“a tense and bespoke mixture of swampy electronics, strings, and vocals that flash with a bold volcanic brilliance" - The FADER
"…an arcane, completely original whopper of a solo debut” – Toronto Star
FOONYAP’s musical aspirations emerged in a dark world, permeated by rigid structures and exceptionally high standards; a world she could never fully accept but was ultimately forced to navigate. Born and raised in the city of Calgary, Alberta, FOONYAP started violin lessons at the young age of four, entering the Mount Royal Conservatory of Music by as early as age eleven. During these years, FOONYAP frequently found herself engrossed in a self-propelled battle, generated and fueled by a non-negotiable need to align with the boundaries established by her demandingly inflexible life. Largely exposed to only influences of classical music studies, Catholicism and traditional Chinese culture, FOONYAP spent years facing off against feelings of oppression, patriarchy, judgement and struggles with conformity, alongside a desperate longing for acceptance and understanding.
Eventually, amidst her frustration, deepest suffering and constant search for self-awareness, FOONYAP managed to achieve slight yet remarkable growth through her own self-destruction. In experiencing the openness that came with recognizing the breaking point in her own misery, FOONYAP was able to grasp the shattered fragments of her musical past with new positive intentions. It was through these positive intentions that she was able to rediscover herself through the creative process.
FOONYAP’s music is a deeply raw and unguarded reflection of her tumultuous journey to self-discovery. What it means to not only accept but to love oneself, to engage in the incredibly challenging experience of letting go of all the past’s preconceptions, to create a new space for learning and understanding. These are some of the complex themes captured in FOONYAP’s boldly individual compositions.
Now an in-demand performer and collaborator, FOONYAP’s talent spans the protest rock of Art Bergmann to soundtracks for Anne Koizumi’s introspective films. She toured various parts of Europe as a solo act in 2010 and 2011; additionally, she explored alternative expressions and styles while performing in bands like Woodpigeon and her own FOONYAP and The Roar. A haunting and challenging experimental-folk album, her latest full-length Palimpsest has “a signature sound that alternates between vibrating lullabies and primordial heart-explosions,” (Discorder), drawing comparisons to Björk, Braids, Lhasa, and Kate Bush. Described by CBC as “a stunning, colossal work that’s as disconcerting as it is captivating” the album captivated audiences across Canada and was named #6 in the 2016 Top 30 Albums of The Year by the Toronto Star.
FOONYAP has been touring extensively with recent acclaimed appearances at Canadian Music Week, Sled Island, and Pop Montreal. Her performances captivate audiences with looped violin, mandolin, and voice creating “textured complexities” that showcase her “gifted and powerful voice” (The Reflector). She has begun capturing international attention, as one of few Canadian acts selected to showcase at Reeperbahn and a forthcoming release on Scottish label Song, by Toad.
In June 2017, FOONYAP followed up with Apropos, a four-track remix EP featuring Palimpsest reworks. "A musical art gallery [of] four shards of modern art transposed into music" (Canadian Beats), the EP has been steadily charting, reaching #2 and #8 on the Electronic and Top 50 charts. Whether through dark soundscapes that mirror anxious longing, or powerful electronic rifts that reflect painful life transitions, FOONYAP’s work is a cross-generational exploration capturing various components of her past and present realities. Music now allows FOONYAP to use a voice she always knew she had but never knew how to find, in a world she always knew existed but could never figure out how to be part of. Instead of feeling forced, trapped, and confined, FOONYAP finds the most unexpected outlets. In those times when she feels like she can’t breathe, FOONYAP creates.