Tengri, a Chinese Mongol artist sings in a way you never heard before



Well, how do you like this?

I can’t assume you guys’ feelings about this performance, but for me, I was literally crying from the first phrase to his last roar, no joke. It was no sadness, but full of deep touch, which drives me here, to share the music of this 58-year-old Chinese Mogol artist, Tenger, as well as the fantastic Mongol music.

Oh, maybe also the show–if you are learning Chinese or finding a way to get into the Chinese pop music and culture in some sense–The Singer is a competition show in China (Singer 2018), wich is similar to The Voice series but different: all the competitors are the professional singers in real life, most of whom have been very famous already, in this season, such as Jessie J (British), KZ Tandingan (Philippines), Angela Chang (Taiwanese), Feng Wang (Chinese), Tenger/Tengri (Chinese Mongol). On this stage, the singers have a chance to adapt the others’ songs (or their own song, like Tengri’s Heaven in the first video) and interpret it in a brand new style. I really appreciate the way they present the different sides of a professional singer like an ordinary people–how much effort has been put in the daily practice, how enthusiastic these singers can be towards music, and how skilful and powerful they are on a competitive stage among professionals.


Gobi desert, Mongolia. Image of Mongolia travel blog.


Tengri and Mongol Music

Yes, it’s so impressing that touched me in tears. Tengri came from Inner Mongolia and is ethnic Mongol. His stylish way of performance mixed his own interpretation of the Mongol music with the ardently love towards Mongols’ vast grassland. What funniest, is I knew this man since I was little and this song Heaven has been a household name for more than twenty years–but as kids, we can neither sense the strong emotion nor the beauty of the overwhelming vocal control, we even used to imitate his crazy up-and-down singing style for fun.Why the hell were I crying for the first time in my life because of this song? 

I see a blue sky, 
Over a green lake,
Vast is the grassland,
This is my homeland.
Horses running wild there,
Sheep as white as snow,
My girl, wait for me,
Where my heart’s at home.
I love you, my homeland,
My homeland, my heaven.
I miss you, my homeland,
My homeland, my heaven.
I see a blue sky,
Over a green lake,
Vast is the grassland,
This is my homeland.
I love you, my homeland,
My homeland, my heaven.
I miss you, my homeland,
My homeland, my heaven.


Gobi desert, Mongolia. Image of Mongolia travel blog.


The same old pure lyrics, simple melody and vocal style, except this, is the first time that I listen to the Heaven on a competitive stage. As soon as you saw his comfort and smile from the bottom of his heart, you realized how much ‘heaven’ his homeland means to him, and how much he cherishes it.

The feeling was resonating, deep inside me, since the very burst of the horsehead fiddle’s sound; all of a sudden, a vast, lush and wild grassland jumped in front of me. Then the voice of Khoomei cut in, the passion for unrestrained life and the pursuit of freedom roots in the nomadic people’s lifestyle. Even though some of them are leading a wealthy and ‘modern’ life somewhere else, the freedom, simplicity and happiness inside the primitive lifestyle will always flow in their blood.

Wherever they roam about, they take homeland with them, so as the music. There are mainly two featured elements in the Mongol music that exists in almost every Mongol ethnic people all over the world, which are:

  • Morin khuur/horsehead fiddle(马头琴): A traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument. The most ancient string instruments were hailed from the nomadic cultures of the East, the Morin Khuur is one of them. The neck of Morin Khurr, literally means horsehead fiddle, is always in a shape of the horsehead and made out of horse’s bone.Traditionally, the strings and the fiddlestick are made out of horse’s tail’s hair, together with, they produce a rough beauty of the featured nomadic music.


Image of Wikimedia Commons©Eric Pouhier


  • Khoomei(呼麦): The most popular type of Tuva throat singing. The performers mainly produce a fundamental pitch and simultaneously move around it, carrying a great distance as it is in the open landscape in Mongolia. Some mark this kind of throat singing as an integral part in the ancient pastoral animism,  which is considered as an imitation of the distant roar of the great waterfall in the mountains; some suggest it first appeared in Mongolia during the rule of China in Yuan dynasty (Mongol Empire 1206-1368; Yuan dynasty 1271-1388 ), when the Khagan/emperor encouraged soldiers to roar together in order to boost morale of the troop.

In Tengri’s music, it combined the traditional way of performing the Mongol’s music with the pop music’s singing style. With this featured style, he can be as vast and strong as the bright sun, as the wind and horses wuthering across the grand grassland, while he can also be as tiny and tender as the morning mist, as the dew covering on the grass; he can be this big, and this small, isn’t it exactly like our feelings towards homeland.

Gobi desert, Mongolia. Image of Mongolia travel blog.



AND, I never knew this weird old man has the rock spirit…He was the vocal in a rock band which was established in China’s 1980s, and he brought his old pals to this stage:

Amazing Mongol Music Recomend

  • Huun-Huur-Tu Band (Respublika Tyva)
  • Hanggai Band, HAYA Band (Inner Mongolia, China)
  • Egschiglen Band (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

  • …and so on! please leave the comment with your favourite ones!


Music is magic! I should not have explained so much. 

Hope you guys enjoy!


*Videos ©Hunan TV China


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