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Exploring the Future with Cyberpunk Aesthetics: The Musical Persona of Zhu Jingxi

LifestyleExploring the Future with Cyberpunk Aesthetics: The Musical Persona of Zhu Jingxi

Zhu Jingxi, a singer-songwriter hailing from Pu’er in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, made a bold statement with her fiery techwear and intricate accessories at the 88rising “Head in the Clouds” music festival in Manila, the Philippines on December 10. The stage visuals and Zhu’s mesmerizing voice, infused with an otherworldly beauty, created an unforgettable experience for her fans.

Zhu’s music and stage presence embody cyberpunk aesthetics, and she strives to maintain this futuristic style in her portfolio of electronic, pop, rock, and folk music. As a gifted storyteller, she loves to bring her visions of the future to life through her art.

Electronic music is the foundation of Zhu’s work, and her passion for the genre has been with her since childhood. She knew from a young age that she wanted to become a singer, and her dedication to her craft has been evident in her journey to success.

At the “Head in the Clouds” festival, Zhu captivated the audience with her powerful performance, showcasing her range as an artist and leaving a lasting impression on fans both old and new. Her use of technology, stunning visuals, and unique sound make her a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Zhu’s creativity and ability to express herself through her art have earned her a loyal following, and her music has been praised for its ability to transport listeners to other worlds. As she continues to explore new musical frontiers and push the boundaries of what is possible, fans eagerly await her next release, excited to see what she has in store for the future.

Zhu Jingxi’s life took a magical turn in 2002 when she was just 14 years old. The turning point came when she heard Teardrop by the trip-hop legend Massive Attack from Bristol. As the melodic line jumped in, metallic and enigmatic, followed by slow notes, she felt as if she was being pulled into a dreamlike universe. It was an unforgettable experience that changed her life forever.

The sci-fi fanatic found that many novels, animations, and films in the field discussed topics such as how to explore one’s inner world. The discovery of psychedelic music with similar accents further fueled her fascination with this genre. From then on, Zhu became obsessed with music that spoke to her in this way. She was drawn to the concept of cyberpunk aesthetics, which allowed her to explore a wide variety of topics both in the virtual world and reality.

As a storyteller, Zhu delves into subjects that touch on the complexities of human existence. She uses her music to explore how we can cope with our limitations and find new ways out in this era of high tech. The cyberpunk style she adopted as her musical persona resonated with her. She has reinvented herself as the cyborg persona Akini Jing, a character she created in 2019.

In 2020, Zhu released a concept album titled Plastic Heaven, where she used 10 songs to tell a complete story of how Akini Jing was created as a robotic body, gradually turning into a cyborg after experiencing human emotions, and finally awakening to be a real human. The album was an instant hit, with many people praising Zhu’s creativity and unique style.

Zhu’s love for electronic music is evident in the range of genres she explores, from electronic music, pop to rock and folk. However, her music has its roots in electronic music, which she considers her bedrock. Her electrifying performances are a testament to her passion for this genre.

Zhu’s recent performance at the 88rising “Head in the Clouds” music festival held in Manila, Philippines, was a showstopper. Clad in flame-red techwear and adorned with ornaments of various sizes, Zhu announced her presence with the stage visuals embodying cyberpunk aesthetics and her intoxicating voice imbued with a certain ethereal beauty. She successfully brought out the inner diva in her, captivating the audience with her performance.

Zhu Jingxi is a talented singer-songwriter who has successfully carved a niche for herself in the music industry. Her love for electronic music, cyberpunk aesthetics, and sci-fi has given rise to a unique musical persona, Akini Jing. Her music tells stories that touch on the complexities of human existence, making her stand out in the crowded music industry.

Singer-songwriter Zhu Jingxi has taken the music industry by storm with her unique blend of cyberpunk and electronic music styles, combined with ethereal vocals and a striking stage presence. Zhu was born and raised in Pu’er, Southwest China’s Yunnan province, and always knew she wanted to be a singer from a young age. However, it wasn’t until she heard Massive Attack’s Teardrop at the age of 14 that she became truly inspired and set on her musical path.

Zhu’s love of psychedelic music with futuristic themes, coupled with her interest in science fiction, led her to explore cyberpunk aesthetics in her music and stage persona. She enjoys being a storyteller of her futuristic fantasies, and her portfolio ranges from electronic music and pop to rock and folk. However, electronic music remains her bedrock, and she has become known for her unique sound that combines elements of trip-hop and cyberpunk.

In 2019, Zhu reinvented herself as cyborg persona Akini Jing, and the following year she released the concept album Plastic Heaven. The album tells the story of how Akini Jing was created as a robotic body and gradually evolved into a cyborg after experiencing human emotions, ultimately awakening to become a real human. This album showcased Zhu’s talent for crafting a compelling narrative and demonstrated her ability to delve into a wide variety of topics within the cyberpunk genre.

More recently, Zhu released the album Endless Farewell, which was inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky’s sci-fi classic Solaris. Each track on the album represents its own parallel world within a multiverse, showcasing Zhu’s imagination about outer space, divine beauty, and reflections on our everyday lives. Listeners have likened the experience of listening to the entire album to watching a movie, highlighting the cinematic quality of Zhu’s music.

