MUSIC AND MY JOURNEY OF IDENTITIES

VI AN DIEP

Vi An Diep is a world music and instrumental recording artist, and composer for film, theatre, and dance companies around the world.  

Adopted in 1978 at approximately 11 weeks-old from a ditch outside Ho Chi Minh City by a destitute Vietnamese/Chinese/Cambodian family, Vi An left Vietnam with her family by plane, immigrating to Calgary, Alberta, becoming Canadians by the time she was five. She didn’t find out she was adopted until age 25.

At age six, Vi An taught herself to play the Chinese long-plucked zither instrument called zheng or commonly known as gu zheng – the predecessor of the Vietnamese đàn tranh. At age 10, she emerged as a professional performing artist, under the guidance of a vice-principal who saw a great gift in her. From then on, she showcased her original music – created spontaneously and intuitively – as a wide range of events, including fundraising galas for many non-profit organizations, such as Amnesty International, Project Ploughshares and Child Haven International. Vi An has recorded her own albums from age 11, and has since released over 25 full-length solo albums. She sees opportunities where she is able to co-create with a larger group of musicians, artists, and more as the most rewarding. “As a village, our voice for humanity is far more exciting and impactful,” she thinks.

A few years ago, Vi An did a few DNA tests for fun, where she uncovered her fascinating heritage, linking from Mongolia and Siberia to Japan and France. Her discovery inspired her to embrace the enigmatic persona that her audiences often typecast her as. To her, being typecast is a flattering compliment!

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