Wang Xiujuan, a folk singer from Wuhan, Hubei, also known as Xiao Juan, is also the lead singer of the band Green Flower. She and her husband, another member of the band, live in a suburb of Beijing, where she describes their life as perfect - quiet and beautiful. Days are spent at home sitting in the sunshine, or letting her mind wander. At night, her band performs at a private club. A friend once said of Wang's clear voice: 'When you hear her sing, you can feel the sky turning blue.' When did you come to Beijing? The first time was in 1993, when I was still a finance student at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. I had many dreams at that time and visited many cities. The Old Summer Palace was the first place I visited in Beijing, which was different from what it is today. In pictures of the Old Summer Palace then, you quite often saw many male artists with long hair, walking on a small road of the old artists' village, holding a bottle of beer in his right hand and carrying a bag of buns in his left. It was a carefree time. We never worried about what we would do in the future. Why did you choose to be a singer after graduating with a finance degree? I didn't want to be an accountant and don't like an office atmosphere. I love music very much. When I was young, I sang songs every day to my parents and had a small concert for my neighbours when I was three years old. When I returned home from Beijing in 1993, I had written 10 songs in one month. Then I sang them to my parents, they were moved and encouraged me to pursue my dream. Before I started off, my father said to me, 'If you really like it, just go for it. But in the meantime, you should never complain how hard the road is because you must be responsible for things you have chosen and never regret the choice you make.' I bear that in my mind even now. How was life in the artists' village of the Old Summer Palace? My boyfriend and I lived there together in 1993. We were very poor at that time. I had no job at all, and he had a job that was hard and earned only 200 yuan a month. After we paid our landlord 150 yuan for rent, we had only 50 yuan left for food. All we could afford were buns, sugar and chilli sauce. Every day our food was eight buns. Sometimes we ate buns with white sugar, sometimes we ate buns with brown sugar. When we wanted to have something better, the choice was buns with chilli sauce. At that time, I was eager when friends visited because when they came, they would invite us to have dinner at small restaurants. I still remember how delicious the dishes were at those small restaurants. But even with no money, we were very happy then. A year later, I found my first job singing in a bar opened by a Canadian. The boss paid me 4,000 yuan per month, and our life got better and better from then on. What about your life now? I have worked for three bars in the 17 years since I came to Beijing. Now I sing at a private club called Moon River from 6pm to 9pm every day in Tongzhou district. I am satisfied with my life now. During the day, I stay at home and write my songs, drinking tea and chatting with friends. Now we can afford to buy bread instead of buns! Bread is much more expensive than buns. Talk about your band. Our band is like a family. There are four members: Xiaoguang, who plays flute and harmonica; Xiaoqiang, who plays guitar; Huangjing, who is our drummer; and me. Our band's English name is Green Flower, which is slightly different from our Chinese name, which would be 'Residents in a Valley' if you translated it literally. I think everyone has a valley in his/her heart where beautiful and peaceful things are kept. We are a team and a family. I don't think I am the most important part in our band. Even though I write some songs, all the inspiration for my songs come from things in nature - such as a tree or a cat - or a word from my friend. Those inspirations exist in the world. I just happen to see and discover them, then show them. Our music is trying to show all the good things in the world. What is your career goal? Our new album, From Taiwan to Danshui, which will be released on May 1, is our fourth. I don't want to purposely make achievements at certain stages in my career; I just want to live my life every day and try my best to sing every song to people who love my songs. I'm already living my dream life. Just like this moment: drinking a cup of tea in the sunshine, my lover sits next to me, quietly. In his eyes, I am the best thing in his life; and to me, he is the best man I've ever met.