As this year comes to a long-needed close, the time has come yet again to compile a list of our top songs for 2018. This task has always been a delicate one; as we aim to choose songs that were chart-toppers while also leaving room for works that have contributed in a positive way to the creativity and diversity of the market. On top of this, I’ve also tried to choose songs that are cohesive and represent a general theme; reflecting on the year that has been. This year, I’ve chosen the theme of mindfulness and reflection. Be it a discussion of the world around us, our inner selves or the passing of time and life. In this year of confusion, despair and misdirection, we are all searching for something real to hold on to. This theme has increasingly resonates with me this year more than ever before, and I hope it strikes a chord with you too.
NO. 10: KELLY YU 于文文 – DIGNITY體面
What top 10 list could be complete without this regional chart-topper? The song which was part of the soundtrack for the movie ‘The Ex File 3: Return of the Exes’ allowed Canadian-Chinese artist Kelly Yu skyrocket to fame since its release in February this year with its moody and atmospheric piano arrangement. Although ballads are often hit-or-miss, Yu’s steady, honest vocals tug on the ol’ heartstrings just so, giving listeners delectable texture to ruminate over time and again.
By Matt Taylor
Celebrating her 25th anniversary in the entertainment industry, veteran Hong Kong superstar Karen Mok 莫文蔚 is returning to the centre stage with new single Slowly Like You 慢慢喜歡你.
Slowly Like You 慢慢喜歡你 is the second release from her as yet untitled seventeenth studio album, slated for release later in 2018. The concept of the song is rather than being overwhelmed by a fast romance, falling slowly in love with someone is more romantic, and allows for greater time to appreciate the intricate details of each other, in turn allowing for a deeper love. By taking our time, we can savour the time with our loved ones, walking together into old age.
The video, directed by Chen Yin-jung 陳映蓉, embodies the journey of love within a family in a specific moment in time. One on hand, you have a young couple who are about to cement their love through marriage. On the other, you have their parents, who through small interactions are able to convey their deep love and connection to their partner.
The track is a collaborative effort, written by Li Ronghao 李榮浩 and produced by Arai Soichiro 荒井十一. Karen has been friends with Arai since they met backstage at her 2009 Back to Karen Mok World Tour 回蔚莫文蔚巡迴演唱會, and he was the executive producer for her most recent album, 2014’s Departures 不散不見, for which she was nominated for three Golden Melody Awards, including Best Female and Best Mandarin Album. Not just collaborative partners, Karen and Arai enjoy a close and warm friendship. According to Karen, this is because they have similar views about the process of creating music.
Li Ronghao & Arai have been close friends for over ten years, so when Karen confided that she was a big admirer of the singer-songwriter, Arai wasted no time in reaching out to him, and Li ended up playing guitar on several songs on Karen’s last album. Li even joined Karen on stage in Beijing on her 2015 world tour.
Evidently, Karen, Arai & Li are a powerful creative force which have the capability of creating critically and commercially successful projects.
Prior to the release, both Karen and Li had been teasing fans on Facebook for days, uploading videos using the slow motion function as a representation of the song. Every video was captioned with ‘because slowly is the best reason' (因為慢慢是個最好原因).
Karen Mok is a legend in the Chinese music world. Over her illustrious 25 year career she has released sixteen albums, starred in over fourty films, and is referred to by fans as the Queen of Love Songs 情歌天后.