Dadawa is the artist name of Zhu Zheqin (朱哲琴, Zhū Zhé Qín), a singer/songwriter/indie producer, who is well-known for her vocalization. She was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Dadawa is sometimes referred as the "Chinese Enya"by fans. Many fans also describe her as China's Ry Cooder, given her eclectic forays into World Music including one recording and tour with Ireland's The Chieftains.
She collaborated with composer/producer He Xun Tian for all of her albums. He Xun Tian is a Shanghai music professor. In 1994, He Xun Tian and Dadawa travelled to Tibet to research Tibetan culture and beliefs. The result, Sister Drum (1995), was an international success. Following that, Dadawa's album Voices From The Sky was released in 1997. Dadawa is the first contemporary Chinese musician to have her music released worldwide, for which she has received an Asian MTV award for her contribution to Asian music.
In recent years, Dadawa has developed a reputation as a world traveller and adventurer, visiting many countries and immersing herself in a variety of cultures around the world. She has also worked in television journalism, in particular her hosting of a major Chinese television documentary, "Into Africa", which introduced that continent to hundreds of millions of viewers.
After many years of not releasing a solo album, finally in August 2006, she came out with "Seven Days". This album does not contain any Tibetan elements, but still maintains lyrical references to Buddhist ideas. Musically, the concept heads more towards Chinese traditional folk songs with Pan Asian elements. However, her trademark beautifully sung melody lines, East Asian percussion and ambient electronic and classical instrumentation persists.
Meanwhile she created a band made up of Canadian musicians including Ron Korb, George Gao, Bill Bridges, Paul Hoffert, Lew Mele and Ben Riley and toured in China to introduce her new music to the Chinese public.
Dadawa's work on "Seven Days" was nominated for a BBC World Music Award in 2007. The same year Dadawa won the prestigious Tom.com award for the "Most Influential Woman in Chinese Music" and was voted a Top Ten album in China by both Sina.com and the Beijing Evening News."Seven Days" also went on to win the award for best world fusion album in the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards.
In 2007, she completed a documentary film of her musical sojourns in India, Nepal and Tibet, co-directed with Oscar winner, Ross Kauffman. In January 2009, Dadawa was appointed a United Nations Development Program Goodwill Ambassador in China, with a focus on preserving ethnic music and handicrafts.