We had the good fortune of connecting with Yichen Cai and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yichen, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
To be honest, I just made a huge risk-taking decision to enter this field. I gave up my original career in journalism, which seems to be a more stable life choice in the eyes of others. Everyone around me, including my teachers, my peers, my close friends, and even my parents voiced their huge objection to this decision. I regard risk as a reminder, that nothing is perfect, even if they seem wonderful. Risks keep me sober and push me to think further to make wise decisions. Meanwhile, risks could also be my source of inspiration, which is exactly why I love taking risks. I’d like to try something that others rarely do. On one hand, I”m eager to challenge myself, on the other hand, I’d like to see myself as an aspiring pursuer. As they all say, more risks bring more profit. In my field, I’d like to experiment with different genres of music, of course, under my director’s permission.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I learned that people only cherish those transient and vulnerable things. I didn’t come from a musician’s family, but now standing among the musicians, it was a long journey from an outsider to a professional. I used to be a science student, but later I stepped into the field of journalism. The knowledge structure formed from my field-crossing studying experience made my music distinct. Now I started to realize, that music is not only just about music, instead, it is a reflection of your life story and pursuit.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I spent the most of the time studying in New York City, it would be more familiar to me. In my opinion, the first day will be a long walk from Washington Square to Central Park via 5th Avenue. It contains the stores I like and one of my impressions of America. I will take my friend to some Japanese restaurant because I like those. The second day we will go to the SOHO area to see some fashion designs. The must-try thing is the unbelievable cheap pizza in NYC. In the next day, we will go to Coney Island, where I spent the happiest time in this city. The next three days, I will consider driving out to Northern area, to some peaceful and silent places. I got most of my inspirations in those chilly and beautiful places. I will make some Chinese food for my friend in my apartment, and we will go to watch a broadway show in these days.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The first person I want to dedicate this little shout-out to is my piano teacher, who walked me into the world of classical music in my childhood. Without her, I would’ve known none of the beauty and delicacies of classical music. Not only did she teach me how to play the piano and music theory, but also nourish me with the basic morality and manners of a decent musician. In my transition from a journalism student to a musician, she eased my anxiety of being uncertain about my future.

Website: www.caiyichen.net

Instagram: @caiyichen_tony

Other: My bilibili page: https://space.bilibili.com/24163323?spm_id_from=333.1007.0.0

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