What’s the difference between one and four?
In the first year of their stardom, Chris Lee and He Jie, once best friends from the Sichuan Music Conservatory, won 1st and 4th respectively in Super Girls.
Four years later, March 2009 –
For her birthday, Chris Lee held her annual Why Me concert in Guangdong with soldout tickets and a sea of yellow.
Two weeks later, on He Jie’s birthday, He Jie announced that she would leave EE Media.
Why such different outcomes?
In honor of He Jie, the cute “Jie Baobao”, and both myself and Cfensi’s favorite Supergirl alumni, this is a look into eeMedia’s flaws. Btw – don’t take anything out of here without also posting its companion piece coming soon.
This is the performance that drew me into cpop. Hopefully, He Jie’s musical dreams are only hibernating and will make a comeback soon.
Other than lawyer Zhou Junwu, who single-handedly(?) caused the three biggest crisis in EE Media history, the first problem of EE Media is its rumor mill. It’s infamous for producing unwarranted rumors to generate news. While this works for individual events (ie. Meteor Shower), it ultimately ruins the overall image of the company and its artists. One of the reasons He Jie gave for leaving was the fact that she has more rumors than songs, something unfortunately true for many artists under EE media.
EE Media also has way too many artists to digest. Despite having Hunan TV as its backdrop, it only has a certain amount of screentime to fill. Instead of one artist going on five shows, there are five artists going on one show. In the end, none of them really gets noticed. That’s why He Jie and Chen Chusheng leaving, though sad, is a good thing for the other members of EE Media.
He Jie went into EE Media like a tomboyish dork…
To me, EE Media’s biggest flaw is its hierarchical system. What EE Media needs is capitalism. EE Media, supposedly, actually has one of the best payment system for its artists, which is to say they’ll live reasonably comfortable lives under EE Media. However, how EE Media spends its portion is largely unfair. Whereas in other companies, what one artist earns, the money is often reinvested into that artist’, EE Media spends mostly on who it wants to promote. While this is essential for new artists, EE Media forgets that it is not the ultimate decider in who the consumers wants. Think of Jang Ri In or Han Xue, both of whose companies spent tons of money on their promotions but both of whom has yet to make it big as of now. EE Media, coming from a voter-decided competition, should keep that its that type of democracy that has made it. Changing the company to a government controlled system where the way to be popular is to make the head liking you, not the people, is a big mistake.
…and left looking like this blond, emo-looking girl wondering why of all the tomboyish Super Girls, all in different companies including eeMedia, she had to be the one forced to change her image into someone sexier, more girly
He Jie isn’t fully innocent, either. She was a tomboy. However, she had no ideas of her own nor firm positions. She was changed by EE Media, but the change was authorized by her. Compared to Li Yuchun and Jane, who both knows who they are and who they want to be. And I was quite disappointed by the fact that instead of seeking self-improvement whilst waiting for her next album (ie. learning composing and the piano like Wang Yuexin or magic like Fu Xinbo), she just sat around in her room, posting up increasingly depressing pictures of herself in dreary black. Emoness isn’t exactly the road to success and it’s not something that a lawsuit can solve. And really, how could she let herself be tricked into believing that lawyer?
Her lawsuit is expected to last for at least 6 months. What’s to become her after that, no one knows.
correction: Li Yuchun also received a song by herself, so she beat JJ Lin in the length of song sang.
I’d say there’s a lot of a indie bands in China that become famous, like SuperVC was all indie, and them, bam, they went under Zhang Yadong’s Dong Records label, which I’d say makes them pretty mainstream now. And then there are just the indie bands that stayed under small recording labels or the Modern Sky indie label, but are still well-known.
You can check out some of the links in the blogroll for more on Chinese indie. I haven’t checked the Modern Sky blog in so long. *cries at the sacrifices of being busy*
What a fascinating post and discussion!
Is the only practical way to become a big name singer in China to be affiliated with a large company?
Are there any indie artists/bands that are famous?
You’re right. I think Liyin’s very hardworking and determined. If she has a dream, I think she’ll work to achieve it. From her interviews, she seems to actually be a tomboy in real life, she just doesn’t show it on stage. SM stiffled her inner tomboy, just like how eeMedia hid He Jie’s tomboyishness behind her craziness.
There are flaws in every company. I would prefer eeMedia over SM anyday if I were into music. eeMedia has a much nicer music environment than SM. I loved Wang Yuexin’s quote – “you can’t not compose in eeMedia, everyone does it.” And SM has perfected marketing idols, but it can’t seem to launch serious artists anymore.
I definitely think her leaving was right. She didn’t want it, and eeMedia did not want her. If she had stayed, eeMedia would’ve dropped her when her contract expires in August anyways. But the way she left was just ill-considered.
She’s had a lot of money put on her by the last CEO, more than anyone but Li Yuchun. Her last album cost 200,000 yuan in advertising alone. Her MV’s are numerous and generally pretty high-qualitied. But when Long Danni inherited her, it was obvious that Long Danni doesn’t want her anymore. She didn’t fit Long Danni’s vision.
oh..boy..long comments, btw after I read this, I went to utube and checked older He Jie mv (the one withh Show Luo) and I am surprised by the new bubblegum pop songs of her. I guess it’s EE media’s fault to make a person who can sing (and can dance ok) into a “Jolin” (who can’t sing, can’t dance & not cute)..what a disaster.
I wouldn’t say that she has clinical depression…more like reactive depression. But a lot of competition singers end up with that sometimes in their career, most of the times soon.
Nepheliad, I guess for the specific market thing…I feel like company should not identify the artist’s niche, but discover the correct niche for that artist.
Sorry, just going to mention Jang Ri In/ Zhang Liyin, I’ve been silently watching her in the background lol and I have so say she seems to slowly adjusting herself to where she wants to be. I’ve noticed her singing style has changed from a very deep American sort of voice to a slightly softer more asian style to suit the Chinese market- and it sounds good on her. Her improvement in control has been rapid.
What with tagging along sj all the time, it annoys me because… well I want her to stand on her own. but that isn’t going to be easy. (Actually I’m mostly scared she’ll get antis from crazy fangirls…it’s been pretty safe so far but I don’t doubt anti’s exist because of it. She’s been put in situations where she could have been the target for so many antis~ sj/tvxq etc but BECAUSE she comes across as quiet and shy she managed to save herself lol)