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Olympia, Washington, United States | SELF

Olympia, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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"Lijie - Roam"

The first time I heard Lijie was on Lower Sproul on my way home after class. It was noon on a Friday, and I stopped dead in my tracks. Where was that voice coming from? And there, straight ahead, was Lijie (pronounced like Lee-jay) on the keyboard, singing. Entranced by such a mesmerizing voice, I immediately bought her debut CD, Roam, after only hearing her for a minute. Regrets? Absolutely none. - hardboiled (UC Berkeley) - Pauline Sze

"Lijie tickles the ivory, plays an acoustic set and sings acapella for OC..."

Olympic College students were graced by the beautiful and poetic lyrics of singer and songwriter Lijie Thursday in the Bremer Student Center.

The hour-long performance began at noon and featured songs from Lijie's first album "Roam," which was on sale along with T-shirts and other Lijie merchandise. One of the songs she performed, "Blue," won a singing competition award in the United Kingdom.

Another song, titled "The bar song," tells the humorous tale of how guys pick up girls in bars and wake-up the next morning totally regretting their previous actions.

Lijie also did a cover of Coldplay's "Yellow" and closed with an a cappella version of a classic Frank Sinatra song.

Her sound is somewhat reminiscent of Jewel. Like Jewel, she often accompanies her music with keyboards or acoustic guitar.

Lijie was born in China and moved to Washington when she was 5 years old. She said she has vague memories of being the tomboy in her neighborhood. After earning her college degree, she moved to Los Angeles and waited tables. Eventually she hooked up with producer Erik Colvin and produced her first album.

Lijie came to OC after meeting Jodi Raisl, administrative assistant for student programming, at a conference last November. Raisl met with many other artists who will also be appearing in the BSC during the next few months.

-Holly Duncan- - The Olympian

"Pop Rock Passion"

"...She left Los Angeles after several years of waiting tables and performing at open mics and small clubs, but also came away with material for an impressive-sounding solo album, Roam....voice is strong, soulful and velvety smooth, and will draw admiration from musicians and pop-minded music fans alike. Many of her recorded songs are acoustic guitar and piano-driven ballads full of ethereal atmosphere - think Sarah McLachlan - but she can rock out too. On Bar Song, which can be heard on her mySpace page, she croons with a cool sultriness that brings to mind Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders..." - Taipei Times

""Love Lijie's voice...""

"Love Lijie's voice, and new unreleased song Be Like That has a definite hook!"

-Dennis Matkosky (Grammy-winning songwriter) - quote from Dennis Matkosky

"Music from the Soul: Roaming around with Lijie"

Up-and-coming singer/song-writer Lijie (pronounced Lee-Jay) was on the road toward a life and career of finance, before she made a sharp turn in the other direction and found her way back to her original loves -- strawberry ice cream, long walks on the beach, and making some heart-wrenching music.

It's all about her voice. It's one of those voices that catches you off guard. One of those voices that would be perfect to have singing in the background during an intense moment of a scene between star-crossed lovers, because even if you were watching the most god-awful film or television show on the planet, Lijie's voice could have you mesmerized, fooling you into thinking you're watching some serious high-quality drama. (I believe it's the movie trailer addicts and the closeted WB fans who know exactly what I'm talking about. But I digress.)

Comparisons are likely to fly, as they tend to do when new artists emerge -- in this case, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, and Rachel Yamagata may come to mind -- but Lijie can hold her own. She has an openness that comes through in her voice. It's not shielded by anger or animosity or bitterness, which is part of what gives her music strength while retaining its wistful, haunting beauty. You can especially feel that in "Blue," which happens to be her own personal favorite song off her CD, because the universality of the emotion. As she says, "it doesn't matter if you're 13 or 17 or 26, when you get your heart broken, it feels the same."

Lijie was born in China, but she moved to the United States when she was five. After college, she decided she wanted to forgo her finance degree and instead, move to Los Angeles, wait tables, and pursue her dream of being a singer. Ah, every Asian parent's dream. She started writing music, playing at open mike nights, and booking shows. These shows led to her meeting other musicians who she started playing and making music with. The key players include her drummer, Curtis Byrd, who she met at an open-mike night, and her guitarist Adam Schuman, who she met because they were both waiting tables at the same restaurant. She was eventually approached by an indie label, and even though that didn't go through, it was through this process that she met Erik Colvin, a "nice, kind, amazing musician," alumni of the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston, who helped her produce her first CD, Roam.

APA talks to Lijie about her songwriting, her goals as a musician, and her next album she's currently working on.

