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World News | Hong Kong Mirror launches English songs to revive Cantonese pop music

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HONG KONG, March 17 (AP) – Hong Kong’s favorite boy band Mirror, a major force behind the local pop renaissance, released its first English-language song on Friday, hoping to bring the city’s tunes to the world music enthusiast.

The 12-member group is part of a new wave of local singers in Hong Kong who have been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic and political challenges over the past three years.

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Their music has spawned a new generation of fans who find hope and comfort in their songs during uncertain times.

Its members told The Associated Press on Sunday that its new single, “Rumours,” is a bit “sexy” and “sensual,” and features wavy dance moves, a departure from the group’s previous energetic dance and funk sound. sharp contrast.

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Member Ian Chan said that unlike their earlier Cantonese songs, which conveyed an image of “a bunch of kids” and their energetic side, the new track showed they had become men.

“We weren’t trying to target any market in particular, but we kind of wanted to show the possibilities of what a boy band from Hong Kong could bring to everyone,” Chan said. “Hopefully we can take ourselves to more places.”

The Mirror’s world debut isn’t just a test of whether they can find an audience outside Hong Kong, a market of seven million people.

The repercussions overseas may also be a harbinger of whether Hong Kong singers, who ruled Asia’s showbiz decades ago, can regain a foothold in the region.

Cantonese-pop, sung in the native language of most Hong Kongers, is making a strong comeback with new icons and diverse genres after years of lagging behind Mandarin-pop and K-pop.

Local fans find new stars more relatable, unlike their predecessors, who are often perceived as prepackaged and in some cases too dependent on mainland China. The rise of Cantopop reflects a broader desire to express urban cultural identity.

The members of Mirror broke into the industry in 2018 after competing in a local broadcaster’s reality TV competition and stealing the show. The artists—Chen Xunqi, Wang Audun, Yang Lewen, Qiu Tenghua, Jiang Ansheng, Liu Jie, Lu Ansheng, Li Zhijie, Lu Yidong, Tu Qiang, Qiu Tenghua, and Chen—ranged in age from their 20s to their 30s.

Some are good at singing, some are known for dancing, some have devoted themselves to acting, and some have hosted TV shows.

Their hard work and determination have helped them attract a loyal following, especially among students, middle-aged women and young families.

In 2021, Qiang said: “I believe that Hong Kong singers will definitely be able to become No. 1 in Asia again.” In that year, their fanaticism became a Hong Kong cultural phenomenon.

Fans flocked to malls to support their events, with some making and buying commercials to celebrate their idol’s birthday.

The fan’s partner flooded Facebook with stories of “self-pity”, including plastering the walls of their home with posters of the singer.

Talking about the group has lifted many Hong Kongers from gloomy news about COVID-19, the political challenges and the social changes facing the city.

“We always have a social responsibility to bring positive thoughts and some good vibes to people like us,” Chen said.

But a tragic incident last July dealt a severe blow to their rise.

During a concert, a huge video screen fell from the ceiling and hit two backup dancers, one of whom, Mo Li, was seriously injured.

The band then stopped making public appearances for two months. Hong Kong authorities have charged workers of the concert’s main contractor for allegedly being responsible for the accident.

Last month, Li’s father said his son took his first steps in life with the help of the exoskeleton device.

“We’ll never say we’re over it,” Lu said, adding that it was a “huge lesson.” It taught them to cherish every moment, Yau said.

While the Mirror struggled to shake off the tragedy, it was also hit by criticism of the lackluster performances, with some critics accusing members of chasing money from commercials instead of focusing on their singing and dancing.

Luo said the group is trying to slow down the schedule to achieve a better balance, and members now meet at least once or twice a month for events such as conferences or dance lessons — a major change because they spend a lot of time outside of work. Don’t see each other infrequently, he said.

The release of “Rumor,” whose lyrics are about chasing a girl and how rumors come about, is a major milestone for the group, especially since the members are all local Cantonese singers.

English pronunciation was a big challenge, Lui said, and they all received one-on-one tutoring during the recording process.

Lo said the group will be watching audience reactions closely, but there is no doubt they will continue to compose music in Cantonese, even though some members may write solo songs in Mandarin.

The group is also planning a global tour, possibly next year, he said.

Their ambition to revive Cantopop as Asia’s No. 1 sounded “like a pipe dream,” Lei said.

“But I think we should keep this goal in our hearts and we should try our best to pursue this dream,” he said. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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