Source: By Chen Nan (China Daily)
Think Hong Kong indie music and the name of Anthony Wong Yiu-ming probably comes to mind.
The veteran singer, songwriter and producer, who has been active in the field of indie music for decades, is coming to Beijing with a group of artists under his music company People Mountain People Sea.
“Our music might be weird to some people, but it’s absolutely original and creative. I hope to bring our music to as many people as possible, to create a world where they can escape and enjoy something fresh,” says Wong, who was in Beijing to promote three concerts.
The concerts feature indie bands such as At 17 and Pixel Toy, and musicians such as songwriter Cedric Chan and producer Jason Choi, who will back Wong at an anniversary concert for People Mountain People Sea.
Wong founded the label in 1999 with the aim of discovering talented indie musicians, and the artists will celebrate its 11-year anniversary at the Wednesday’s Beijing concert.
“It’s very exciting for us to have passed 10 years, especially now that the music industry is on a down,” says Wong, who took the name People Mountain People Sea from one of his best selling albums.
Wednesday will also mark his 48th birthday. But Wong shows no sign of slowing down.
He began his career as a radio DJ in Hong Kong in 1984. Then he and Hong Kong guitarist and composer Tats Lau Yi-Tat formed a group, called Tat Ming Pair, after Wong replied to Lau’s “singer-wanted” advertisement in a music magazine in 1985. They created an electro-rock era in Hong Kong during the early 1980s, with top-selling albums such as Tat Ming Pair One and Two.
Their music was experimental and rebellious and the flamboyant pair wore floral shirts and skirts.
“Even my nephew and niece would point at the TV and ask me, ‘Why are you dressed like a woman?’” Wong says. “I told them that’s not your uncle Wong, but Wong from Tat Ming Pair One.”
Their concerts were just as theatrical, either gothic or romantic, and the pair also made pioneering musical dramas, such as Stone Story in 1987, which borrowed from the classic novel A Dream of the Red Mansions.
They received mixed reviews from critics but had a fanatical following.
“I didn’t care too much about others’ view of me because it’s my own playground when I perform a live show,” he says. “Maybe people think me self-centered, but creativity and originality are what I have insisted on throughout all these years.”
Tat Ming Pair disbanded in 1991.
His commitment to music saw him start People Mountain People Sea back in 1999 when people rarely listened to indie music.
“I didn’t plan to form a music label then. I just gathered some of my like-minded friends, throwing out ideas and realizing them in the studio,” he recalls. “No one is the boss in the company. We would argue about music, share ideas and create together.”
The company has also produced albums for A-list singers such as Leslie Cheung, Faye Wong and Eason Chan, besides releasing its own albums. They have also made music for movies and dramas.
“Making indie music is definitely not a money-making idea today with rampant music piracy,” he says.
He has released albums himself, such as Blow Up and received numerous music awards in Hong Kong and the mainland.
Last year, he performed in director Mathia Woo Yan-wai’s multimedia musical The Forbidden City.
However, Wong says that he will never stop being a singer.
“I enjoy every moment on stage, interacting with fans or shaking my body to the music. Though the company took lots of my time, I will make a balance between it and my own music pursuits,” he says. “I don’t mind being tired. My life is all about music, after all.”
On June 14, Just the Two of Us Unplugged Concert, from At 17, a folk duo consisting of two girls, Eman Lam and Ellen Joyce Loo. At Starlive. 3F, Tango, 79 Heping Xijie (50 meters north of Yonghegong subway station), Dongcheng district.
On June 15, The Future Sound of Taiping Mountain, a joint concert from artists Pixel Toy, Cedric Chan, Jason Choi, Wong Jing and pianist Hung Yik Kai. At Starlive.
On June 16, Happy Together, Anthony Wong Yiu-ming’s solo concert. At Century Theater, 21st Century Hotel, 40 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang district.