Tujia folk songs go viral across China

By Zhuang Yurong | Updated : Jan 12, 2021
 The folk song You Dont Go sung by “Shanshui Group” went viral across China during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and has been played for over trillion times online. It impresses China’s netizens with an original story about the scenery, style, culture, and emotion of Tujia minority.

“Shanshui Group” comes from Zhangjiajie. Its members Xu Yong and Shu Wei are a couple. Having not learned music before, they sing in their own ways. All this is because they are really into singing and sing very well from their early age.

Born and brought up in Zhangjiajie, Xu Yong has a low-pitched sound and unique “smoky voice”. He loves guitar and folk songs. He used to sing for a living and won the third place in the First Singing Competition for Pub Singers. Different from him, Shu Wei comes from Huaihua, and her voice is clear and melodious, which is like a crystal dew dropping from the tip of grass in the morning.

They often met each other in folk performances. Sharing a common interest and knowing more about each other as time went by, they fell in love with each other. They performed in the form of “Shanshui Group” for the first time after they married 13 years ago. The name of this group means mountains and water of Zhangjiajie.

The group was reported by local mainstream media when they performed in the Spring Festival Gala of Zhangjiajie. They sang Verdant Coriaria at the gala, winning the prizes of Most Popular Singers and Most Popular Song. Adapted from a famous folk song Lampstand Made by Coriaria Branches, Verdant Coriaria was sung by them in a new way. All the audience were surprised when they began to sing the song. Later, many citizens recognized them in the street and exclaimed “Shanshui Group”.

The group realized the charm of original music, so they invested in their music dream after routine performances for making a living in the following years. They cooperated with lyricists and composers in Zhangjiajie to create songs about mountains, water, and culture of Zhangjiajie, so as to win a place in original music.

The group was selected as the “public ambassador of Zhangjiajie’s vine tea” not long ago. Vine tea is one of the leading industries for targeted poverty alleviation in Zhangjiajie, and an industry for poverty alleviation in Wanmixi Village in the TV series A Land So Rich in Beauty.

The group will stick to create folk songs and get inspirations from life. There is not only natural scenery, but abundant national culture in Zhangjiajie. Thus, they will show local customs to the world through folk songs.

2019 Zhangjiajie Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Broadcasting and Sports