The name “PennYo” is a play on the Mandarin word for friends, “peng you” (朋友). This aptly sums up the group's philosophy of being a tightly knit circle of friends, beginning with the group founders. PennYo members have hailed from the United States, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and even Hungary. Yet the group has managed to foster an all-inclusive, eclectic culture that is uniquely PennYo.
The group shares a mission to bring the sounds of popular Chinese songs to the United States through a cappella. The process is not so much a direct replication of existing music as it is an evolution into a new form—a form, which the group hopes will appeal to existing fans of Chinese music, as well as those who have never been exposed before.
What is “Chinese a cappella?”
Chinese a cappella is a fledgling phenomenon which PennYo is helping to initiate in the United States. Our source material is drawn largely from the contemporary Chinese pop music scene. PennYo then takes these songs to new dimensions by filtering them through all-vocal arrangements.
Though PennYo sings primarily in Mandarin, it has also performed songs in Taiwanese, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and English. We strive to celebrate the richness and diversity within Chinese culture, as well as the international influences which have infiltrated the Chinese pop mainstream. Songs in the PennYo repertoire come from artists such as Taiwanese pop singers Jay Chou (周杰倫) and David Tao (陶喆), Cantonese superstar Jacky Cheung (張學友), Singaporean diva Stefanie Sun (孫燕姿), classic Chinese singer Teresa Teng (鄧麗君), Korean artist Shin Seung Hoon (신승훈), Japanese a cappella group Try-Tone, and many many more.
2002: PennYo founded
2005: 1st studio CD (Emergence 無中生友) released
2007: 1st international tour in Shanghai
2008: 2nd studio CD (Luminar 發光) released
2010: 2nd international tour in Taiwan
2010: 3rd studio CD (Extra Spicy 超辣) released
2012: 10 year anniversary concert
2013: 3rd international tour in Singapore
2014: 4th CD to be released
Where We Are Going
Following the success of Emergence (2005), Luminar (2008), and Extra Spicy (2010), PennYo is currently producing its fourth album! We have already recorded twelve tracks and will be finishing up production in 2014. Some of the new tracks include classics like Jay Chou's Hei Se You Mo (黑色幽默), FIR's Wo Men De Ai (我們的愛), and many more to come!
In January 2015, the group will be going on its fourth international tour and its first trip to Beijing, China! It’s going to be a busy year, so stay tuned for more updates on our Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages!!
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