Shadowing Your Heart 如影隨心(lit.) is based on the eponymous novel by reporter and author An Dun, and tells of the romance between a talented violinist (Chen Xiao) and interior designer (Du Juan). The pair get married almost immediately after meeting each other, though they soon find out that a passionate romance isn’t enough to keep a marriage going.
Faye Wong and Na Ying first performed theme song Time 岁月at this year’s Spring Festival Gala (English lyrics).
Film You’re My Sunshine released three theme songs this week in anticipation for their April 30th release- You’re My Sunshine by Huang Xiaoming, You’re My Sunshine in English by Jane Zhang, and Silence by Na Ying. The film is so scary that both of the other youth films originally set for the May holidays, Ever Since We Loveand The Left Ear, have moved up their release dates to avoid it.
Na Ying and Huang Xiaoming signing to each other in black and white, and making it seem like this movie is really about Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy:
This is a recap of the third episode of The Voice of China season three. Yes, I know, I know, we’re up to episode five now. But if you’ve seen episode four, then you’ve probably been disappointed by it and will want to come back and relive episode three. Tada!
Don’t worry. Recaps for episodes four and five will be coming soon.
Let’s begin with the extra segment streaming on The Voice website featuring Zhao Wanting 趙婉婷 and Voice of China alumni, Ding Ding 丁丁 and Huang He 黄鹤, dancing with a team of cheerleaders to a Zac Efron song from High School Musical 3. It’s every bit as bad as it sounds.
The trio appear on My Youth Octave 我的青春高八度, which has been described as the Chinese version of Glee. That’s every bit as bad as it sounds, too. The girls then transition into I.O.I.O by S.H.E, which is a cover of a Bee Gees song funnily enough. It looks like they’re lipsyncing, but I think they were dubbed over for broadcast because they just aren’t very good.
Yay, useless two-minute musical number is over. Now onto the real show.
Chen Bing 陈冰 24, Beijing Eternal Summer 盛夏光年 by Mayday
The first contestant of the episode is actually quite pretty, which means all four judges will probably turn for her regardless of her singing. Maybe it’s the 320p resolution, but her mother looks ridiculously young. Her father, on the other hand, looks like the dry-cleaner who altered my coat when I lived in Korea. He did a really good job of it, so if you’re ever in the Gangnam area and need a coat tailored, let me know. Still, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had said her father was her boyfriend and her mother was her sister.
As it turns out, Chen Bing is actually a really good rock singer. I was just thinking the other day that I would like to hear a Chinese singer sing Alone by Heart, the second-greatest girl band in history after Destiny’s Child. I hope she sings that in the next round. All four judges turn for her. She gets a standing ovation, the first of the season. (more…)
Just in case we haven’t been paying attention, the beginning of the episode introduces all the judges (again), listing some of their professional accomplishments with short sound bites from them about what they want to achieve. It’s all pretty standard, and none of it is especially remarkable, except for the fact that Chyi Chin doesn’t seem to have aged in 25 years. That’s not to say he doesn’t look his age of 54. Just that he looked 54 back in 1988.
Other than that, this episode jumps straight into the first audition.
This post is the second in a series of weekly recaps for The Voice of China. Review the first episode here.
Qin Xiaolin 秦晓林
19, Anyang, Henan
Fire 火 by A-mei
We jump straight into the first audition. No cute back-story here. What’s up with that? Maybe this contestant is really unlikable and nothing about her is endearing to the audience. The band plays a harder, rockier version of A-mei’sFire. Oh, our auditionee has a really husky voice. She looks and sounds like chain-smoking lumberjack. I guess this is why they didn’t give her a proper introduction; her speaking voice would have given away the surprise. Her top notes actually resonate really well.
All the male judges turn for her. Wang Feng smiles. “You’re on fire.”
“From now on, you have a new nickname,” Yang Kun says. “Do you know what it is?”
“What is it?” she asks.
“Volcano girl!” Yang Kun replies enthusiastically. “Volcano” in Chinese is literally fire mountain, so Yang Kun just made a pun. It’s not a very good pun. “Her voice sounds like a volcano eruption,” Yang Kun explains to Na Ying.
“Her throat is full of fire.” Na Ying says. “Ngraahahaaah,” adds Yang Kun. I don’t know what that’s meant to be.
Yang Kun asks if she was born with her voice or if it developed later on.
“I was born with this way,” she says. “I inherited it from my mother and grandmother. My mom is a Chinese opera singer. My grandfather has a really loud voice. I grew up in the east side of town. And every day I’d go to the west side to play at my classmate’s house. My grandmother would call out from one side to call me back for dinner.” “Ryahaahaaaah!” Yang Kun responds. (more…)
No A-mei or Harlem this year, but The Voice of China 中国好声音 comes back big with a new judge, an old judge, and a fresh batch of talent. The season three Voice premiere saw the introduction of first-time mentor, Taiwanese singer-songwriter Chyi Chin 齐秦, replacing Harlem Yu, and the return of Yang Kun who replaced A-mei (who replaced Yang Kun the year before). The mentor lineup now stands as:
Na Ying 那英
Wang Feng 汪峰
Yang Kun 杨坤
Chyi Chin 齐秦
With the addition of Chyi Chin, the judging panel now becomes 50% Manchu, much like the Qing Grand Council in the 18th century. The more you know.
