A car accident made her an orphan at the age of ten.
A pile of family debt forced her to leave school when she was fifteen.
Five years later, a competition that brought her story to light.
This is her story, as told by Harbin TV News.
Meet Wang Zhixin, the Little Match Girl of super girls
Walking in the chilling, snowing night sky, a stick of match warms my dreams. Every step of frozenness, every step of loneliness, the coldness of people numbs my hands.
When the heavenly, almost ethereal sound was softly enounced from the mouths of a seemingly average girl, when it filled the 600 square meter room of the GBS auditorium, below the stage, the hundreds of audiences were silent.
On the night of June 14th, Wang Zhixin, a petite girl with a headfull of stubborn short hair, stood on the stage of the 2009 Super Girls, playing her guitar and lost in her own world.
A box of matches sets my heart aflame; the freezing night cannot stop my steps; the wind pierces my face; the snow cuts at my mouth; dragging my feet, how far can I go?
In the winter of 1988, Zhixin was born in a farm family that’s as simple as can be. Though poor, her hardworking parents and the rich fields made Zhixin’s childhood one of freedom and joy. But then, a car accident made Zhixin an orphan. On the verge of death, Zhixin’s father held her aunt’s hand, tears in his eyes, and gave the only 10-year-old Zhixin to the care of her aunt and uncle. From that day, Zhixin viewed her aunt, uncle and their son Zhizhong as her own father, mother and brother. Zhixin changed. She was no longer so happy-go-lucky. Often, she would sit under the tree in the yard and stare at the rise and fall of the sun.
One night, a still sleepy Zhizhong was shaken awake by his younger sister: “brother, I saw mommy, she’s looking at me from outside the window!’
One Night was all it took, music and lyrics by Wang Zhixin
Who will buy my matches? Who will light my sticks of hope? Who will buy my loneliness? Who will fulfill my longings of home…
A winter night of 2003, the wind, carrying the sound of whistling, beated at the window of her uncle. Zhixin, Zhizhong and uncle circled her sick aunt. In the end, brother Zhizhong spoke. After three years of bad harvest, the family is plagued by debts. Mom’s already falllen from overwork, and father’s health is also dwindling. He has decided to drop out of college to work. What does Zhixin want to do? After thinking, Zhixin surprised everyone by saying that she will also drop out to work with her brother to support the family. Although everyone knows that Zhixin should continue her studies, but with no other way of paying the debts, the family agreed.
So the 15-years-old 7th grader droped out of school and begun working. She worked as a waiter in a restaurant with a wage of 300yuan per month. Often, she would watch her classmates joyfully passing by the store window with the backpacks behind them, and Zhixin’s heart was bittersweet. One day, the scene of a farm worker playing the guitar deeply touched her, she fell in love with the unique sounds of the guitar. She wanted to learn, but there was no place to go.
Her brother, who was workng in Beijing, learned that his sister liked the guitar, and especially sent a few books to her. With the few money she had saved, she brough a guitar. And using the books her brother sent her, Zhixin began to learn the guitar.
Some say that the gods are always fair: In the deepest suffering, they will give people joy. Zhixin was born with a clear voice and a sharp ear. She learned the guitar by herself. Since she had the guitar, her eyes became peaceful again. Whenever she’s not working, she would always be softly humming, embracing herself in her music.
“I understood” on Happy Camp, she appears at 2:39
Every time I light the soft glow of the match, I can see hope; I can see dreams; I can see mother in the heavens speaking; she says you must be brave; you must be strong; don’t be afraid; don’t worry; from now on, you’ll never wander again…
August 2007, in a chance opportunity, a neighbor told her of a national youth singing competition. Wanting to try, Zhixin brought her guitar to Harbin, and walked into the competition. The heavenly music and the pure voice immediately captured the heart of the judges. From then on, the restaurant server Wang Zhixin became singer Wang Zhixin.
Music, like a lighted candle, brightened up Zhixin’s life and warmed her lonely heart. Wang Zhixin once said,”I’m not trying to practice anything when I’m playing the guitar and singing, but when I play the guitar, I want to sing, I don’t want to stop. Only when singing is my heart the most peaceful.” In the sounds of music, Wang Zhixin build her own “match heaven.”
“Let me and my guitar bring you my music.”
Because she won a national award, 19-year-old Zhixin was slowly known by everyone, and sung at a popular bar. To earn more money to help her aunt and uncle to repay their debts, other than singing at night, she also performs at various ceremonies in the day. With the money left over in 2008, she brought a guitar, her treasure that she used on the stage of Super Girls.
2009 May the 24th, auditions began for the Super Girls’ Harbin region, with an “angel’s wings,” she touched the judges. After being asked to sing two other songs, she received a pass card to go on the top 50. On May 29th, with “Match heaven” and “Cao Cao,” she got into the top 30. On May 31st, she sung “match heaven” again to enter the top 10 of Harbin, giving her a spot in the national top 300.
Don’t let my tears spend the night with me
Everytime I light the soft glow of the match, I can see hope; I can see dreams; I can see mother in the heavens speaking; she says you must be brave; you must be strong; don’t be afraid; don’t worry; from now on, you’ll never wander again; mother will take your hands and take you home, to sleep in the warm and flower-filled heaven.
“I don’t understand music, I only know that sister lives in her music,” her brother Wang Zhizhong is almost teary when interviewed about his sister,” we’re poor, and we have no money to provide for our sister. On the first day in Harbin, all the other girls ate KFC, but Zhixin only had fried rice. On the last day in Harbin, she said, “brother, can I eat one hamburger, just one?” When I saw her eating, my heart was happy but sad. I’m her older brother, yet I can’t provide a happier life for her, but she could through her own powers!” *(Western restaurants, even fast food, in china is about four times the price of a normal meal)
Thunderous clapping of hands were released as Wang Zhixin’s fingers played the last note. The “Heaven of Matches” that she sung with her heart touched the audiences’ heart, touched the judges’ heart.
On June 17th, Wang Zhixin, a girl who has never had any type of musical training, won a place in the national top 20 of the 2009 Super Girls with her self-composition “In One Night.” She used her own match – her music – to light up her youthful life.
Matches Heaven, one last time on the stage of Super Girls
Harbin TV News’ report ends there, but not her story.
Fastforward to the Super Girls Finals 15 to 10 competition. There were five contestants left and only three spots in the top 10. One of the five must be eliminated – Wang Zhixin, Zeng Yike, Huang Ying, Da Chun Zi and Li Yuanxi. The other four will go on to the next round, where a panel of judges and audiences will vote for the top three.
Judge Wu Qixian announced the results.
Wang Zhixin, the songs you chose are wonderful songs, and they require the voices to match them. I’m very happy that you have such taste to sing, but currently, you’re not good enough to sing those songs.
I was going to put this up when the Elle photoshoot for the top 10 came out, so everyone could see the little match girl as she found heaven. I should’ve known better. There are so many stories with happy endings, so many fairytale princesses Wang Zhixin could’ve been. But she was no Cinderella, she had no Prince Charming, she was the Little Match Girl, the girl whose sticks of matches illuminated her dreams, but eventually must return home when the matches all burn out.
Without a spot in the top 10, Wang Zhixin has a year with eeMedia. She’s only 20, she has more time. I sincerely hope she’ll be in the girlband, because I can’t imagine someone with her voice not singing.