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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week – Bing Ji Ling
Monday, June 16, 2008

The other day I received a CD by Bing Ji Ling. The happy blue eyed soul was a nice respite from all the anger and turmoil we hear about on a daily basis. Wanting to know more I hit up his website. There I found Bing pictured as, and this is the best possible description I can come up with, a hippie pimp with an incorrigible ice cream obsession. Obviously, my interest grew, which is why I sat down with him this week to find out who Bing Ji Ling is, what makes him tick, and which of the world’s problems could be solved with his music.

Adam Bernard: Let’s start with the real basics; how old are you and where do you hail from?
Bing Ji Ling: I'm about three scoops young! Originally hail from Northern California, but I also spent time in Southern California and Houston, TX growing up. I've been living in New York City for a few years now. Prior to that I spent quite a bit of time in San Francisco and a year in Shanghai, China.

Adam Bernard: For those who don’t know you, please relate the story of how you became Bing Ji Ling.
Bing Ji Ling: The story of my life is a long one involving ice cream and a love of nearly naked, girls:

While en route to a rural Californian hospital a baby plopped out of a nice lady in the back of her husband's Chinese ice cream truck. The child was named Bing Ji Ling, which is Chinese for "Ice Cream." By age two, the young parents discovered that their kid had a unique ability to measure the "pleasure factor" of any flavor of ice cream. Word quickly spread about "the singing ice cream baby." People came from miles around to the family ice cream parlor to behold Bing's penchant for singing of ice cream and / or nearly naked girls. Business boomed.

By the age of five Bing had composed all the jingles for the company’s new fleet of ice cream trucks. So great was the success that a local ordinance banned the ice cream music for creating traffic jams caused by the dancing crowds of nearly naked girls who swarmed the trucks. The Ice Cream business was killed. Little Bing Ji Ling cried and cried and cried.

For the next twelve years Bing Ji Ling kept his gift to himself; he was scarred. He spent most of his time in his room looking at pictures of nearly naked girls and listening to Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Hall & Oates, Luther Vandross, Prince, Freddie Jackson, New Edition, and many others. At age 19 Bing was convinced to hit the road and spread love in a way he knew would not be banned, he became a preacher of religion. While on the road he met a man named merkley??? The two became fast friends and both of them moved to San Francisco where they could create the music they wanted because singing and dancing about love, ice cream and girls had yet to be banned.

Adam Bernard: That’s a crazy tale, and there is no way I can transition properly from it, so I won’t even attempt to. One thing I noticed about you is that your look and your music seem to be a world apart. Is that intentional? How important is your look to you?
Bing Ji Ling: Really?!?!? I've always just done what makes me happy. I hope that my music and my look reflect that. I'm pretty into aesthetics, and that includes my outward appearance.

Adam Bernard: You sing what most people would define as “blue eyed soul.” Were you weaned on soul music as a child, or was it a discovery you made on your own later in life? What brought you to soul?
Bing Ji Ling: My junior high and high school years were spent in Houston, TX. That is where I discovered "black" music. I used to love listening to Magic 102FM. I was first introduced to soul music through 80's R&B like New Edition, Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, and Hall & Oates. As time went on I discovered 60's and 70's stuff by way of Fishbone and similar groups. It's been an endless journey from there. I'm always exploring to find new music, both old and new.

Adam Bernard: I listened to your latest EP, June Degrees in December, and you have an affinity for happy, positive music. Have you found the music world is lacking these types of tunes today? What inspires you to continue to write about the sunnier side of things?
Bing Ji Ling: I suppose it's just my natural disposition. I've always been a sunshine guy. I love the beach and the blue sky. Though I really appreciate and admire those who make "dark" music I'm just pre-disposed to be sunny. My favorite music is uplifting, positive stuff. I love the way it makes me feel and I want to continue to contribute to that energy. There's enough darkness in the world as it is.

Adam Bernard: Why do you feel there isn’t more happy music in today’s scene?
Bing Ji Ling: It may be a reflection of what's going on in the world, I guess.

Adam Bernard: OK, so with that in mind, which of the world’s problems could be solved by listening to some Bing Ji Ling?
Bing Ji Ling: So far, just problems relating to love. That's really the only subject I've addressed thus far. I'm writing songs about other things now, so hopefully I'll be able to help in some new areas, too.

Adam Bernard: Finally, have you found a scene that you fit into, or do you prefer not fitting in anywhere?
Bing Ji Ling: I'm definitely a chameleon. I make my sweet soul stuff, but also make deep, hypnotic dance music with my two side projects, Coppa and Expanding Head Band, and play as a side man for some rock n roll projects, like Tommy Guerrero, Band of Thieves, and now The Phenomenal Handclap band. I'm all over the map with my musical tastes and it reflects in the projects I get involved with.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/bingjiling


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:35 AM  
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