; a mid-stream reinvention with the birth of her dark, haunted, experimental side project Faded Ghost; and another bold re-do, as she shed her longstanding ChaCha moniker last year to re-emerge under her real name, Yehaiyahan.

Like her kindred spirit and frequent collaborator Kai-Luen, for Yehaiyahan it’s more important to invest in new sounds than to cash in on old ones.

Ahead of Faded Ghost’s appearance at RADII’s china.wav event on May 3 at El Cid in Los Angeles, we asked her to put together a megamix highlighting personal favorites from her incredibly prodigious last decade of output. This cinematic, nearly two-hour trip through Yehaiyahan’s sonic memory includes a few unreleased tracks from both her upcoming debut solo album, as well as some Faded Ghost demos that will give you a good idea of what she has in store for her live performance on May 3.

Tracklist

01. Sunbiz & Kyle Chin – “No Chinese”
02. Sumurai Mal – “Lil Cherry & OneEye Lee”
03. IJAPA – “杀人戏剧” (Unreleased)
04. 阿龙 – “末日前相见” (Unreleased)
05. OTM – “Fall In” (Unreleased)
06. WordySoulspeak – “One More Day”
07. 白天不亮 – “I Wonder”
08. Soulspeak – “Flowers” (Unreleased)
09. Soulspeak – “Another Story”
10. RSD – “Can’t Forget”
11. Swimful – “Shanghai Blue”
12. 56Loop – “Miss U So Much” (Unreleased)
13. 阿龙 – “围城”
14. Believe ATL – Untitled (Unreleased)
15. Desto / Clouds / Jimi Tenor – “Time Bird”
16. Masak – “Collapsing”
17. Letta – “Nothing Left For Me” (Unreleased)
18. Kode9 & The Spaceape – “Love Is The Drug”
19. Mind : Body : Fitness – “Neige Neige” (Unreleased)
20. Hamacide – “Thirty Hours”
21. Hamacide – “YouMe (Jared Turinsky Quogue Remix)”
22. AM444 – “神经末梢”
23. AM444 – “各种人”
24. AM444 – “Lies (Jay.Soul Remix)”
25. AM444 – “神仙药”
26. AM444 – “就快要窒息”
27. AM444 – “Dark Show”
28. AM444 – “链”
29. YEHAIYAHAN – “Sleepless”
30. YEHAIYAHAN – “Under The Moonlight”
31. YEHAIYAHAN – “跌入梦里 (demo)”
32. YEHAIYAHAN – “Lost Your Mind (demo)”
33. Didjelirium – “不不不”
34. Adrian Sherwood – “爱就会有伤害” (Unreleased)
35. Zion Train – “I Believe” (Unreleased)
36. Jahtari – “Black Eyes Stranger”
37. High Tone – “Oh Why”
38. Faded Ghost – “Horror Movie OST” (Unreleased)
39. Faded Ghost – “Reverrrb The Shelter” (Unreleased)
40. Faded Ghost – “Talk To Me”
41. Faded Ghost – “Jawa Meditation”
42. Faded Ghost – “Little India”

Other artists performing at RADII’s china.wav event on Friday, May 3 at El Cid in Los Angeles:

A Decade of Sound from Jeff Kai-Luen Liang, aka Soulspeak (Exclusive Mix)

MC Tingbudong Wants Chinese Hip Hop to Find its Place in the World

Bohan Phoenix Injects a Dose of Reality into China’s Hip Hop Boom on New Track “YMF”

Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a Shanghai-based writer and musician, and RADII's Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, Artsy, LEAP, Tiny Mix Tapes, and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.