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Band R&B Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


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"Outcomes"-Kingzdream (2004)
"The soul of a man"- Soul9 Records- expected Fall 2006 release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


You have never heard an Asian man sing- not like this- not Soul/R&B- until you’ve heard Yen of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Yen (pronounced Iang) knew from the first time he opened his mouth to mimic other soul singers, that he had to be one too. Now his vocal ability is more than imitative; it’s unique with a style no one else has claimed. “Man this guy can really sing”, Detroit’s 93.1 DJ, Man at Large, stated. When they look at him-physically- they just don’t see it. In fact Yen wants you to be amazed. The astonished yet appreciative look on people’s faces when he hits an exceptionally high note is what makes his performance so rewarding. Besides a spectacular vocal range, Yen is committed to express topics other than relationships in his writing and singing. Of course, his repertoire includes love ballads. However, true dilemmas like racism, religion, and the overcoming of everyday conflicts and diversity are also reflected in his music. He gives a lot of his musical inspiration to musical genius Stevie Wonder. “Stevie raised an awareness of human issues in an uplifting manner. I want to do that too. Positive messages are lacking in a majority of the music we hear on present radio. I want to keep people’s spirits up-impact people’s lives through my music, especially the youth”, he expressed.

At the age of one, and the youngest of 10 children, Yen and his family, fled his homeland of Vietnam. This was at the end of the very unpopular Vietnam War. The family ended up being sponsored by a church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Yen grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, James Ingram, Take 6, and other Motown/Soul Legends. They planted the seed that sprouted his love and life for music. His early years were spent singing in the gospel scene with the Kalamazoo Mass choir. This training increased his vocal strength and range, it also gave him opportunities to open for national acts like: John P. Kee, The Chicago Mass Choir, The Williams Brothers, Albertina Walker, and many more. Some of Yen’s most recent accomplishments include being selected “2004 Vietnamese Star Search Winner, Michigan’s Next Rising Star of 2002” on ABC’s Good Morning America, the opening act for 98 Degrees (a performance he acquired by beating out hundreds of other performers in Detroit’s WDIV “Say What Sing Along Contest” summer of 2001), and being a cast member in the nationally acclaimed Detroit musical “Perilous Times”. This musical featured star acts such as gospel great: Vanessa Bell Armstrong, William Murphy III, Tommie Ford of the “Martin Lawrence Show”, and Tiny Lister “Debo” of Friday and Next Friday.

Yen has now relocated to the Atlanta, Georgia area and has begun performing, backed by his talented 7-piece band, “SOUL FINE.” Yen is currently working on a debut solo CD with Soul9 Records, slated for release in the fall of 2006. His first single, “My Calling” is a tribute to his deceased father and to the many others who have made a better life for their younger generation .Yen stated, “I am grateful to my mother and father for sacrificing so much, so their children can have a better life.”

It’s not easy to be accepted into the Soul/R&B genres when you are of Vietnamese descent. Immigrating to another country was hard, living in a white suburb and singing “black” music was just as difficult, but for Yen, bringing the message of his music to all people-makes every struggle worth the hardships.