A uniquely talented Scottish musician, currently touring China.
Katie Targett-Adams is beautiful, she’s a wonderful singer, and she’s a very talented harpist. But what makes the Scottish musician unique is that in addition to all these accomplishments, she also speaks, reads, and writes fluent Mandarin… to the extent that she is able to write her own songs – music and lyrics - in Chinese.
In 2009, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake, she wrote, performed and recorded Day by Day, a song which she then sold to raise money in aid of the earthquake victims.
"I was in Hong Kong when the earthquake struck,” she said at the time. “One of my friends was studying in Chengdu. She got out on the last plane to leave, and arrived in Hong Kong with nothing. Although I was not in the mainland I was not half a world away, and to hear her personal story made the whole thing very real."
Day by Day was launched at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing and then later performed by Katie for schoolchildren at the epicentre of the earthquake in Sichuan, where Katie donated over 200 musical instruments and books to the children with the monies raised. The song has gone on to raise money for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and the Japanese earthquake in 2011.
Katie first came to China at the invitation of Xu Tong, a representative of the Chinese Ministry of Culture. He heard her perform at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, and asked her to sing at the Nanning International Folk Festival. She recalls the event with pleasure:
"I have so many wonderful memories of China, but that first time I went to the festival in Nanning I had no idea what to expect. We were taken on a three kilometre parade and I went down the street waving as if I was the Queen. There were lines of people waving and cheering and presenting us with flowers, and then they took us to a stadium of ten thousand spectators to perform. It was a lovely experience…"
Katie is now a regular and popular performer in China, with a long list of successes. She shares her time between Hong Kong and Beijing, and has performed at such prestigious locations and events as The Great Hall of the Forbidden City in Beijing, and the Shanghai Expo. She has sung for The Irish President during her official visit to Beijing in June 2010, for The First Minister of Scotland during his ministerial tours of China in 2009 and 2010, and for the British Prime Minister and the British Olympic team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
On her current tour she is playing dates in Shanghai (21st March), Hangzhou (22nd March), Beijing (28th March), Dongguan (29th March) and Hong Kong (4th April). The Beijing concert will take place in the Forbidden City Concert Hall at 19.30.
"I would like to be a credible artiste here,” says Katie. “I want to both write and perform in Chinese and English. A friend spoke to me about ‘the evergreens' of Chinese music and song, and that is what I would like to become."