A Rising Star Feature
by Melissa Minners
I first heard of Noella Choi two years ago when I was offered the opportunity to review her album Restless. Back then, I remember being amazed at the statement that the singer / songwriter made on the album cover, saying that it took her two years to create the album because she is not the best lyricist in the world. I remember being astounded, as the lyrics were some of the best I had heard in a long while. The lyrics of each song found on Restless seem to come from the heart. They are about maturing in life and love, love lost, losing one’s faith, losing one’s way and finding it again. The words are poignant and easy to relate to. Imagine mixing the sounds of Sheryl Crow, Michelle Branch, Shakira, and Lisa Leob and that’s the sound of Noella Choi. There is a folksy yet exoticness about her voice that captures your attention and holds it until the last note is sung. And I still hold that the last track of Restless, entitled Blossom, written by Noella Choi’s father Peter Choi and sung in her native language, is the most beautiful track on the whole album. As I listen to this song two years later, Blossom’s beauty is as mesmerizing today as it was when I first heard it.
Noella Choi’s love for music began at a very young age. That love soon turned into a passion, inspiring her to participate in local competitions, eventually bringing her a win in “The 1999 New Talent Singing Contest”. As music became more and more important in her life, Noella Choi began to pursue a college degree in the field. She earned an Honors Bachelor of Music Degree in Theory and Composition from the University of Western Ontario, where she also majored in Voice. Fresh out of college, Noella was hired on as a Music Director at TVB (Television Broadcast, Hong Kong), completing over 200 episodes of Virtues of Harmony I, and providing vocals for songs used in other notable TVB series.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Noella Choi about where her career has taken her over the past two years. Complacency is not a word in Noella Choi’s dictionary. Last year alone, she wrote musical underscores and theme songs for Fairchild TV, a Canadian Chinese Television Station, such as the theme song and background music for the miniseries The Town, the theme song for a travel show, and a jingle for a restaurant called “Platform2” that airs on the station frequently. The jingle was another collaborative effort with her father, Peter Choi, who wrote the lyrics to go along with her music.
In November and December of 2005, Noella Choi became the Musical Supervisor for Chris and John’s Road Trip, an OUTtv original reality series, selecting music from a variety of talented Canadian Indie musicians. Noella also recently became a full member of the Dynasty Musical Group, providing vocals for the established Toronto-based Chinese band.
When asked whether or not she planned on producing another album, Noella Choi became humble, insisting that she writes very slowly. However, she did state that she has already recorded two new songs, including one she is extremely proud of called Solace. Solace is a song of inspiration. The words of Solace are intelligent and insightful, once again proving Noella Choi’s insightfulness as a lyricist: “…But in the moonlight / I dream of beginnings / And catch the stars as they fall / ‘til the night resigns / Come daybreak I’ll wake / without fear or doubt / ‘Cause I know I’ll be fine.”
Noella Choi has proven time and time again that she is a star on the rise, but don’t take my word for it. You can hear her work on her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/noellachoi or on her Sonicbids EPK page at Sonicbids EPK. Check out the works of Noella Choi – I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.