“a tense and bespoke mixture of swampy electronics, strings, and vocals that flash with a bold volcanic brilliance" - The FADER
FOONYAP is a classically-trained violinist and vocalist, showcasing an incomparable sound that swings between fragility and explosive dynamism. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7 Territory, she started violin lessons when she was four, entering the Mount Royal Conservatory of Music at the age of eleven. After leaving the conservatory, she explored alternative expressions and styles, lending her talents to the protest rock of Art Bergmann, the indie folk-pop collective Woodpigeon, and her own FOONYAP and The Roar.
FOONYAP made her 2016 solo debut with Palimpsest, a record that navigates her sheltered Chinese-Catholic heritage and the intense classical music training of her childhood. Marrying brittle Chinese melodies with classical deconstructionism as a reconciliation with her past, the album weaves the multiple identities and modern societal pressures that children of immigrant families face.
FOONYAP toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe and Canada, garnering increasing acclaim from publications such as The Fader, The Line Of Best Fit, and the Toronto Star, while also appearing on CBC Q + Music Lab. In 2019 FOONYAP opened for Moon Vs Sun, a collaboration by renowned Canadian artists Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk, and also toured with c(h)ord as a performance trio with Woodpigeon and LT Leif.
FOONYAP continues to connect with her cultural roots, exploring the history of Calgary's Chinatown and its role in the cultural ecosystem. She is also involved with the contemporary and traditional Chinese-Canadian arts communities in examining what a time of decolonization, and China’s rising global status, means for their futures. The balance between individuality and union informs FOONYAP’s current creative research as she considers questions around the borders of a cultural group integrated into the whole, and how to explore one's authentic self while maintaining good relations.
While venturing beyond musical boundaries to bridge together avant-garde, indie and classical, FOONYAP’s interest in topics like decolonization has expanded her skills in dance and classical composition. Her current projects include an interdisciplinary collaboration with Taiwanese-Canadian experimental choreographer Pam Tzeng, a commission by classical ensemble Kensington Sinfonia, and Aisinna’kiiks, a project led by Calgary Arts Development aimed at engaging artists from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to support reconciliation.