Hong Kong Harmonocist Cy Leo
Cy Leo is an internationally renowned chromatic harmonica artist from Hong Kong. Winning his first international award as a harmonica soloist at the young age of ten, many consider Cy to be a prodigy when it comes to the harmonica. What started as a strong passion was soon refined and classically trained, launching the young twenty five year old into a very early start for a very fruitful career (1). At such a young age, Cy has already accomplished much success and recognition in his career, all while thoroughly enjoying what he does, which is very evident in his performances. This world-class harmonica artist has already won 17 international competitions, and was even invited to play at the National Day event in Hong Kong.
Famous Songs Performed by Cy Leo
Being classically trained, Cy has quite the ear for the harmonica. His style of playing gets away from the traditional blues aesthetic of the harmonica and takes on more of an intense, loud type of playing that closely mimics the electric guitar. One song in particular he is noted for is his solo in the song “Forget Me Not” performed with musical artist, Andy Is Typing.
Not all of his songs, however, are loud rock songs. Being classically trained, Cy Leo also performs very intricate, beautiful instrumental pieces with the harmonica. One song in particular he is noted for is “Fix You – Instrumental”, which is his cover of the original song “Fix You” by Coldplay.
Proving that Cy Leo is multi-talented when it comes to the harmonica, the last EP he released in 2019, is another notable song that shows off his wide array of harmonica talent. The EP song “I Won’t Let You Go” is another great example of the type of music Cy is able to play. This song is a softer love song with a steady beat and full, snappy harmonica tones.
The Life of Cy Leo
As mentioned previously, Cy Leo is a twenty five year old, famous harmonica player, who started at the young age of ten when he received his first award (2). Influenced by his father, PC Ho, who was also the founder of Hong Kong Harmonica Association, Cy Leo was quickly inspired to ‘make the harmonica cool again’. He worked hard at his art, and by age 19 had already collected 17 international awards including the twice-awarded Solo World Champion at the World Harmonica Festival in 2009 and again in 2013.
He received classical harmonica training from Lee Sheung Ching and Watani Yasuo, and once he graduated from Polytechnic University in 2016, Cy has been non-stop touring around the globe. He has toured to 40 different cities, and had the privilege of headline harmonica soloist for 7 international cruise lines. He has been invited to play for large events, government representatives, and alongside many legendary artists on the big stage. Cy Leo in a recent interview said that the highlight of his career was when he played at on the worlds largest music events, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in California in 2018.
Cy Leo has quickly become a Hong Kong musical treasure. He has had the opportunity to play for multiple different media platforms in Hong Kong including CCTV 1, TVB, Pearl TV, Ming Pao Daily News, South China Morning Post, and much more. He has also collaborated with commercial brands including Bose, Shell, and Etro, spreading his musical talents into every corner of the industry.
Keeping close to his home roots, Cy Leo launched the Hong Kong University harmonica team. There, he teaches college students the power of the harmonica and how to master it. He still continues to direct the team each year, stirring up a passion for the harmonica again in young artists.
Choice of Harmonica
Cy Leo exclusively plays a chromatic harmonica. The chromatic harmonicas range in number of reeds and holes, but all have one thing in common, their slide. Chromatic harmonicas have a small button on the side called a slide. When pressed, the slide allows the player to reach new chords and tones with the techniques of bending in order to achieve. Cy Leo has quite the collection of harmonicas, but sticks with the tried and true Hohner name. Of all the harmonicas in his collection, the one we can see him perform with most often is the Hohner Super Chromanica. This prized little instrument is 12 holes, 3 octaves, and built with an ABS comb and finish to prevent moisture damage.
Complete with brass reed plates, and a zig-zag slide construction for easy playing makes it a solid option for serious harmonica playing. It has a smooth, bright sound, is comfortable to hold and play, and even has the traditional logo and design etched into its stainless steel cover plates, keeping the original aesthetic alive.
A world-class harmonica soloist requires a world-class instrument. The Hohner Super Chromatic harmonica collection is top of the line in the industry, and great for professional quality and performance. As one continues to climb the ladder of success, it’s important to have a harmonica that can keep up with you.