Chyi Chin is a strange choice. He wasn’t especially popular on I Am A Singer. I would have liked Coco Lee. Speaking of whom, have you registered for auditions for Chinese Idol yet?
This post is the first in a series of weekly recaps for The Voice of China. Review the second episode here.
If you you’re the type of Voice viewer who only occasionally watches clips of performances, feel free to skip ahead for the videos.
The episode begins with Na Ying walking on stage, singing fellow mentor Wang Feng’s Braveheart 勇敢的心. Her placard-wielding teenage entourage seems a little bit lost and not at all excited to be on TV. In contrast, when fans get this close to The Voice UK judges, crotches get grabbed.
Yang Kun is the second judge to make an appearance, transitioning the medley into Chyi Chin’s Heartless Rain, Heartless You 无情的雨无情的你. Wang Feng then appears to sing Na Ying’s The Day Doesn’t Understand the Dark of Night 白天不懂夜的黑. I am sensing a trend here. If the next mentor sings a Yang Kun song, I am going to reward myself with a doughnut. Wang Feng is singing for a long time compared to the others before him.
Finally, Chyi Chin takes the stage with Yang Kun’s The Moon Can Represent My Heart 月亮可以代表我的心. I think I’ll go for cinnamon. The other judges, having taken their seats, tap their buzzers and swivel around to choose Chyi Chin, welcoming him into the fold. Ah, yes, very symbolic and creative. All four judges return to the stage and finish off with Braveheart.
Liu Zhijia 刘至佳
Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
This university student kicks off the very first audition of the year with the introduction to the Black Eyed Peas’ Let’s Get It Started. It’s similar to Laure Shang’s performance on I Am A Singer. She then begins to rap an unknown song before finally settling on Girl On Fire. Liu half-yodels, half-grunts the Alicia Keys’ number, sounding a bit like the lovechild of Christina Aguilera and Shakira. Her voice is strong, but lacks control. All judges except Na Ying turn for her. (more…)
Four of the biggest female singers in cpop, hailed from four different regions of cpop, came together for Project WAO theme song. The song titled We Are One or Women as One features A-Mei (张惠妹), Na Ying (那英), Sandy Lam (林忆莲), and Tanya Chua (蔡健雅). The charity concert for Project WAO was held this last weekend in support of abused women and young girls.
One of the most frustrating things about introducing new Chinese artists are the “they don’t look Chinese” comments. Considering China has 56 official ethnicities with their ancestral homes in China, and who knows how many unofficial ones, and 1.3 billion people, it’s unfair to homogenize any part of China (or of the world ). And according to wikipedia, minority populations are rising at 7 times the rate of the Han Chinese because the One Child Policy only applies to Han Chinese (no, China is not trying to eliminate its minorities via One Child).
Photographer Chen Haiwen recently paid a tribute to the diversity of China by producing a series of photos that captured this diversity. Along with a team of photographers, he traveled across China for a year to take photos of a family from each ethnic group. Those, along with thousands of other photos captured on the trip, were put on display in Beijing’s WangFuJing Street last month. zhouzhzh on youtube has a slideshow of all the photos.
Here’s a spot light on some, definitely not all, minority Chinese artists in pop culture.
manager: Super Boy Ji Jie and brand manager for Bacardi
members: two powerful and tomboyish songstresses SM’s lost cause Zhang Liyin
and really lost cause Super Girl He Jie
and boyband Blue Bird Flying Fish‘s 70.
HuHu’s not Yi, but he’s there by association. Maybe Zhang Yunjing can join, too, by marriage. (more…)
After Chen Lin’s death, there was a general sense of loss amongst the mainland community over the “Golden Age” singers, the singers from the 90s. However Na Ying, after a 7-year break suddenly released her new single, called Love’s Journey which she first revealed at the 2009 Mid-Autumn show and will be one of the big draws of her upcoming New Years concert. Na Ying, also Faye Wong’s best friend, is one of China’s most famous artists and perhaps the symbol of the “Golden Age” singers. Her return was a very welcome, comforting thing for many.
This is not from the same era, but Age of Water and Wood have been going strong early 2000s despite some member changes, and used their success to help other singer-songwriters like Wang Zheng emerge. And this new song and beautiful MV are so befitting for this time, post-Chen Lin’s suicide.
Age of Water and Wood – The Meaning of Life MV
There seems to be a lot of music releases converged in the next few months whether they be the younger soloists, newer indie artists, or the boybands. But with how warmly Han Hong’s return was welcomed along with the excitement over Na Ying’s comeback it’s nice to know that the Golden Age singers are welcomed whenever they feel like returning.
The company that brought Na Ying and Faye Wong to fame is ready to present it’s newest mainland superstar – Huang Yali, an energetic 19-year-old. Taiwanese companies have recently been increasingly signing on mainlanders, from rock bands such as Fusion and AOK to pop stars like Jade Liu. This is probably in light of the fact that after Taiwan’s changed presidents this past year, things have begun changing with respect to Mainland-Taiwan relations, including a suggested lifting of restrictions on mainland artists activities in Taiwan.