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Texas Exes Asian Alumni Network » Alumni Spotlight » February Alumni Spotlight: Cindy Yen

February Alumni Spotlight: Cindy Yen

Cindy Yen

Cindy Yen

Cindy Yen 袁詠琳 (Cindy Wu), a 2008 graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, is living her dream as an aspiring singer/songwriter in Taiwan. Utilizing her dual degrees in Music – Piano Performance and Broadcast Journalism, Cindy released her first self-composed and self-produced album on October 30, 2009.

Her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter and producer as a young child became a reality when Jay Chou’s record label, JVR Music, took her under their wing to become the next pop sensation. Cindy’s unique style drew the attention of Jay Chou through a demo her friends helped her make while she was a student at The University of Texas at Austin. Jay Chou was particularly taken to Cindy because of their similarities in piano playing, singing and songwriting skills. Her first single, “Sand Painting” (shown in video below) is a duet with Jay Chou, and it is notably the first time Jay has ever sung a song composed by someone else. Cindy’s first album has been a big hit, and she is already working on her second album to be released at the end of this year.

Cindy has been performing in many events in Taiwan, including the largest New Years Eve concert in Taichung with over 100,000 attendees. She has also been promoting her CD in many Asian countries, including Malaysia, Taiwan, China, and Sinagore. Cindy will be returning to the United States as well. On February 20, 2010, Cindy will be passing on her throne as Miss Chinatown USA 2009 at the 2010 Miss Chinatown USA Pageant in San Francisco, California. She will also be visiting her hometown to perform at Houston’s Lunar New Year Festival on February 13, 2010 as well as Austin, TX on February 15, 2010 to hold an autograph session at Swirll Yogurt Shop – 2310 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX, 78705

Her CD can be purchased at all of these events, as well as here at YesAsia for free international shipping!

Here is the MV of Cindy’s song, “Sand Painting”, featuring Jay Chou:

Cindy’s first autograph session in Taipei, Taiwan

Cindy with Marie Claire

Cindy’s MV – “Sky After Rain”

Cindy’s interview with Texas Exes Asian Alumni Network

1. What is your favorite memory, tradition, or thing about UT?

I love the UT spirit. I know that sounds cliché… but school pride is an important thing!! Even though I’m now in Taiwan, I still follow Longhorn football with pride. All the UT fans got together in Taiwan during the Rose Bowl this year to root our team on!! I love how everywhere I go, there are tons of UT alumni everywhere… and when we put up our “hook’em” sign… we know we’re family.

2. What advice do you have for incoming freshmen or current students?

Enjoy every moment. Seize every opportunity. College is the best time of your life, and it passes by in a blink of an eye. I miss college so much, and sometimes I really wish I could go back and relive my four wonderful years at UT. Sometimes I even regret that I didn’t learn as much as I could’ve, that I could’ve been a better student, that I could’ve participated in more student organizations and campus events. UT offers a large variety of extracurricular activities, and I think that’s what I enjoyed the most. Although of course school comes first, but still… don’t forget to have fun!!!

3. UT’s motto is “What starts here, changes the world”. What is one thing you would like to see change at UT?

I think the remarkable thing about UT is that it’s always changing, growing, and improving in every aspect. Nothing stays the same at UT. Since I was a music and journalism double major, I would love to see UT’s School of Music & School of Journalism grow and become one of the top music & journalism schools in the country.

4. What’s one thing you’ve learned from UT outside of a classroom?

The importance of family and friendship. I met a lot of my now lifelong friends at UT. And even though we’ve all graduated and are spread across the globe, we still keep in touch and reunite whenever we can. I think in college, you start learning how to really be selfless, and how to be there for other people. You learn how to take care of yourself as well as your friends. I think what I learned most at UT is the responsibility we have toward each other and our community, and how even a small action today can make a world of a difference tomorrow.

5. Who has been a role model to you (can be anyone)?

Besides my mom?? Haha. I guess I’ve always looked up to Mother Theresa. Her heart, her wisdom, her strength… she’s really inspired a lot of people. I remember reading one of her books my freshman year and I was so tempted to drop college and go to Calcutta and join one of her ministries. Maybe it’s because I’m a Christian, but I strongly believe in all the things she represents and all the things she has taught us through her faith.

6. How did The University of Texas at Austin help prepare you for your career?

UT definitely helped me prepare for my career in so many ways. Not just educationally (since being a music major and taking music classes helped improve my theory and composition, which thus helped my songwriting skills), but through the many extracurricular activities offered. I was so busy during college not just taking the classes I needed to graduate, but being involved in intramural sports, dance teams, a capella groups, fellowships, worship teams, talent shows, competitions, etc. Being a part of all these organizations helped train me as an artist in different aspects, so that when I moved to Taiwan with my demo, I was prepared. I’ve always believed that opportunities come to those who are fully prepared, and UT can definitely prepare you.

7. What goal do you have as an aspiring singer/songwriter?

I’ve dreamed about being a recording artist since I was three (yes, three… I know J), and I’ve been working toward this goal ever since. It wasn’t easy for sure, and there were a lot of setbacks, but the one thing I will never regret is that I finished college first BEFORE I started going for my dream. I feel extremely lucky to have met such a great record company (Jay Chou’s company – JVR Music) who gives my music complete freedom and gives me complete creative control over my entire album. I am songwriter and producer, which means that my debut album is what I can truly call “my baby.” J I think I can’t ask for more, as I already feel like all my dreams have come true… I have an album I can call my own, and I have a great company that will support my creativity as an artist. As for my future, of course I hope to continue writing and producing albums, and who knows, maybe one day I will have my own concert tour and I’ll have a chance to come back to Austin and perform for my fellow UT Longhorns. I really hope that day will come soon.

8. What struggles have you encountered in pursuing your career, and how have you overcome them?

I think “coming into society,” the drastic change from being a student to suddenly working in a company with adults, was a pretty tough transition for me. In addition to that, it was my first time away from home where my mom and my friends were very far away, and I was completely on my own working in a different country. I had to quickly adapt to the language and the culture, and even now after a year I’m still adapting. There were a lot of times when I just really really missed my family and friends… my home. I kept reminding myself that this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and I tried to face each day with a positive attitude and cherish every moment I had as an artist. I feel like this past year has definitely helped me grow and become more independent, so that in the future, I can better deal with even more hardships and situations.

Cindy Yen

Visit her Fanpage here to become a fan!

Written by Jennifer Wang

Filed under: Alumni Spotlight · Tags: , ,

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