Listen: <b>Web Extra</b>: Teng Performs 'Mission Street'
Detail of the cover for 'Warm Strangers.'
Vienna Teng's first CD, Waking Hour, was recorded while she was still at Stanford, and back in 2002 it forced the young singer/songwriter to make a career decision. She left her job as a computer engineer and hit the road as a performer.
She's had no reason to look back. Her second CD, Warm Strangers, builds on some of the strengths of the first, and she's not afraid of the music industry's sophomore jinx.
"I haven't had the kind of success that would really cripple someone's mentality going into their second effort," she tells NPR's Liane Hansen. "It's not like I suddenly sold millions upon millions of copies... I feel I'm very lucky in that I've had exactly the kind of success I would like... to gain some recognition, which always feels good, but also that leaves room for my perfectionism to move on to the next evolution of whatever I'm going to become as a songwriter and a performer."
Now she's studying jazz piano in between tours and looking forward to that continuing evolution. "I never feel comfortable unless I'm moving forward, or moving in some new direction," she says.