YAM Loves: BiBi Zhou

It all started with the fateful Beijing Welcomes You (北京欢迎你) [MV] song for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and those life-changing five seconds in the 1’40” mark where a little Chinese girl in a tux and glasses called my attention. Of course, I only knew Jackie Chan back then, but my impression of this new singer forced me to leave a comment. “Excuse me, but what’s the name of the tuxed-up singer with the glasses and the deep voice?

It was Mainland China’s Zhou Bichang (周笔畅), or BiBi for short.

Maybe it was Beijing Olympic fever, but I spent all that month of August 2008 listening to the Beijing Olympic compilation, where I met most of my Chinese/Taiwan/Hong Kong music artists. Bibi happened to have another song in the tracklist titled Dream in Sight (夢想在望), a rousing slightly Chinese-styled hymn to Olympic spirit. I had to know more about this girl.

“Girl” is a term I would use lightly with Bibi. After all, we’re almost contemporaries. She was born in 1985, and her jump to stardom was nothing short of extraordinary.


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

8 Responses

  1. ghost says:

    This is a good starting point for anything Bibi, and guarantees no trolls in the comments saying negative things like wondering why she placed *cough* above a certain 3rd place.

    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

    • amy says:

      @ghost, just shhh and check out the music.

    • Mandy Jean says:

      @ghost, Not to knock your opinion, but I think she should have won overall. Chris Lee and Jane Zhang are great singers, no doubt, but Bibi’s voice just KILLS me. Every time.

      • amy says:

        @Mandy Jean, Bibi should have won… but I do understand the appeal of Chris Lee… as well as Jane Zhang’s voice. While I think Chris lacks the singing chops and Zhang lacks the personality spark, I think Bibi has a great balance of both.

        Too bad Oprah didn’t pick her, huh?

  2. Mandy Jean says:

    After redirecting me from LiveJournal’s ~chinesesongs community to your article, it seems as if LiveJournal or perhaps the moderators of the community have flagged your comment as spam.

    This is possibly the best written article I’ve ever read on Bibi Zhou. It not only tells the full story, it tells the truth and paves the way for other people to become fans as well. And to me, it looks like we’ve both been deeply touched by her artistry. I only wish it had happened sooner.

    The truth about Bibi is that her music, once again, made me take an overall active interest in Chinese music and pop-culture in general. I’m just now figuring out the best places on the Web to find news on Chinese artists and so forth, so I’m still very much of a newbie. However, I also have to credit her with helping me to make a solid decision on the language I would like to learn sometime in the near future.

    I always thought I would choose to learn Japanese in college, but as my interests have changed throughout the years – as well as my personal situation – I have come to the conclusion that it’s not only a smart idea to learn Mandarin (since so many people speak it) but it’s also the right decision for me. I may not be able to learn it through college since Full Sail University doesn’t offer any classes in it and I’m locked into their Creative Writing for Entertainment program for a while, but I’m looking into Rosetta Stone and other effective language-learning tools.

    Thank you for writing this article! I must share it with all of my friends who have a penchant for foreign music, especially that of Asian origin.

    • amy says:

      @Mandy Jean, yeah. I noticed that on LJ – the pop-up said the comment was being held for moderation or screening or something.

      Me too! Me too! I started out my Chinese interest after being reluctant for so many years where I told myself I wanted to learn Japanese (first), LOL! Then, after 2008 and the crazy summer Olympics (with the sports and media), I felt compelled to look into Chinese music more. Bibi’s been the final push to start Chinese classes haha.

      You should read the post written by Reuben, who actually knows Bibi ;D

  3. Stephen says:

    I’m a middle aged English guy. I was lucky a few years ago to have a Chinese friend introduce me to the bibi story via YouTube.

    And now I feel I must be the only white male in England who is currently listening to a purloined version of UNLOCK. I’ll buy it when yesasia makes it available, but she’s the only artist I’d go to such lengths for

    Little girl, big voice

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