Since I can remember, I always liked singing. I began to write poetry a long time ago to express and record my emotions. Later, I decided to turn them into songs. My first song was written at the end of 2016 during my time in Ireland. What I love the most about singing and songwriting is that they can help me to express my emotions, and I also hope that listeners can resonate with my music.
My name is Ruiqi Wang and I am a software developer. My stage name is Reichi Sky for the music I do outside of work. I was inspired to choose my job when I was in Junior high school; I was first exposed to a PC from home during the school break. I learned to code with VB first. Later, I created my first website about astronomy as a fun thing to do. I became interested in coding ever since.
I was born and raised in China. I wanted to see what the world looked like and decided to travel. I read W. B Yeats’ poems and listened to Celtic Woman’s music when I was in China, and these made me want to see Ireland especially.
There are many singers and songwriters who have influenced my passion for music. Chinese singers include Jolin Cai, Fish Leong, Jay Chou, Han Hong, as well as classic folks of China. My favorite western musicians are Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Westlife, and Celtic Woman. For my own singing, I like pop, church, and Chinese folk. When I write, it’s mostly pop songs.
I start with the melody first and lyrics second when I compose my music (however, ideas of lyrics can come earlier). Usually, melodies come to my mind, and I just record from singing them out. Sometimes, I use a piano and make some attempts on different keys, eventually solidifying a melody that sounds good to the ear. And there are good and bad days regarding how I come up with song ideas and melodies. The thing I pay attention to is that when inspiration comes, I record it in a timely manner to capture it before I forget.
My debut album, Forever Filled With Sunshine, is a collection of songs I composed individually at different times. The title song, Forever Filled With Sunshine, was inspired from times of uncertainty, confusion, self-isolation, and lots of difficulties – yet with hopes that “bright light shines through the veil”. The idea was initially written in 2010 as a poem. Much later, after I began to do songwriting, I adjusted the words slightly to have it turned into a song in Chinese. Its English version of lyrics was translated and also re-created with creativity with the help of my Irish musician friend (thanks for that!), who also added a more bright side to this song.
Where The River Liffey Ends is another song on the album – my company is beside the River Liffey, and I used to live beside the river where it almost connects to the eastern side of the sea. The River Liffey represents everything Irish – I did this song to express my fondness for all of the things Irish, like its beautiful scenery, poems, and literature (after all, I turned more musical and began to write songs during my time in Ireland as well). Where the River Liffey Ends was aired on NearFM 90.3 radio station in Dublin.
All the songs I wrote have some stories behind them at the time when written. From the suggestion of my Irish musician friends, I decided to make a collection of some of them and did an album out of it. I also worked with producers to have the songs produced and recorded professionally.
I put my original EP album in Tencent Music a year ago. I was also given a column by Tencent Music to write about music – there, I introduced the music of my Irish musician friends. One example is Niall Toner; I introduced his bluegrass music to a Chinese audience and a Dublin band that covered Chinese songs in English. I also posted my own music and concert video – one of them has received 98,000 plays so far. I have 173 downloads, 242 bookmarks, 25,933 plays to pure music audios, and 127,000 plays to my music videos from Tencent Music since I uploaded 1 year ago. Not big for a famous musician, but I am still happy enough that some fans actually bookmarked my music into their loop list and can appreciate and listen on a paid music website.
I do have some emotional experiences with my music. For example, I remember feeling very sad when Chief Doctor Wenjun Huang, from the same school as me, died from Coronavirus infections only a month after he had helped my friend in hospital. He applied to cancel all his holidays and go to the ICU section himself, knowing it was dangerous. And there was no funeral or memorial for him when he died, only a brief news message because the hospital was still flooded with patients. I remember feeling so suffocated and depressed; I cried over that several times. Later, the cities he died for were unlocked and my friends lived. I then wrote a memorial song for him and people like him – as I sing and listen to it repeatedly, I feel they still exist in some other form as the spirit goes on.
Today, this disaster has expanded to the whole world (including Ireland, where I’m living). I see nice people working hard to protect the cities in Ireland so that we can live on better with more courage – they are also guardian angels; the beauty of humanity is so similar. I think the music I do is a constant memorial for me about the beautiful side of human nature amid very cruel circumstances. And sometimes, I hear listeners tell me that they feel similarly as my music speaks out the words they most wanted to say – they have different experiences, but similar stories.
This is also like many songs in my album Forever Filled With Sunshine – about not feeling ashamed by embracing feelings of negativity, fear, uncertainty, confusion, and sometimes loneliness. Despite that, we all have the courage and hope to discover beauty and live for a life that’s meant to be Forever Filled With Sunshine. If one listener hears my music and finds that it resonates with them and gives them courage just like it gave to me before, I’d feel very happy about all the work I put into recording it.
Finally, I hope all people suffering from Covid-19 would eventually see “bright light shines through the veil” for a life that’s meant to be Forever Filled With Sunshine: https://soundcloud.com/ruiqi-wang-29793616/forever-filled-with-sunshine-piano-vocal-apr-2018.
I do see similarities between my music and software development. They both require some level of creativity. In both cases, there are final works as an end result that you can showcase to people. Music makes me happier in my personal life – as a happier person, I feel more passion in my technological career too. I also share music with my colleagues as part of my work-life balance.
My advice to anyone looking to take up singing or songwriting is don’t try to write things you do not believe yourself – don’t suit what you think listeners may want to hear from deliberate analysis/tailoring. I do not believe that it would be possible to touch a listener if things you express cannot even touch yourself or you cannot even believe yourself. Instead, sing/write things expressing your authentic thoughts and emotions – only then, when someone likes your song, will it have a real emotional resonance.
There is always more than tech, and it’s very important to share our passions. Technology can create economic progress in the world, bringing values to people’s lives. Creative passions can give people mental and spiritual support and also add values to the world in a different way. Plus, technologists are not just people who do technology – they are also full humans with emotions, passions, and another human side just the same as everybody else. By building a community like this, we do not just help technologists to share and add more values to the world, but also help technologists to connect on a different level so we understand each other better and connect in a different and better dimension. So thanks for the work that Otia Magazine has been doing.
Guardian Angel is a song written by Reichi Sky (vocals by Khalil Lin) dedicated to the guardian angels of Covid-19: https://soundcloud.com/ruiqi-wang-29793616/guardian-angel-sung-by-khalil-lin-written-by-reichi-sky.
To follow Reichi Sky on Soundcloud and listen to some more of her music, be sure to check the following link: https://soundcloud.com/ruiqi-wang-29793616/.
Really awesome Ruiqi!