Hong Kong's Mirror launches English song, revives Cantopop

Streaming HUBMarch 17, 2023

HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong’s most popular boy band Mirror, a major driving force behind the revival of the local pop music scene, launched its first English song on Friday, hoping to take the city’s tunes to music fans globally. .

The 12-member group is part of a new wave of local singers being embraced by Hong Kongers at a time when the city has been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic and political challenges over the past three years. His music has spawned a new generation of fans who have found hope and comfort in the songs during uncertain times.

Its new single “Rumor” is somewhat “sexy” and “sensual” and contrasts the group’s previous powerful dance songs and funky music, with wavy dance moves, its members said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday. . opposite of this. Member Ian Chan said that while their earlier Cantonese hits conveyed the image of “a bunch of kids” and their energetic side, the new track shows that they have become men.

“We’re not trying to target any market in particular, but then we want to show the potential of what a Hong Kong boy band can bring to everyone,” said Chan. “Hopefully, we can bring ourselves and bring Cantopop to more places.”

Mirror’s global debut is not only a test of whether they can find an audience beyond Hong Kong, a market of 7 million people. The overseas reception may also indicate whether Hong Kong singers, who dominated Asian showbiz decades ago, can find their way back into the region.

Cantopop, sung in the mother tongue of the majority of Hong Kong’s population, has made a strong comeback with new idols and diverse styles after years behind mandopop and K-pop. Local fans find the new stars more relatable in contrast to their predecessors, who are often seen as pre-packaged and in some cases even catered to mainland China. The rise of cantopop reflects a wider appetite for the city to express its cultural identity.

The members of Mirror entered the industry in 2018 after appearing on a local broadcaster’s reality talent competition and stealing the show. The cast – Frankie Chan, Elton Wong, Lokman Yeung, Stanley Yau, Anson Kong, Jer Lau, Anson Lo, Jeremy Lee, Aidan Lui, Keung To, Tiger Yau and Chan – ranges in age from their late 20s to early 30s. Some are good at singing, many are known for their dancing skills, some have dedicated themselves to acting and others have hosted TV shows.

Her hard work and determination has helped her attract a loyal following, especially students, middle-aged women and young families.

In 2021, Keung declared: “I believe that Hong Kong singers can definitely become Asia’s top again.” That year, his fan became a Hong Kong cultural phenomenon.

Fans flocked to shopping malls to support their shows, some creating and buying advertisements to celebrate their idols’ birthdays. Fans’ partners flooded Facebook with “self-pity” stories, which included plastering the walls of their homes with posters of the singer. The group of talk offered many Hong Kongers an escape from the depressing news about COVID-19, political challenges and social changes facing the city.

“We always have a social responsibility to bring positive thinking and some good vibes to the people who like us,” Chan said.

But a traumatic event last July dealt a severe blow to his rise.

During a concert a giant video screen fell from the ceiling and struck two backup dancers, one of them, Mo Lee, being seriously injured. The band subsequently ceased their public appearances for two months. Hong Kong authorities have accused workers of the concert’s main contractor of allegedly being responsible for the accident. Last month, Lee’s father said that his son had taken his first steps with the help of the exoskeleton device.

“We’ll never say we’ve already passed it,” said Louis, adding that it was a “huge lesson”. It taught him to cherish every moment, Stanley Yau said.

While Mirror works to shake off that tragedy, it has also been battered by criticism of lackluster performances, with some critics accusing the members of chasing money from advertisements rather than focusing on their singing and dancing.

Lo said the group is trying to slow down its schedule to strike a better balance and that members now gather at least once or twice a month for activities such as meetings or dance lessons — a significant change as they They rarely see each other outside of work. past, he said.

The release of “Rumours”, whose lyrics are about chasing a girl and how rumors arise, marked an important milestone for the group, especially since the members are all native Cantonese singers.

English pronunciation was a major challenge, said Louis, and they were all coached one-on-one during the recording sessions.

Lo said that the group will closely monitor audience reactions, but has no doubt that they will continue to produce music in Cantonese, even though some members may produce solo songs in Mandarin. He added that the group also plans to start a world tour possibly next year.

Lui said that his ambition to revive Cantopop as Asia’s No. 1 music may sound “like a daydream”.

“But I think we should have that goal in our hearts and we should do our best to fulfill this dream,” he said.


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