The singer you must know before you listen to C-POP
If you are a fan of C-Pop or from Asia area, especially from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. You should know his name, a well-known and popular singer – Jay Chou. (周杰倫, Zhou Jie Lun). He is an actor and producer of his music He is also a one of the famous star and effective singers after 21st Century in C-Pop undoubtedly. If you are interested in Chinese culture, you should definitely listen to his songs. In 2000, C-Pop was changed by Jay Chou, who attracted most of Chinese by his first self-titled album in the same year. I remember his songs are really memorable and unique at the first time I listen to. Unlike other cliché songs, he shows his special and his style through his songs. Like “Lóng Juǎn Fēng Tornado” is also shows his unique rapping and singing style and special songs arrangement. And because of this song, he was becoming famous.
Apart from rap style song, he also produced other style which showed his talent. He produced some R&B and soul songs, such as “Hēi Sè Máo Yī Black Sweater”, “Yè Qǔ Nocturne “, etc. Although some may say his songs are not real R&B, we cannot deny that his songs has some features of R&B. More importantly, because of these songs, R&B, soul and rap music were becoming mainstream in C-Pop. However, later on, his music style changed to more Chinese style, such as “Jú Huā Tái Chrysanthemum Terrace” and “Qīng Huā Cí Blue and White Porcelain”, it definitely shows the traditional Chinese style by using some Chines music instrument and its song arrangement.
In addition, his lyrics, is also remarkable. Since his songs’ melody mostly in traditional Chinese style recently, the lyrics also goes into this way. His lyrics writer, Vincent Fang, has been always written a simple but beautiful Chinese lyrics to his songs. For example “Qīng Huā Cí Blue and White Porcelain”, the lyric in this song has been included in different Chinese teaching books for students to learn. Not only because of the sentence structure, but also the way of using Chinese words to create the theme, the meaning and the feeling. Vincent Fang can only use few words so as to create the exactly and beautiful meaning to the songs. By combing the lyrics and the music together, a wonderful and beautiful traditional Chinese style song is produced. That is one of the reason why Jay Chou can become popular.
Recently Jay Chou changes his style into more happy and pop style. Like his new album “Aiyo, Not Bad” in last year, almost the songs in this album are in happy style, such as “Wǒ Yào Xià Tiān / I Want Summer” and “Yáng Míng Shān / Yang-Ming Mountain”. But of course, it still keeps his rapping style in it. But you can hear this is not as same as his old songs. Therefore, many of the old fans are still not taking the changed. But as an artist or singer, trying different music genre is good for them because it can say this is a challenge to them. And maybe it is a benefit to the fans because the fans can know others side of their artist. From my point of view, I would say it is a good try for him because I believe trying different things can bring you some new thoughts and ideas.
At last, perhaps because of Jay Chou, the music trend in C-Pop has been changed. The music industries not only produce some cliché, pop songs which sounds like the same, but also focus more on different music genre, like R&B, rap and soul music. Although before Jay Chou, there are other R&B or soul singers in C-Pop, at that time, there were not many people listen to it or paid attention to it since pop and cliché songs were still mainstream. Therefore, it is not wrong to say the appearance of Jay Chou changed or improved the situation of C-Pop. Hence, I would say if you are a fan or interested in Chinese culture, and you would like to listen to some Chinese music, Jay Chou, is still my first pick to you.