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Tuesday, December 05, 2023



Photo Credit: Preston Scott and Jeremy Le

Multidimensional creator and performing artist Akini Jing releases her new single and accompanying video for ‘Black Widow’, out now via 88rising. The track is the second lifted from Jing’s highly anticipated album VILLIAN, coming early 2024.

Following the release of last month’s electronic infused ‘Call Me Shadow’, Akini continues to showcase her unprecedented musical expression of Wuxia as she transforms the traditional literary and film genre into new single, ‘Black Widow’. The track’s unpredictable sonic arrangement sees Akini combine beautiful orchestral string and piano sections with an invigorating footwork beat and kung fu textures. Effortlessly shifting between English and Mandarin, Akini’s lyrics vividly illustrate an intense martial arts fight sequence and an ill-fated romance to create a truly unique track.

The accompanying video for ‘Black Widow’, directed by Joseph Le (Afro Samurai Champloo and Mulan: An East Side Story), is a short story created by Akini Jing. Inspired by the alluring world of Wuxia, the cinematic video sees Jing introduce the character ‘Black Widow’, a wicked matriarch of a new imposing clan threatening harmony. Incorporating signature martial arts sequences by stunt coordinator Andy Cheng (Shang-Chi, and Rush Hour), the video features multiple rounds of combat, giving a further glimpse into the world of Wuxia.

Speaking about the new single ‘Black Widow’ and video, Akini Jing said: “Black Widow is the second character I am introducing from my new wuxia concept album "VILLAIN." She is a fierce, eccentric antagonist with an innocent inner nature, despite her reputation for cruelty.

As I crafted this character, I underwent rich internal changes, constantly sensing her emotional shifts. In terms of music production, this song is entirely original, without reference or rules, and I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process.”

Speaking about her upcoming album VILLAIN, Akini Jing added: “‘all the songs on my VILLAIN album are heavily inspired by the Chinese genre of Wuxia. The aesthetic influence is obvious, but what really drew me to Wuxia is the nature of the characters - they are people who are devoted to, and live by, very high ideals. But at the same time, they are constantly limited by their own humanness. For one reason or another, both heroes and villains find themselves falling short or getting distracted from their goals. Aren't we the same? Our spirit may be high but our lives can be low. This is the essence of ‘jianghu’, which is a Chinese word that describes people on the fringe of society, who live by their own code. 

I was fascinated by this tension between ideals and reality, and wanted to find a way to express this centuries-old genre in a new way. The result is an interesting combination of traditional Chinese instruments with electronic sub genres such as techno, two-step and deconstructed club, which I think represents the Chinese underground scene as it is today.”

Over the past ten years, Akini Jing operated under the name “Jingxi Zhu” and found success writing chart-topping pop hits for multiple artists. Then, in 2019 she introduced her new alias, “Akini Jing”, a cyborg identity that fuses technology with Chinese ancestry. Notably, Akini Jing’s work is highly influenced by the cinematic world of martial art films, known as Wuxia. 

Stay tuned as over the coming months Akini Jing will share more music and visuals from this new project.


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