I'm excited to announce that Lara's preparing to release her third solo album sometime soon, and has already released the first single for this album, called <Dida>. The song is a collaboration between herself and fellow Nan Quan Mama band member Chase Chang. Lara herself has expressed that this is a song that she's really happy with, because instead of only expressing sadness as most love songs do, this one incorporates a feeling of subtle optimism both in the lyrics and in the melody. I fell in love with the song on first listen; being a big fan of Lara's work, and also of the British rock genre, this song was a perfect fusion of a Chinese ballad with noticeable and unique Brit-rock influences. Singer Rachel Liang once said that the job of a singer to her was being given a blank melody and lyrics, and to inject colour into them, as a painter and artist. However, many artists fall short in this respect but I'm especially impressed with how this song immediately associates itself deeply with the colour blue in my mind (which I think you can also see in the MV below). Blue, the colour of deep love but also sadness is the perfect colour to go with the song, and it just proves how well all the elements of the song work together to create a most enticing and pleasurable listen.
The music video itself was directed by Lara's sister Esther Veronin who she started up Meimeiwawa Multimedia with, and although I can't say I'm much of a connossieur of movies or visual arts, I still think she did a beautiful job in putting together a video which completely represented the song; giving listeners a back story to piece their thoughts together on while doing it in an eloquent, sophisticated and visually beautiful manner!
Last words from Lara to sum up the music video:
"Previously I didn't know the meaning of trust, and didn't know how to face this kind of environment; time ticked and tocked away, and what I did not know before slowly became clear to me. The sense of security also began to appear to me and I then realised that letting go was the right thing to do."
Well, there you have it! don't forget to watch Lara's music video, definitely one of the most beautiful videos I've seen as of late, and watch this space for more updates on her new album!
A big welcome back to songstress Joanna wang who made a long-awaited comeback with the release of her latest album <Midnight Cinema> on the 29th of March.
Joanna has expressed her immense satisfaction with this album, as she was able to take creative control over this album without compromising her ideals. The album is a selection of personal covers with a vintage and Hollywood glam feel to it, but as Singer-Songwriter Khalil Fong points out, there is more of a rebellious side to this album than what is represented on the surface.
Knowing Joanna and the pains that she goes to to make her work not just as a singer but as an artist known, I'm really happy to see her so excited about how the creative process was all her own work, without being shot down by her record company.
Working in Finland with co-producer and arranger Pessi Levanto, the album is definitely something I'd recommend to anyone willing to listen to some great music! It's also been lauded by friends of Joanna such as Lara Veronin and Evan Yo, the latter of which notably said 'if you don't listen to this album, don't bother buying albums anymore'; and I fully second that opinion.
Joanna's been emphasisng how on previous albums she has always had to compromise in order to get her original compositions onto the album, causing her a great deal of heartache due to her need to express her creativity as an artist. Although other artists may be able to deal with the restrictions that record labels may pose on their creativity, I really admire Joanna for her strong headed opposition to this. She's a strong and opinionated person who is extremely talented, which is why I've been supporting her until this day.
I really am proud of everything she's achieved thus far, and am grateful to be able to share in her happiness. It's a fresh start for her, and I hope it heralds even more great, original music from her to come!
Whether or not you're a fan of Jazz Music, I really suggest that you watch this interview of Jazz pianist and composer Martin (Musa) Musaubach. Although its conducted in spanish, there are english subtitles are is really eye-opening! I have never seen an artist who connects his music so closely to who he is, and where he comes from. Each and every one of his songs from his jazz album <3690> has a story behind it, linking to the people who he loves, the people who inspire him, and through all these stories about his childhood and adolescent years; we see who Musa is through his music.
He also talks about what he aims for in his music, and the way that he uses his music to interact with the audience(very few Jazz musicians do!). But its not all Jazz. Musa also incorporates childhood influences such as Rock n Roll and Blues within his music, and explains how all these come together in his music.
Music lovers alike; a must watch! Not only is Musa amazingly talented,but I find that he has extremely heightened sensitivities towards the concept of music itself and also what he wants to get from his music. Musa 加油！
P.s: You might be wondering; what does this have anything to do with chinese music? Musa is currently based in Taiwan, and has played with the likes of Lara Veronin and Gary Chaw, featuring most prominently in Gary Chaw's <Project Sensation> Jazz album.
它說：我是無限, 我是快樂｡________________by Lara
A direct translation:
Within every person's
body is hidden a small seed called a spirit.
Some people can
live their entire lives without having discovering its existence , but if you
take time to feel , it is calling you.
How should this small little seed be allowed to grow? There are many types of ways ,
and every person's method is not necessarily the same.
Some people need to slow down their footsteps , some people need to quicken their pace.
Sometimes you need to move to the other side of the world
, sometimes all you need is to say what you felt about those unspeakable dreams
If only you can honestly dig deep into yourself to
find it , it will begin to grow.
Until there's a day when it is
not you who is controlling everything , but your spirit guiding you.
Because ones' spirit already knew its place and its
direction , all it was waiting for was to be released by you.
In this moment ,the universe opens its doors to you.
It says: I am infinite , I am happiness.
I guess it was this album of Lara's and this intro note that she wrote to listeners that got me hooked onto this idea of freedom, the idea of letting your spirit guide you. I do believe that ones' spirit has always known what it has set out to do; consciously or sub-consciously. So after being truly inspired by this album, I've tried to actively search for ways to set my spirit free, to let it guide me. But little did I know, it was guiding me all along. And before I knew it, my spirit had guided me to the point where I've been able to ready myself to embark on a trip halfway around the world, alone and fearless. People around me ask; 'aren't you scared?' or tell me how brave I am, but I really do believe that my spirit is guiding me, and giving me the courage and the endurance to pursue what I feel will bring me closer and closer to my dreams.
So thank you Lara; for this album. It's one of the best albums I've ever heard, and has inspired me to no end. It was the seed from which my spirit was able to really find its way to freedom, and while I'm not exactly there yet, I know I'll get there someday.
It's been a great year and now it's time to start having a little fun! Thank you so much for all your support, be it throughout the years, days, seconds or minutes ; I am personally grateful and thankful for each view on this site every day! Wishing you all the very best this Christmas ; Peace, Love and a whole bunch of presents!
Love, Asian pop weekly