Yee Vang shares history through music

Kelly Jinguji, Staff Writer

“Music is communication. It truly shows you how the human mind can connect to others,” senior musician and performer Yee Vang said. “Music can ease the soul.”
Vang’s music career began nearly seven years ago after he learned the history of his ethnic community.
“In 2009, there was an event called an Open Mic. It was created by some of my ethnic people—the Hmong people. My brother brought down somebody from Minnesota to the event. He wrote a song about how our people were forced into slavery and genocide. His song touched me, and started my career as an artist,” Vang said.
Vang’s desire to advocate for the Hmong people was pivotal in his career. Today, Vang hopes to enter the industry as a non-vocal pop and radio artist, producing instrumentals on the piano.
“I like the piano and contemporary-style music. I would like to be in the pop and radio industry, but I wouldn’t mind being a songwriter, melody creator, or instrumentalist,” Vang said.
Although Vang aspires to be a well-known artist in the industry, his ultimate goal is far beyond a published work or award.
“I want to be one of the first people inside my ethnic community to be out there in the professional music world. That way, I could help pull my people up and give them a hand,” Vang said.
With a strong emotional motivation at the core of his music career, Vang performs with passion at events in and around the Seattle area. One that has resonated with him is a Seattle-based event called Pianos in the Park.
“I go there every summer, and there are pianos everywhere. I usually go and improvise with random people on the pianos. One year, I remember playing with a homeless man. I felt his story inside the song he was playing,” Vang said.
Throughout his time performing, he has gained hope as an artist.
“Just because you’re someone that’s regular doesn’t mean that you can’t get somewhere high up,” Vang said.
Vang’s future in music is bright. As of now, Vang prefers to perform live. His next planned performance is on November 5 at the Armory Center in Seattle.
“The event is called the Hmong New Years Festival,” Vang said. “ I really enjoy performing at community events.”