Zhu has collaborated with a variety of foreign musicians throughout her career, including French duo Toukan Toukan, California-based songwriter Mario Marchetti, and Finnish chanteuse Saara Aalto. In 2019, she also appeared in the documentary Generational Gravity, which explored street culture, beauty and makeup, hair styles, and party culture among the global young generation. This experience allowed Zhu to immerse herself in different cultures and explore youth culture around the world, which she views as a source of inspiration for her music.

, Zhu Jingxi is a talented and innovative artist who has carved out a unique space for herself within the cyberpunk and electronic music genres. With her captivating stage presence, evocative vocals, and powerful storytelling, she is sure to continue to captivate audiences around the world

Zhu Jingxi’s open-mindedness and appreciation for cultural diversity has enabled her to create musical works that resonate with audiences from a variety of backgrounds. Whether writing lyrics in Chinese or English, she has a talent for using simple language to create vivid images that can connect with listeners on a personal level.

Her music has gained a global following, with many of her tracks receiving positive reviews overseas. For instance, her single “Shadow” made its way onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2018. Additionally, her synthpop track “Blessing” was recommended by the international music review site Pitchfork in August, which praised her exploration of the relationship between technology, humanity, and consciousness.

Zhu believes that her honest and sincere self-expression is the key to creating music that appeals to a broad audience. She is not afraid to tackle complex subjects in her music, such as the impact of technology on society and the struggle for personal identity in an increasingly globalized world.

In addition to her musical career, Zhu has also been involved in cultural exchange programs, which have taken her to cities all around the world. These experiences have given her further insight into the diversity of the world and have served as inspiration for her creative endeavors.

Zhu’s success is a testament to her ability to connect with listeners through her music, regardless of cultural or linguistic barriers. Her passion for exploring new ideas and perspectives is sure to continue fueling her artistic growth and appeal to audiences around the globe.


Zhu’s music may be experimental and avant-garde, but she remains deeply connected to her roots and traditions as a Chinese person. “As a Chinese, I found that the further I explore the outside world, the more I want to trace back my roots,” she says. Zhu has been striving to merge traditional Chinese instruments, such as the guzheng and the ancient bianzhong, with electronic music. However, she stresses that this should not be done intentionally. “I use folk tunes only if I think they perfectly suit the style of the song,” she adds.

Moreover, Zhu boldly incorporates Chinese cultural elements in the visual design of her music videos and stages. She believes that Chinese literature, including legends, mythologies, and wuxia novels, has subtly and profoundly influenced her aesthetic preferences. “Some descriptions, without shedding much ink over the subject in detail, would ingeniously leave a blank space that inspires the reader’s imagination. That’s beautiful and poetic,” she says. Zhu sometimes applies this concept to her music and visual designs.

Zhu’s open-mindedness makes it easy for her to create music that appeals to audiences from diverse cultural backgrounds. She uses simple terms in both Chinese and English lyrics to vividly describe scenes or stories that resonate with listeners. Her music has gained popularity worldwide, with her single “Shadow” charting on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018, and her track “Blessing” receiving praise from Pitchfork for its exploration of the relationship between technology, humanity, and consciousness.

For Zhu, sincere self-expression is the key to attracting a broad audience. She regards cultural exchange experiences as a source of inspiration for her creations. She enjoys traveling to different parts of the world to explore, observe, and experience youth culture and communicate with young talents. Her unique blend of traditional Chinese culture and modern electronic music has established her as a global sensation in the music industry.

Zhu, a Yunnan native, sees her hometown as a fertile ground for creativity. Yunnan, known for its natural resources and diverse ethnic cultures, has played a significant role in shaping her artistic direction. She blends traditional music from various ethnic groups with her compositions, while also drawing inspiration from the region’s biodiversity.

One example of this is her stage costume design, which was inspired by the branching pattern of ferns found in her hometown of Pu’er. She also wrote a song for rheum nobile, a herbaceous plant that grows from a woody rhizomatous rootstock and blooms just once in its lifetime. Her song aims to see the world through the eyes of the plant, reflecting her appreciation of nature’s beauty and intricacies.

Zhu’s love for her hometown and its surroundings is evident in her vlogs, where she takes viewers on hikes through the mountain forests, identifying various plant species along the way. She considers her hometown a philosophy that has taught her about the relationship between humans and nature, which has helped her develop her perception of the world around her.

For Zhu, using Chinese cultural elements in her visual designs is essential. She boldly incorporates Chinese literature, legends, mythologies, and wuxia novels into her work. The subtle yet profound influence of Chinese literature on her aesthetic preferences has allowed her to express herself in a unique way. She is particularly drawn to the poetic beauty of Chinese literature, where descriptions leave room for the reader’s imagination, inspiring her to create music and visual designs that encourage self-expression.

Incorporating traditional Chinese instruments, such as the guzheng and bianzhong, into her electronic music is a significant part of Zhu’s artistic expression. However, she only uses folk tunes when they fit perfectly with the style of the song, without forcing them into her compositions.

In conclusion, Zhu’s Yunnan background has played a significant role in shaping her artistic vision. Her deep love for her hometown’s natural resources and cultural diversity is evident in her music and visual designs, which draw inspiration from the region’s biodiversity and Chinese literature. Her appreciation for the relationship between humans and nature is reflected in her creative expression, which encourages self-expression and fosters a connection to one’s surroundings.

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