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Why 17-Year-Old Ouyang Nana Is One To Watch

The talented 17-year-old Ouyang Nana shares with us how she juggles music, fashion, acting, and everything in between

If you don’t already know who she is, you should. 17-year-old Ouyang Nana started playing the cello at a young age. Not only does she have various albums under her belt and over a million followers on Instagram, Nana has also performed alongside Wiz Khalifa at the 2018 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center, and starred in a movie with Jackie Chan.

That’s not all. She was most recently named the Asian campaign face of French brand, Maje ‘s 20th anniversary. BAZAAR caught up with the rising star in Beijing before Maje’s anniversary celebrations, as she shared with us her journey, aspirations, and hopes for her generation.

What is the best or your favourite part about being the Asian face of Maje’s 20th anniversary?

Honoured, excited and happy! Especially when they told me the campaign was to be shot in Paris—it was very interesting to work with a whole different production team and photographer.

To me, Maje is a young, feminine, and fun brand. However, there’s also a certain attitude in the brand’s aesthetics that makes it stand out, and that’s what I love about it.

When and how did you first hear about Maje?

It was when I was in Paris to watch my first runway show when I was fifteen. I went shopping after that, chanced upon a Maje store and bought my very first black leather jacket! I’ve been taught to only buy clothes that suit me and can last for a long time. The versatility and timelessness of the jacket made me decide that I had to have it.

Describe your personal style in 3 words.

Optimistic, fluid… being a Gemini could be the cause of this. Feminine too, but I’d probably choose jeans over dresses.

You’ve had experiences in music, acting, and modelling. Which is your favourite and why?

It’s difficult to pick one. Over the years, I’ve developed different relationships with each, and none can really replace the other.

Music has been with me for the longest time… about thirteen years now. It has been and is still a large source of motivation for me in many ways. At photo shoots, I usually have my own playlist which sets the mood for me. I tend to strike different poses when different songs are being played. While filming, music helps me to conjure up the right emotions when portraying difficult characters or playing out challenging scenes.

I shot my first movie when I was twelve, so acting is something that I am still getting to know, and I do plan to spend more time learning about it.

Fashion and modelling is more like a hobby for me. It could be learning about different brand stories, or catching up on the latest trends. It enriches me.

If I really, really had to choose, music will always be my number one. It has been and will always be a large source of motivation and inspiration for me in every aspect of my life.

Who has been your biggest mentor and inspiration?

My mom. She has always been there for me; from my first recital, my first runway show, my first movie… and even during filming. She’s truly my role model. In today’s society, women are stronger than ever, and I feel that my mom is someone who really embodies that independence and strength. I strive to do the same to empower others, much like how my mom empowers me.

What is something you do now that you’ve never thought you could have done?

Acting, I guess. While my parents and aunt have been in the show business for a long time, I’ve always been quick to turn down any possibilities of doing the same. I’ve always said that I will pursue a music career. But ever since I’ve been on the big screen, people know who I am, and what I love doing—playing the cello.

In a way, acing has helped my music career. I don’t think I would have grown as much musically, or experience and enjoyed what I have now without this exposure (acting).

How do you think your generation can shape the future of fashion and music?

Being born in the year 2000, I feel like people my generation have to take on a certain responsibility for that. We prize individuality and is generally quite opinionated, and we’ll be able to do everything our own way.

If you weren’t a musician, actor, or model, what do you think you’d be or like to do?

I would like to try putting together a publication, much like Harper’s BAZAAR. I’d like to get my hands on interviewing people, and styling. I would very much like to try my hands on being a stylist’s assistant! But yes, I would want to try being the editor-in-chief of my own publication someday.

Photo: Maje

This story first appeared on www.harpersbazaar.com.sg