Chances are you’ve already heard the song. When you walk in a clothing store, it’s likely to be playing in the background. When you turn on the TV, it’ll be featured on the most popular entertainment shows. When you walk passed a square, old ladies will be dancing to its rhythm. It is the “Most Dazzling Folk Style (最炫民族风 zuì xuàn mínzú fēng)” by Phoenix Legend (凤凰传奇 fènghuáng chuánqí), the moment’s hottest folk/pop music duo.
Consisting of female vocalist Linghua (玲花), from Inner Mongolia, and male rapper Zengyi (曾毅), from Hunan Province, the pair used to perform under the name Cool Fire (酷火组合 kù huǒ zǔhé), and has steadily gained popularity since they came together in the late ’90s in Guangdong Province.
Linghua and Zengyi initially traveled to the southern manufacturing hub in search of jobs, but instead discovered a shared passion for music. Originally a sales girl in an electrical appliances shop and a worker in a radio factory, respectively, the duo’s first brush with fame occured when they entered a singing competition held by Channel [V], the music network owned by STAR TV, and reached the final.
However, their big break didn’t come until 2005, when they won second place in the popular national talent show “CCTV Avenue of Stars (星光大道 xīngguāng dàdào).” With national fame secured, Pheonix Legend quickly signed to a new record label and followed up their success by releasing albums such as “Above the Moon (月亮之上 yuèliàng zhī shàng, 2005)”, “Good Fortune as You So Desire (吉祥如意 jíxiáng rúyì, 2007)” and “Most Dazzling Folk Style (最炫民族风, 2009).”
Blending traditional folk music with hip-hop elements, their sound at first appealed to migrant workers, before gradually evolving to penetrate mainstream pop culture. While the release of “Most Dazzling Folk Style” garnered the partnership near instant viral recognition, it is only recently that they have re-entered the spotlight, thanks to the work of some enterprising Chinese netizens. Through what must have been blind chance, online video editors stumbled across a curious discovery: “Most Dazzling Folk Song” appears to fit snugly with various choreographed dance routines, from Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” to Indian comedy movie “3 Idiots” (see videos below), earning the song the moniker “The Magic Song (神曲 shénqqǔ)” for its apparent seamless compatibility.
We’ve translated some of the lyrics below so you can sing along, or emulate the numerous netizens who have created their own dance routines to the song and uploaded them to the web (not recommended for serious individuals).
“zuì xuàn mínzú fēng”
“Most Dazzling Folk Style”
Cāngmáng de tiānyá shì wǒ de ài
The vast end of the world is my love
Miánmián de qīngshān jiǎoxià huā zhèng kāi
At the foot of the mountain, flowers blossom
Shénme yàng de jiézòu shì zuì ya zuì yáobǎi
What kind of rhythm is the most swaying
Shénme yàng de gēshēng cái shì zuì kāihuái?
What kind of singing is the most pleasant?
Wānwān de héshuǐ cóng tiānshàng lái
The winding river water comes from the sky
Liúxiàng nà wànzǐqiānhóng yīpiàn hǎi
Flow to the colorful sea
Huǒlàlà de gēyáo shì wǒmen de qídài
Thrilling songs fulfill our expectations
Yīlù biān zǒu biān chàng cái shì zuì zìzai
Walking and singing all the way
Wǒmen yào chàng jiù yào chàng de zuì tòngkuai
We sing and are the most joyful
Nǐ shì wǒ tiānbiān zuìměi de yúncai
You are the most beautiful cloud on my horizon
Ràng wǒ yòngxīn bǎ nǐ liú xiàlái
With my heart I want you to stay
Yōuyōu de chàngzhe zuì xuàn de mínzú fēng
Singing the most dazzling folk song
Ràng ài juǎn zǒu suǒyǒu de chén’āi
Let the love sweep all the dust away
Nǐ shì wǒ tiānbiān zuìměi de yúncai
You are the most beautiful cloud in my heart
Zhēn mǎn měijiǔ ràng nǐ liú xiàlái
Filling wine I want you to stay
Yǒngyuǎn dōu chàngzhe zuì xuàn de mínzú fēng
Always sing the most dazzling folk song
Shì zhěng piàn tiānkōng zuìměi de zītài
It’s the most beautiful scene of the sky
Wǒ tīngjiàn nǐ xīnzhōng dòngrén de tiānlài
I hear sounds of nature in your heart
Dēng shàng tiānwài yúnxiāo de wǔtái
Ascend to the stage of the clouds
Below are a couple of examples of the song set to dance routines: