This post is probably going to be a short one, but I just have to give props to Rachel Liang for being the most consistent singer that I have ever seen. And we are talking to the point of her voice being unchangingly spectacular every time you hear it. I don’t know how she does it, but this girl never produces a performance that won’t make her fans proud.
Rachel once likened her role as a singer to ‘colouring’ in an image and adding vibrancy and emotion to it, and that she does successfully. Labelled as the ‘ballad princess’ , those impossibly high notes never faze her, as she injects the same amount of love and emotion with calculated precision into each of her songs every single time.
Failure is never an option for Rachel; whose tingling high vocals are the star of any show, never eluded or hidden by the arrangement no matter how messed up. Her voice gives her and her music a strong sense of direction, and is always confident in leading every song with a confidence that you can’t resist.
image from: http://www.imakeuptips.net/makeup-tips/sound-interpretation-of-the-hippie-shine-golden-luxury-makeup-liang/
Amidst all the gossip within the chinese music industry, Gary seems to be the most popular target and has previously been labelled by the media as the resident bad boy, especially due to his brawl with friend Justin Lo a few years back, and also with his drunken outburst at the riverside bar and café earlier this year. But Gary has been my idol since I first started listening to chinese music 7 years ago, and I’m not about to give up on him just yet. Throughout the ups and downs, I applaud Gary for his honesty throughout the years.
After the infamous brawl, Gary did not shy away from it, but instead took the situation head on and explained himself in a press conference almost immediately after it hit the news. Gary has always had an honest relationship with his fans as I see it, and has always been the first one to apologise when he knows he is in the wrong.
One of my favourite quotes from his song <your song>(你的歌) sums up how honest he is nicely: “别对我有太多的期望，但也不要低谷我” Translating to “don’t have too many expectations for me,but also don’t look down on me”, and his sensitive honesty has won him many a fan in the years past.
Chaw even reflects his honesty through his music 100%; although some albums may have been better than others, I appreciate and can feel the heart and soul that he put into each of his songs, with earnestness and the pure intention of making others happy. I can never say that I’ve ever heard a song by him that didn’t touch me in one way or another; they don’t call him <悲歌王 > for nothing. Each of his songs is an honest, unabashed reflection and collection of his life stories; each one of them full of purely human emotion. Gary reminds his fans that he is human just like everyone else and he does this through his music too, reflecting on crippling loneliness, sadness, love and life all with his ability to reflect on the human psyche.
His honesty influences my life everyday, in every single way. Because of him, I learnt to be honest not only with others, but with myself. I learnt to face situations head-on when I would have otherwise cowered and ran from it. Despite his bad habits, Gary is still the artist who inspires me most of all; his stories, his music and his words have given me so much encouragement and strength in my daily endeavours. Gary may have his demons, those past and present, but I believe it is his attitude pertaining to honesty which has got him this far and will continue to be the foundation of his success in the future.
Recently I've found that a lot of western countries don't really provide an adequate radio service for chinese music, and it really frustrates me sometimes that I can't just turn on the radio and listen to a selection of songs while I do my work; instead I have to painstakingly create a playlist, albeit usually with a list of songs I already know (kind of defeating the purpose)before I can start listening. So I am thinking of creating a kind of Asian Pop Weekly'radio' service where I'll be able to provide you with hours of easy listening that you guys can just plug into!I will also be able to incorporate some of your ideas into this by accepting song/artist requests, or by even creating playlists with a certain theme specially personalised for all of you hopefully! Its still an idea in progress, and I'll only put it into motion if I have enough people interested in it, so please share your thoughts/questions on this with me below! Also, any suggestions on which platforms (podcasts etc) I might be able to get this started on are greatly appreciated!
Just leave a comment down below, or on the forum and I'll see it. Thanks for your (future) input!
Anthony Neely is one of the most outstanding artists that I know, mainly for the precision with which he makes his music. He gets a good idea , pinpoints exactly where he wants to go with each song and follows through 100% to get the best possible results. Many just see him as a pretty face , but beyond that pretty face is a person who really knows what he’s doing. Like a sniper, he focuses on his target , aims and with one shot, creates a tremendous impact on each of his listeners.
