"I remember first listening to the magical Imee Ooi over the speakers of a souvenir shop at Ngong Ping Village, which leads to the famous Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong. It was 2010. Her songs, which are contemporary renditions of Buddhist dharanis, mantras, and passages from Buddhist texts, evoke aural Pure Lands. Her ethereal, gentle melodies have stuck with me ever since that day, and it was no surprise when I found out later that the Malaysian-born singer is probably the most well-known contemporary Buddhist performer in East Asia. This year, she has entered into a collaboration with Yayasan Pema Norbu Vihara (YPNV) to bring to Chinese-speaking listeners the Seven Line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava.
This is a wonderful opportunity to bring Buddhism to Chinese-speaking audiences around the world, since Imee Ooi has long specialized in Buddhism’s multiple liturgical languages, including Sanskrit and Chinese. Malaysia’s veteran performer and actor Wang Jingjia was also part of this rare and unique offering to the de facto founder of Vajrayana Buddhism, Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche."
Please read the original article on Tea House BuddhistDoor Global written by Raymond Lam: “Seven Line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava” – A Milestone Translation and Song
In 1997, Imee Ooi switched her focus entirely to Buddhist music. From there, she went on to release over 54 albums since 1999, and work on six major “Broadway” scale musicals including Siddhartha (1999), Above Full Moon (2004) and KITA (2010).
The devout Buddhist has established her own genre, spreading the sounds of Dharma through sutras, mantras, and free compositions that appear to transcend cultures and age groups. Her music has also travelled to Europe and Russia, United Staes and Canada, Australia and Africa.
"...And because the philosophy of Buddhism is all about being humble and keeping a low profile, this is often difficult to do, but Imee Ooi feels it is essential to move into the modern world, as music is one of the best vehicles to transport the message. A mother herself, Ooi is concerned about the young of today. "
“I would like to see a change of mindset, for young people to view this as a viable career choice, and say their ambition is to become a Buddhist singer.” After all, Imee Ooi pretty much defied the odds by charting her own course 30 years ago.
Full interview in "The Star" : "Imee Ooi dreams of creating an 'Olympics' series for dharma music"