The Sages are going to decolonise the world through their music

The Sages (竹林七贤) is a new world music fusion band project based in London

It’s a bold ambition, but after listening to a few tracks on the Sages’ SoundCloud account, it’s one you feel they could achieve.

The London outfit, made up of mainly SOASians, draws inspiration from different music elements throughout time and history. And while the group’s focus is certainly leaning more towards East Asian influences (even the band’s name is a reference to The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grooves of ancient China), the group is unashamedly “super-fusion” according to lead vocalist Yijia Tu.

“I was classically trained on the piano…but then I got fed up repeating the same patterns and so I started to compose. Ever since I left China and came to the UK, I feel a very strong sense of culture identity, and so instead of writing mainstream western pop music, I want to try to bring in East Asian elements into my music.”

Heading to SOAS to study Music certainly put Yijia in a good place to meet like-minded people. The result is something quite spectacular.

Yijia and fellow band member and SOASian, Peadar Connolly Davey, recently entertained prospective students at a SOAS Open Day. The recordings are available below and you can also see a live video on the official SOAS Instagram account.

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