-- Ada Tseng - UCLA APA

"2009 UK Songwriting Contest"

"LA" - pop/rock category Runner-Up - UK Songwriting Contest

"Creative Line Magazine"

Lijie/ Roam

Like the best chocolate, bitter and sweet with rich textures & evoking vivid images. Lijie’s smooth vocals will take you on a journey of hurt & healing. From the opening guitar intro of “Make Believe” to the haunting “Brilliant Always”, The intimate arrangements support each song well & creates a very
conversant & personal quality that singer-songwriters work hard at achieving while sounding quite effortless. While this collection focuses on the rainy-day feelings of relationships on the edge, there’s a certain amount of healing that can take place when you know someone else has been there too.
Roam is sure to connect with that “me too” part of your heart.

- Jimi Yamagishi


“Roam” - Pop Category Finalist
“Blue” - Misc. Category Runner Up - UK Songwriting Contest


Lijie (pronounced lee-jay) is an exotic soulstress, born in China, she moved to America when she was five. Her classical piano roots honed from the age aof eight resonate throughout her debut album Roam. That she cites Coldplay and The Police as influences gives you the kind of ball park area that she appears to aiming for but Lijie’s music is a sublime blend of delicate pianos and guitars paired with her intoxicating voice.

Girly singer-songwriters always seem to get lumped together; Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow, even Alanis Morrisette but this categorising is a bit crap really its like saying cheese and chocolate are the same thing because they both begin with ‘ch’. Lijie seems to have the stand-alone quality which Amos, Crow and Morrisette all had which earned them recognition as artists not just women. The nominations for the 2004 UK International Songwriting Contest and her fast growing US fanbase give a bit of a hint of what’s on its way.

Roam is a beautifully curated album, the power in Lijie’s voice is both touching and compelling and the wonderful melodies draw the listener right in after just one play. The lilting sounds on tracks such as “So High” take you all over the musical history of the past few decades, here’s a bit of Fleetwood Mac-ish guitar and there’s vocals that kind of remind you of early Madonna ballads, but in a totally good way. Yet the album doesn’t sound like a mish mash of references, it sound new and fresh.

Lijie’s songwriting skills are formidable and with Roam she has produced a perfect platform to showcase her talents to even more people.

- Jenni Silver


"Love Me If You Can" - Pop Category Finalist
"So High" - Pop Category Finalist
"Bar Song" - Rock Category Finalist - UK Songwriting Contest


A whiny, girly singer-songwriter Lijie is not. Like a porcelain Hummer H2, her lyrics are fragile yet forceful, echoing a heartache familiar. Roam (2004), the first full length album from China-born Lijie (pronounced “lee-jay”), sounds like a Sarah McLachlan/Fleetwood Mac hybrid at times.

On Roam, Lijie’s poetic lyrics melt with gentle guitar sounds and her own delicate piano playing, creating a vivid landscape of hurt and healing. The album’s feeling of tenderness is bisected in “Bar Song,” an ode to inebriated sexual carelessness and its predictable remittance.

Lijie’s sultry, soothing voice is a faultless vessel for the lyrics that won her a “Finalist” award at the 2004 UK Songwriting Contest. In “Blue,” a sense of despair looms with her lyrics: “I lose myself I lose my mind/And it’s you/that always leaves me feeling black and blue.”

In the song “Roam,” the Olympia, Washington-raised soulstress cries out, “and I may be naïve/but not too proud to leave.” Listeners can only hope this applies to her singing/songwriting career.

- Tim O'Rourke


10 track debut album ROAM.



Her career began when she first sang into a make-shift microphone (a thick pen) at the age of five…

Born in China and raised in the United States, music has always been a part of Lijie’s life. With a full-length album to her credit, and over 100 songs written, Lijie has received recognition at the 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 UK Songwriting Contests. Several of her songs have been placed in independent film projects. In April 2010, Lijie performed on Boston’s FOX 25 Morning News.

(FOX 25/ – “She is a devoted, passionate and extremely talented singer/songwriter and musician…”

After attending five semesters at Berklee College of Music, Lijie traveled to the Dominican Republic and worked with Berklee’s Beyond Borders and Orphanage Outreach, and taught music to children in the public school system. This past June, Lijie traveled to Taipei for the first time and performed four shows, her album praised by the Taipei Times.

Taipei Times – “…strong, soulful, and velvety smooth, and will draw admiration from musicians and pop-minded music fans alike….”

She is now in pre-production with her next album.