"As I was going through my own music, I noticed some songs that I've kept on repeat for up to ten years or more. So I thought about what makes them so special to me...and the answer is that throughout my life, these songs have been a source of inspiration and enlightenment . These songs not only taught me about but also got me through things like love, life and just growing up.
I look back on my life and see it defined by albums. A series of eras... Periods of time where I constantly listened to songs that moved me deeply.
With <WAKE UP> my goal is to give listeners a complete album that they can be inspired by for years to come.
Anthony Neely "
Anthony Neely's <Wake Up> album was definitely one of the highlights of the year for me in 2012. It really showed me not only what he could do as an artist, but it really did wake up something inside of me. And Neely has certainly fulfilled his aim as I find that each and every song on this album, crafted carefully with love has made it's imprint in my heart and my mind, and are songs that I have and always will, go back to in times of trouble or doubt. Neely's message and aim is clear for all to see; each and every one of the songs on this album has acted as a reminder of how music inspires and influences others, and the extent to which it's message can help others.
Whoever's out there looking for the next big thing may as well stop now, because I think I've just found it. Well, to be specific, him. Known simply as James or 杨永聪, this British heartthrob captured the hearts of many with his performances and his personality on mainland singing program <Chinese Idol>.The scoop is, he's gearing up to release his own album on the 28th of February this year, and it could not come any sooner for me!
Some of you may have seen him most recently dueting with Where Chou on her most recent album in the remake of a golden classic <冬季到台北来看雨>(Winter Rain in Taipei), or in Anthony Neely's Christmas youtube video shenanigans where he collaborates with James on the song <Happy Christmas the war is over>, originally sang by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. You can also see more of his performances on his own youtube page, including a few covers such as <wo yuan yi>(I accept), <Apologise>, <sha zi>(originally by yoga lin) and <Someone like you>(Adele).
But he's not just some pretty-faced mainstream pop cover artist. One thing that I've really started to appreciate about him, despite a brief interaction with his works, is the adeptness with which he performs with a guitar. With a lot of other artists who sing and play at the same time, for me there's usually a feeling of uncertainty hanging over (because that's the kind of pessimistic person I am), but with James, no explanation is needed to see the passion and confidence that he sings and plays with. When he plays, the guitar is not a prop to show his skills as an artist as might be regarded in other cases, but instead is used to actually fill out each song with the atmosphere it needs. Needless to say, his voice is a matchmade in heaven for the guitar, with smouldering grit played out against underlying tones of velvet in his vocals.
Ultimately, its his musicianship that gets me as he puts out the message that he's not just any singer with a guitar, but a true performer. The rawness of emotion that he sings with is astounding despite his lack of proficiency with the chinese language as he captures each and every note and word with real feeling. Very impressed by this guy, and would definitely recommend him to anyone who's looking for some fresh talent!
Star potential: 4.5/5
Comment: The faith is strong with this one.
More updates will be available on his new album as they come, so stay tuned!
Anyway, if you like what you see, please don't hesitate to support him by liking his facebook page by following this link:
But on a last note, he will be releasing his own album with H.I.M records on the 28th of Fenruary, so stay tuned for more updates! Hope you all can support him and help his fanbase grow! Such amazing talent should not be wasted.
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!
Instead of the typical biography style-stuff that everyone pushes out about these artists, I would just like to give my opinion within this series of posts on why these are some of my favourite artists on the music scene, in terms of their personality, their voice, and their musical ability. Hopefully it helps people to understand more about these artists, and how each and every one of them has their own niche that makes them unique in their own way. Some of these artists may be veterans in the business, and I’m doing this to remind fans and listeners alike of their unique abilities.
Some of the short articles I will be doing/will be coming up shortly are:
-wang leehom: The heart wants what the heart wants
-elva Hsiao: Sugar and Spice
-anthony neely: The sniper
-Yen-J: Killing me softly with his creativity
-Gary Chaw: Honesty is the best policy
-David Tao: Golden Boy
-Hebe : The Dark Horse
-William Wei: The nice guy
-Genie Zhuo: not your average sweetie pie
-Rachel liang: Consistency is key
These are in no particular order, but I hope you enjoy these little introductions that I'll be providing for these artists! Stay tuned, as the first in this series will be coming out very soon!
A place where you can get quick updates on your favourite Asian Artists! If you have any updates as well feel free to share them with me!
** If there are any particular lyrics/pinyin from artists that you would like up here don't hesitate to just comment on any of the posts!