Yao 13 (Tang Yao), was born in 1986 in China’s southwestern Guizhou province. As a child, he began studying the erhu, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument, and later picked up the guitar. When Yao 13 moved to Wuhan to attend college, he dove into the independent music and creative scene developing around him. He gained fame in 2011, in Beijing, with his folk-influenced song “Blind Man,” sung in the Zhijin dialect spoken in Guizhou. The song quickly spread throughout the internet and caught the attention of CCTV host Chai Jing and folk music pioneer and poet Zhou Yunpeng, two of his earliest advocates. Yao 13’s music is complex with its arrangements; traditional instruments (including erhu), and a mix of the folk traditions of southwestern China paired with influences from American folk music and the blues. He has managed to captured the admiration of many young musicians and directors in Mainland China, including his roommate, songwriter Song Dongye, who signed Yao 13 to his Sesame Leaves record label. One of Yao 13’s songs appears on the soundtrack for Lou Ye’s 2014 film Blind Massage, and he was recently invited to pen the theme song for a forthcoming action film from director Xiaozhi Rao. In October 2015, he released Island, Sailor, one of the most anticipated indie albums of the year. His most complex album to date, it challenges traditional notions of folk music and has been nominated for a Golden Indie Music Award in Taiwan and won a Golden Melody Award, sponsored by the Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
“我难在，喝不到酒……”穿过贵阳的大街小巷，如果你听到这首歌请不要讶异，在贵州这早已算 不上什么新鲜事了。2011年，一首织金方言的歌曲《瞎子》横空出世，经由网络传遍了全国各地，着实让这首歌的作者和他的贵州方言在中国乐坛上“火”了一把。而这首歌的迅速蹿红，也让这位就读于武汉大学医学专业，却一直“不务正业” 钻研音乐的80后贵州音乐人——尧十三，受到了 乐坛的强烈追捧。一直被昵称为“十三哥”的他， 就是用这种融于生活里的音乐和幽默巧妙的做派 受到了全国乐迷的喜爱，更被央视主持人柴静以 及民谣音乐前辈周云蓬争相推荐，而这也只算是 他创作冰山中的一角。2014年，尧十三的一首《他妈的》成为娄烨导演斩获数项金马奖的电影《推拿》的片尾曲，让人们对这位才华横溢的民谣 新人更是刮目相看。2015年10月，尧十三发表新专辑《飞船，宇航员》，这或许是2015下半年最受期待的独立民谣唱片，但请最好不要抱着对民谣音乐的旧有认知去听它——它挑战你的聆听经验，也很可能超出了你的期待。从这张处子作开始，尧十三便已成功拒绝了人们将其标签化和标准化的企图。