Icelandic-Chinese Singer-Songwriter Laufey Takes Home a Grammy

The Gen Z artist reinvigorating jazz and classical music for young generations won big, along with classical pianist Wang Yujia

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4:08 PM HKT, Fri February 9, 2024 1 mins read

The 66th Grammy Awards have recently catapulted a fresh name into the spotlight of Chinese social media. Icelandic-Chinese singer-songwriter Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, whose Chinese name is Lin Bing (林冰), was bestowed with the prestigious accolade for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her second album, Bewitched.


“I never in a million years thought that this would happen,” said the 24-year-old when accepting the trophy.

The rising music star, known by her mononym Laufey (pronounced lay-vay), boasts 3.9 million followers on TikTok, 2.5 million on Instagram, and 12.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify.


Laufey released her debut single “Street by Street” in 2020, while she was still attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music. A captivating fusion of jazz and pop, her music has been widely acclaimed for bridging the gap between classical jazz and the tastes of younger listeners.


Inspired by her Chinese violinist mother and Icelandic record collector father, Laufey’s multicultural upbringing has instilled in her an open mind, fueling uniqueness and creativity within her musical journey. Growing up, she divided her time between Washington, D.C. and Reykjavik, Iceland, also spending many summers in Beijing.


“Coming from two different cultures between Iceland and China [gives] me a very open view of music and culture,” Laufey told South China Morning Post.

Another artist who has made a splash on the Chinese internet during the Grammys is the renowned pianist Wang Yujia. Having secured her fourth Grammy nomination since 2009, the Beijing-born musician finally clinched the Best Classical Instrumental Solo award with her performance in The American Project.


Last year, Wang’s nine-city China tour created a musical sensation, with tickets selling out within minutes.

More Chinese netizens have taken notice of Laufey since her Grammy win. Her Xiaohongshu post expressing jubilation over winning the award, received over 43,000 likes, making it the most liked of all her posts on the Instagram-like social media platform.


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A screenshot of Laufey’s Xiaohongshu post.


“We’re gathered here to celebrate the success of yet another amazing woman in our midst. Cheers!” read a top comment under Laufey’s post.


“I have this feeling like an acquaintance of mine just won an award, you know?” another top comment said.


“You totally deserve this! The best thing the Grammys did this year was recognizing you and allowing me to get to know you,” another user commented.


Without further dwelling on her award triumph, Laufey is set to embark on the next major leg of her “Bewitched” tour — a U.K. and European tour kicking off on February 10 in Dublin, Ireland.


Cover image via X @laufey.

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