Malaysian voices find favor with Chinese fans
Updated: 2015-11-16 15:45
By Chen Nan(China Daily USA)
With many Chinese mainland singers pursuing their careers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and abroad, many foreign singers have begun eyeing the Chinese market, namely from Malaysia.
A year after giving birth to her first child, Fish Leong, one of the most popular Chinese-Malaysian pop singers on the Chinese mainland, returned to the limelight with her latest single, If Possible. She performed the song at the Simple Life Music Festival in Shanghai in October and will kick off a world tour, Love Is Your Name, from March 2016.
Since she signed a contract with Taiwan's Rock Records in 1997, the 37-year-old, born in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, has won over millions of fans in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland.
Following in her footsteps, many Chinese-Malaysian singers have made their way to the Chinese mainland. Victor Wong, who also started his music career in Taiwan over a decade ago, recently came to Beijing to release his latest Mandarin album, Adulthood.
At 43, Wong, widely known as Pin Guan, rose to fame in 1994 along with Malaysian singer Michael Wong, also known as Guang Liang. The duo achieved fame with the release of their first album The Palm. Later the duo began pursing solo careers.
Victor Wong, who has released 12 solo albums, will hold a concert in Shanghai on Jan 9, 2016.
Over the past few years, young talents from Malaysia have attempted to make it big in the Chinese music scene by participating in reality TV shows.
Shila Amzah gained recognition from Chinese fans after she performed two years ago in a reality TV competition called I Am a Singer, produced by Hunan Satellite TV.
In long-sleeved gowns and headscarves, the 25-year-old singer, born in Kuala Lumpur, has wowed Chinese audiences with her powerful voice. Though she is not fluent in Mandarin, she interprets Chinese love songs in her own style.
Within a month of her appearance on the show, her Sina Weibo followers soared to more than 2 million. In October 2013, during President Xi Jinping's visit to Malaysia, Amzah was selected as a representative of Malaysian artists to perform before him. Late last month, she held a concert in Hong Kong.
She has said in an interview: "I Am a Singer was definitely a great steppingstone for me to get to know more about Chinese music and Chinese audiences."
I Am a Singer has also given Chinese-Malaysian singer and songwriter Gary Chaw an opportunity to return to the stage after a long hiatus. In 2014, after participating in the show, he brought his two children, Joe and Grace, to join Hunan Satellite TV's reality show Where Are We Going Dad?
Born in Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia, he studied in Canada and New Zealand before launching his music career in Taiwan in 2000.
More recently, Malaysian singer Jeanie Lee has made her mark on Chinese TV shows. The 28-year-old, born in a musical family and a graduate of the International College of Music in Kuala Lumpur, joined the fourth season of The Voice of China, a Chinese reality talent show by Zhejiang Satellite TV.
(China Daily USA 11/16/2015 page10)