His albums, each of them are ranked highly in my favourite albums list and he really does fulfil each and every target that he sets for himself. For his second album<Wake Up> , he expressed that he wished for listeners to be able to pick up something new about each song every time they listen to it, and wanted it to be a timeless album that could be listened to for years to come. And I have to say, I have listened to that album without ever tiring of it regularly since I got my hot little hands on it. And each and every time, I am in awe and so proud of what he has achieved , because that album is just the epitome of perfection for me. The emotional capabilities of this man’s voice are not to be underestimated , nor should his lyrical abilities.
Although he has been in Taiwan for a few years, he has still been able to contribute self-penned lyrics as well as melodies to the album without any compromise at all in quality, which is amazing, considering the before and after picture of his language abilities.
Each song has a perfect story behind it, arrangements that completely complement the lyrics , and of course his voice which could make your ‘feels’ meter go through the roof every single time without fail. Of course we have to leave some credit to the lyricists and producers whom he’s worked with, namely best friend Will Peng, Skot Suyama and 陈信廷 to name a few. But it is his ability of foresight and precision I feel that has made him so successful. If it was any other artist that tried to make their fans send in videos of themselves singing, I don’t think they would be able to pull it off with such conviction to the extent of receiving 800-900 entries.
So if you haven’t listened to his music before, don’t be a tool and click over it on youtube, listen to it! Who knows, maybe you’ll find something special!
Lara Veronin is largely known for her duet with Jay Chou and her unique doll-like voice which labelled her as an artist with a Girl-next-door image, sweet and likeable. Sweet and likeable she is, but I feel that there is so much more under the surface than what the media likes to focus on.
I’ve been a supporter of Lara’s music since 2009 , and I have definitely seen her grow as both a person and an artist during this time. When I first heard her voice, I was really shocked because I had never heard anyone with such a pure, unique voice. But as I was soon to find out, that was not the only thing that made her special. While others in the music industry still characterise Lara by her doll-like voice, she has proved that she is a much more versatile artist than her voice leaves to the imagination. From her first solo album <Hello Lara> to her second, <Free Spirit> , she has already established the versatility of her voice in the many styles of independent and mainstream genres within them such as <自由灵魂>(free spirit) and <舒适的监牢>(A comfortable jail). But she doesn’t just stop there. After leaving JVR music for a break this year, her performances at the Jazz club Brown Sugar has unearthed Lara’s talents for consistency, her ease on the stage and the wide range of vocal ranges and textures that her voice encompasses . (see her performance of <House of the Rising Sun>).
Her lyrical ability is one of her standout points for me as I am a great fan of her works , both musically and lyrically. She puts her ideas forward in a way that flows very well, introducing (sometimes) more complex ideas with simplicity and yet a sense of grace. She doesn’t just write great lyrics about sad love songs, but also about what it means to be free, pondering on the meaning of life in a way that really makes listeners think about the world around them, and their place in this world.
But in general, her uniqueness as an artist is something that is hard to find in all senses of the word. Being an American-taiwanese of Russian descent, she is an eclectic mix of chinese and western ideals, although she professes that Taiwan will always be home for her. She encourages fans to embrace healthy ideals in all aspects of their lives; by introducing them to her favourite books , quotes and music, but is also an advocate for a healthy lifestyle.
She’s talked quite a bit about her experiences with yo-yo dieting , and explains that this is not the way to go. While other artists constantly post pictures of themselves ‘Gymming it’ at all kinds of insane hours of the day, going for runs at midnight and professing that they’re gaining weight and need to go on diets, Lara teaches fans that theres a time for indulgence, and for healthy eating. (That one facebook post about her eating Reese’s peanut butter cups for breakfast may be an exception to this…)
I think the thing that I like most about Lara is that she knows who she is and has been able to create an image of herself to her fans and media that is very close to her actual personality which is something a lot of artists can’t do. In many ways she is indeed fitted to the girl next door image in the best way possible , but the ideals that she embodies are far from this stereotype on the whole.
I don’t think words are really enough to summarise or even explain how much of an inspiration she is to me, but let’s just leave it at that for now. J