Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was a huge global hit back in 2011. Five years later, the song is making a comeback in China, but in a slightly more epic version.
Mixing Chinese opera with the distinct twist of the dialect of Ningxiang County (northeastern part of Hunan), a classical Chinese singer created his own rendition of the hit song. The dialect, known for its twisting intonations, is just among hundreds in the country.
A graduate of Guangdong’s Conservatory of Music, singer Liao Jialin has appeared in several renowned international shows. According to Netease (via Quartz), Liao has performed in Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” (Le Nozze di Figaro) in 2013 and in France as servant Cherubino in 2014.
The classical Chinese rendition of the song is mostly delivered in English, except for two lines that were changed using the Chinese dialect laced with some different meanings. The part where it should be, “reaching a fever pitch” followed by “it’s bringing me out of the dark,” was replaced with references to “chewing betel nut,” an old Chinese tradition. A “rolling in the deep,” line was followed by Liao singing in dialect, “a pig comes to our Ningxiang County.”
First broadcast on the online singing program 1.3 Billion Decibel, it has since become a viral hit. The video, posted on Chinese video-sharing site Youku on August 5, has so far gathered almost half a million views and on WeChat where it has been viewed over 6 million times in 20 days.