“Highly anticipated” – Telonius, co-owner of Gomma Records
“Dark, sexy and beautiful – Music Karl Lagerfeld would be proud of” – Alex Chow, Creative Director, Vogue China
“In a scene where a lot of rockstars take themselves a bit seriously, Helen Feng´s out-and-out .. theatricality is a breath of fresh air. Watching her… you´re guaranteed to get a great performance” – Time Out
“Sexy, provocative and confident, she’s [like] a femme Jim Morrison” – Artspace China
Nova Heart is Helen Feng’s 冯海宁 long awaited solo project.
Dubbed as the “Queen of Beijing Rock” or “Blondie of China” Helen, born in Beijng and raised in the US and Canada, has been a staple in the Chinese music scene since she moved back from Los Angeles to Beijing in 2002 when she was hired as VJ for MTV China. In 2004 she founded Ziyo自游 one of Chinas longest running and most popular indie bands (and renamed it Free the Birds in 2010 after changing musical directions) and subsequently became radioshow host of The Rockshow a very influential program at Beijings HIT FM on China Radio International. In 2007 she co-founded the seminal Chinese electronic group Pet Conspiracy. Within the next three years she sang the theme song for Hollywood blockbuster The Mummy III, won several of the most prestigious Chinese Music Awards (Midi & Chinese Music Awards), hosted the Vice Creators Project, co-found FakeMusicMedia (with her partner Philipp Grefer) and toured Europe three times – a fact that until this day very few, if any, chinese bands have achieved.
Upon culmination of her final whirlwind European tour as front-woman of Pet Conspiracy 宠物同谋 in fall 2010, Helen quit the band and took a few days off in Istanbul to prepare the next steps for Free the Birds自游.
But the powers of the city had different plans and threw her and her partner DJ Metro Tokyo into raucous Raki-fueled nights through dizzying mazes of narrow alleys into the ancient discotheques of Constantinople. One fateful night, a chance encounter with Roman electronic-cowboy Rodion (Gomma Records) gave birth to NOVA HEART. After returning to Beijing, Helen sent her self-produced tracks 3000 miles down the silk road to Rome where Rodion would tap them with his magic disco wand. The outcome is a mix of sexy psychedelic disco with lo-fi ethereal pop vocals. A sinister disco beat buried under haunting soundscapes evoke images of naked ghosts dancing under a slightly run down mirrorball in an old, soon to be demolished Beijing hutong..
After completing the production for Nova Hearts´s debut EP “Beautiful Boys” in Rome (released in China in April 2012 on FakeLoveMusic), Helen recruited Bo Xuan (ex-Hedge Hog bassist), Wang Hui (guitar player of Free the Birds自游) and occasionally Metro Tokyo for Nova Heart´s live line up. Her much talked about, siren-like, stage presence gives the live shows an unpredictable edge.
Until the end of 2011, only half a year into their existence, Nova Heart already played at Chinas most prestigous contemporary art gallery (UCCA), got invited to some of Chinas´ biggest music festivals, was guest at the Zurich Street Parade/Lethargy Festival, part of a MTV China special, and played a sunset spot at the mainstage of Clockenflap festival in Hong Kong, sharing a stage with the likes of Santigold, The Cribs, French Horn Rebellion or Bombay Bicycle Club.
In 2012 everything is moving even faster and Nova Heart is going around the world. Before having any release out, they’ scheduled to go to 4 continents within 6 months having been invited to the Sound Kapital Tour, the first showcase of chinese underground bands in Australia in February, North America in March for SXSW + Canadian Music Week and Europe in June for the c/o pop festival.
While in Adelaide they recorded the first Takeaway Show by a chinese band for La Blogotheque with well known french filmmaker Vincent Moon (Arcade Fire, REM, Tom Jones, Fleet Foxes, Phoenix etc.)
For October / November 2012 the first full European tour is in the works including eight countries and important festivals like MaMA (Paris), Iceland Airwaves (Reikjavik) or Vienna Waves (Vienna).
Helen Feng’s Discography
Nova Heart – Beautiful Boys EP (2012)
Free the Birds/Ziyo自游 — The Return (EP) – (Warner Music China 2008)
Like Yesterday (Title Song) — Young & Clueless (2008)
Pet Conspiracy – China EP (2008)
Helen Feng’s Concerts
Midi Music Awards
Midi Festival (Beijing & Shanghai)
Modern Sky Festival
Live In Gulangyu Festival
Happy Hill Festival
Lethargy Festival @ Zurich Street Parade
Clockenflap Festival, Hong Kong
Sound Kapital @ Carriageworks Sydney
Canadian Music Week (Toronto)
c/o pop (Cologne)
MaMA Festival (Paris)
Vienna Waves (Vienna)
Sponsor collaboration (Helen feng)
Motorola – Video Sponsor for “Like Yesterday” – Moto Music Site Launch event, Beijing
Puma – Archive Launch, Shanghai
Nike – Tiger Shoe Launch
Comme de Garcon – I.T. Launch Event Village, Beijing
Zippo – Zippo Host List, Beijing
Range Rover – Evoque
MAGAZINE Press (Helen Feng):
Newsweek (USA), The Economist, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Rolling Stone China (Inmusic), Glamour (Spain), Vogue, City Pictorial, Time Out, 1626 Magazine, Le Officiel, Mens Uno, China Daily, Global Times, 0086, etc. . .
CNN Network (USA), MTV Asia, Channel V, BBC News (UK) Channel V, ZDF (Germany) ARD Guangdong Sat, TVBS (Hong Kong), Channel News Asia Singapore, VICE BBS (USA), CCTV
CBC – Q – Thursday July 12th www.cbc.ca/q
Some Nova Heart videos on caoker.com:
My Song 9 Live in Zurich @ Lethargy Festival
Takeaway Show – La Blogotheque w Vincent Moon
Free the Birds plays Nova Heart song “Children, Children” live @ Midi Festival Shanghai
EVIL live @ Clockenflap
Nova Heart – MTV Trailer Zurich
Helen hosting Vice Creators Project:
Interview with Hot Chip
Free the Birds vs Nova Heart – Children, Children