Kanye West’s dense Donda album features a ton of samples from artists famous and not-so, from solo star and Fugees member Lauryn Hill to KRS-One, to no-wave dance band Liquid Liquid, Briana Babineaux and the 20th Century Steel Band, in addition to verses from Fivio Foreign, Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, the Weeknd, Travis Scott and his late mother, Donda West.
But did you notice that Zen Micheline Hung is also featured on the album? Probably not. But on Monday (Sept. 13), New York’s Kaufman Music Center revealed that the sixth grade student at the city’s public K-12 school is the source of the haunting piano solo on the album’s 22nd song “Come to Life.”
“How cool is this? 6th grader Zen Micheline Hung (far right), a student at #SpecialMusicSchool, our K-12 NYC public school that teaches music as a core subject, plays piano on a song called ‘Come to Life’ on @kanyewest‘s new album, Donda!’,” the school tweeted along with a picture of West — dressed all in black and wearing green leather gloves — standing with a group of four students including Zen.
Hung’s haunting piano solo comes in about halfway through the song and repeats hypnotically through the end of the 5:10 track. An Instagram post noted that Zen “played piano during a live performance of a song called ‘Come to Life’ at one of the listening events for Kanye West’s new album, ‘Donda!'”
Listen to “Come to Life” below (Hung appears around the 2:15 mark), see Kanye’s pic with Hung and watch her play a Bach prelude/fugue below.
How cool is this? 6th grader Zen Micheline Hung (far right), a student at #SpecialMusicSchool, our K-12 NYC public school that teaches music as a core subject, plays piano on a song called “Come to Life” on @kanyewest‘s new album, “Donda”! Watch the video: https://t.co/sHR76M6gss pic.twitter.com/VyhHqvY9kG
— Kaufman Music Center (@KaufmanMusicNYC) September 14, 2021