'Father'of Chinese rock back with album

Updated: 2015-11-27 08:15

By Zhang Kun(China Daily)

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'Father'of Chinese rock back with album

Rocker Cui Jian will release a new album after a long hiatus. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Even talented people need encouragement, singer-songwriter Cui Jian says.

Often described by his fans as the "father" of Chinese rock, Cui announced in Shanghai on Nov 17 that he would release a new album on Dec 18, produced by Sony Music.

Cui, 54, was in Shanghai shooting for a reality show on Dragon TV.

He is among China's early musicians to take to rock music, rising to stardom in 1986 after performing Nothing to My Name at the 100-Singer Concert of Year of International Peace at Beijing Workers Stadium.

A decade has passed since he released his last album. He has been working as a film director during that period. With his latest creation of Blue Sky Bones he won the best new director award at the 15th Chinese Film Media Award in 2014.

It has taken a lot of struggle to produce the new album, he says. Unwilling to repeat himself, Cui wanted every song to be different. Even though he was more comfortable working on the rhythm, this time he was ready to spend more effort on melody.

"Sometimes you are bored with a melody, after listening to it a few times, or with the instruments joined in," he says. "I would drop it and start again because I want my work to be like a sculpture that you can look from different angles and still find enjoyable."

Xu Yi, the CEO of Sony Music China, even compares Cui to musical greats such as Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd, saying that it is "a chance of a lifetime" to work with Cui.

He says the new album distinctive from "any music of our time", and "as striking as those Cui wrote in the 1980s".

The new reality show Stars of China went on air at 9 pm on Saturday. Cui is one of the three recognized musicians who serve as judges for the show.

It is Cui's first reality TV show. He says it gives him a good platform to take rock music to Chinese who know less of it.

Cui says he was camera-shy at first but was determined to introduce good musicians to the public.

Tian Ming, executive president of Xingkong Media, the company behind the singing show, says it aims to take Chinese music to the world.

On Feb 9, 2016, Stars of China will present a concert in tribute to the Grammy awards.

The show will enable judges to decide which musician will stay and who will go, as well as what music will be presented later on the show, Tian says.

"It's time we let the music speak for itself."