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Friday, January 19, 2024



Photo Credit, Preston Scott and Jeremy Le 

Last Friday 12th January - multidimensional creator and performing artist Akini Jing releases her highly anticipated album ‘VILLAIN’, out now via 88rising. The release is accompanied by both the official video to lead single ‘Call Me Shadow’ and the new focus track ‘VILLAIN’ which features rising UK drill artist TeeZandos.

Akini Jing continues her ‘Eastern Cyber’ series and unprecedented musical expression of the Chinese martial arts genre of Wuxia on new album ‘VILLAIN’. The stunning 9-track album features the already released electronic infused ‘Call Me Shadow’ and kung-fu textured ‘Black Widow’, in addition to seven new tracks including the heartfelt ballad ‘Hurt You Again’ and fiery new focus track ‘VILLAIN’, which features a hard-hitting and sharp tongued verse from rising UK drill artist TeeZandos.

Showcasing her unique ability to effortlessly blend genres together, VILLAIN sees Jing combine impactful techno, whimsical IDM, and beautiful Chinese-influenced orchestral sections to create vivid musical landscapes that express the album’s story. In the fictional realm and across all visuals, we see Akini introduce three martial arts characters - Black Widow, Shadow, and Jade; who each reflect the noble pursuits constrained by mundane life, mirroring our own reality.

The accompanying video for ‘Call Me Shadow’ follows ‘Black Widow’ and continues the cinematic short story created by Akini Jing. Directed by Joseph Le (Afro Samurai Champloo and Mulan: An East Side Story) and inspired by the alluring world of Wuxia, the official visual sees ‘Shadow’, a trained assassin uphold the honour of the 'The Nine Sun Sect’ as she aims to take down the wicked matriarch ‘Black Widow’. Incorporating signature martial arts sequences by stunt coordinator Andy Cheng (Shang-Chi, and Rush Hour), the video features intricate weapon combat, providing a further glimpse into the world of Wuxia.

Speaking about her new album VILLAIN, Akini Jing said: “‘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.”

1. Fate (Title Theme)
2. Black Widow
3. Call Me Shadow
4. Jade
5. VILLAIN (Interlude)
6. VILLAIN Ft. TeeZandos
7. Hurt You Again
8. Seven Deadly Punches [Bonus Track]
9. Peacock Feather Fatality [Bonus Track]

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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