• Perhat Khaliq

Perhat Khaliq (Photo : Uyghur hakan/YouTube)

In mid-2016, a Chinese court finally settled the legal battle who owns the title “Voice of China” which two production companies were fighting over. Canxing Production lost and used instead “Sing! China” for its fifth season.

The staging of its finals on Oct. 7 using the name “Sing! China” – won by Chinese singer Jiang Dunhao by a margin of 2 votes over Singapore’s Nathan Hartono – indicates a different kind of victory for Canxing Productions because “Voice of China” – run by Talpa Holdings has apparently not yet held its finals.

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It would be a shame if the legal victory of Talpa would not translate into finding new Chinese singing talent since “Voice of China” was a showcase of Xinjiang music talents.

The 2014 winner, Uyghur singer Perhat Khaliq, won by performing a rock n’ roll cover of a famous Chinese romance song using his deep, husky voice. His performance surprised viewers because the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region where Perhat came from is more known for its traditional folk music.

Over the next two years, more Uyghur singers shone via “Voice of China” such as Li Wei, a half-Russian, half-Han from the same region. He grew up listening to Uyghur music which he said greatly influence his personality, Global Times reported.

Xinjiang was also crucial in shaping the personality of Zhang Le who was born in Heilongjiang Province and migrated to Xinjiang when he was 30. The region’s churches, mosques and Buddhist temples attracted him as well as a local woman who is now Zhang’s wife.

These three musicians break the mold of an Uyghur stereotype in the minds of many Chinese who still perceive them as riding horses through vast grasslands, living in yurts and with lesser access to modern culture that they just debunked, thanks to “Voice of China” which many fans want to hear more of.