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Author Topic: 謝安琪 Kay Tse: The hope of Hong Kong music industry's future  (Read 8847 times)

Den

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In Sept. 2008, I discovered within the Hong Kong music industry something that I thought was extinct: a singer with solid talent and versatility. This rare creature actually debuted three years prior, but I was previously very dismayed with the Hong Kong music scene (since around 1995, about 13 years), so I didn't look that hard. Fortunately, it was with great timing that I found this wonderful singer with a wonderful voice and soul, who was about to lead a group of new talents to return Hong Kong's music industry to its former glory.

Her name is Kay Tse 謝安琪. Why am I so enamored with her and why does she stand out among Hong Kong singers? Let me list the reasons.

Kay has one of the most beautiful singing voices I've ever heard. Admittedly, my standards are very strict and tastes unique. I mean, I admire western divas like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Alicia Keys. However, for some reason, they just don't quite appeal to my tastes. Perhaps because I prefer listening to Chinese, or perhaps because a voice like Kay's is like a needle in the haystack.

You see, the talents of Hong Kong singers has been diminishing since 1995 or so. Only a handful of new singers since 1990 can really sing. Most are mediocre, and a lot have no singing ability at all. Ironically, there is a duo who has risen to the top even though they can't sing at all. That's why I was so disappointed with Hong Kong's music scene. Music company executives will put anyone in front of a mic as long as they can attract a fanbase and sell songs--with their young faces rather than with singing talent. Nevertheless, even the good ones aren't that great and don't particularly grab my attention (eg they lack style, emotion, etc.).

On the other hand, Kay is the first singer since 1995 who showed me that Hong Kong music still has a glimmer of hope. That the bar will once again be set high. That the music critics still appreciate talent before looks. Not that Kay is unattractive; on the contrary, she is actually quite pretty and elegant. However, do note that during her first year when she entered the music industry, she didn't appear publicly that much. She and her producer decided that they wanted people to notice her singing first, without a face attached to the voice that they are listening to. This is opposite of the usual tactics in Hong Kong music industry. Usually new singers are promoted with much fanfare and exposure regardless of how well they can sing. Even when Kay did appear in public, such as at live performances, at the time, she was wearing braces, so she wasn't exactly a beauty queen, per se. (Also note that after the braces were removed, she looks quite attractive.)

But her looks was not what attracted me to her, though that is a bonus, visually speaking. There are a lot of cute, pretty, young girls that try to break through the music scene with their looks more than their singing talent. So whether a singer looks good or not does not appeal to my initial impression of that singer. If I can't stand their singing, I will simply forget them. My ears has no patience for shrilly and horrible singers. My first impression when listening to Kay was, "Nice. Different. Finally someone who can hold a tune, has great musical style, can hit the high notes with ease, precision, and confidence, has a wholesome, beautiful voice, and can properly express the song's mood, evoke vivid imagery into the listeners' minds and touch the audiences' hearts." As I searched for and listened to more of her songs, each one hooked me more and more.

To be continued...
« Last Edit: 2010-Jun-12 03:15 by Den »
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Den

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謝安琪 singing 我歌 故我在 at 903 id Club 謝安琪拉闊變奏廳 Live (2008)


謝安琪 - 海闊天空 at 903 id Club 謝安琪拉闊變奏廳 Live (2008)


張敬軒+謝安琪 守望 Live at 第一天LIVE 暫別音樂會  (2007, 4 months into her pregnancy)


謝安琪 + 劉浩龍 - 滄海遺珠 @ 第一天 Live



« Last Edit: 2010-Jun-13 18:46 by Den »

Den

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Confronting HK trends and negativity with attitude
« Reply #2 on: 2009-May-20 01:25 »
There was a long interview article with Kay that used a title which conveyed that Kay confronts and undermines the Hong Kong media and socials trends with attitude. Hence the title and reason of this particular post. Below are some of my thoughts and responses.

In response to the press conference revealing her unexpected pregnancy and maternal leave after she just signed with a large recording company:


This was my response on YouTube (My user name on YouTube is tubefu.):
Quote
"she has a career. she has her own agenda and style for doing things. she is not like other girls who worry about their image more than talent. she's like Faye Wong, they both have substance and don't care what people think about their private life. she is one of the successful singers in HK, in spite of or even because she had a baby. finally, she became a singer quite late, so it's understandable to make a baby during her prime years. in fact, faye was younger than kay when she had her first baby."--tubefu

Perhaps a little insight into the Hong Kong music industry and social psyche is necessary. There is an unwritten rule that young female singers cannot date or get married or even begin relationships, lest their image be tarnished and ruin their career. On the other hand, in other parts of the world, a singer's private life generally does not affect a singer's popularity. In fact quite a few singers, even female ones, continue to thrive after they get married. Britney Spears, Faith Hill, Madonna, etc. continue to succeed in the music industry after marriage.

However, many Hong Kong people think the opposite. There is a very high chance that when a female singer gets married and gives birth to a baby, her career screeches to a halt. So when Kay suddenly announced that she was pregnant and would soon get married with the baby's father, many Hong Kong people thought her singing career was over. On the contrary, she became even more popular than ever after she returned from giving birth. A year and a half later, she became the biggest winner in the 2008 Hong Kong music awards, sweeping up 17 awards and won the "Media Grand Award", which is granted to the artist with the most awards for that year.

Many criticized her singing skills after giving birth and particularly after her lung surgery. She has a condition called pneumothorax, in which air in her lungs seep through the tissue. It's the fourth time this has happened in her life. Consequently, she performed poorly during the award shows and the beginning of the following year. However, through hard work and support from her family, friends, colleagues, and fans, she strived to stay healthy for her concert that was scheduled to take place only a few months after her surgery. At her first concert of seven straight shows, she proved beyond any doubt that she is still a skilled singer and that she deserved to win the awards.

At one of her seven shows, she invited world-renowned tenor Warren Mok as her guest and proved that her once-damaged lungs would not impede her singing skills. Watch and listen to the following clip:


Maybe you're not convinced due to the quality of this video. But fact is, she is one of the few singers in the current mainstream Hong Kong music industry that can even attempt to sing opera (not counting singers who are still alive, but have faded into retirement or semi-retirement.) Proving once again her versatile singing skills.
« Last Edit: 2016-Mar-11 05:02 by ADMIN »

bryanky

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I absolutely agree with u, Kay has the best voice i hav heard in my 13 years of life. Her hot face is a bonus as well.

Den

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My Top Ten Songs by Kay Tse
« Reply #4 on: 2010-Jun-11 22:36 »
It's kind of hard to make a list of top ten songs by Kay Tse (aka 謝安琪) because almost every one of them are high quality, unique songs with regards to melody, lyrics, arrangement, and performance. Kay is one of few singers who can sing twenty different songs using twenty different interpretations and styles. Coincidentally, the following top ten list will demonstrate this point. That is, besides being my ten favorite songs by Kay, they exemplify Kay performing them using different genre styles, techniques, timbres, emotions, attitudes, and moods.

Countdown of Top Ten Songs by Kay Tse:

10. 臭男人
I love that many of Kay's song are full of humor and satire, and this is one of my favorite ones. Kay's enunciation is quite clear even through the very fast notes. The chorus is so simple, yet awesome, and the climax clinches it for me.

9. 姿色份子
I never get tired of this song. It's that fucking good. Arrangement and chorus is very motivating. You can sing this song all messed up in karaoke and it won't detract anything from this song's awesomeness.

8. 節外生枝
This is a great example of where Kay starts to depart from other mainstream singers by her unique ability to interpret a song. Here, she perfectly captures the vibe from these beautifully crafted lyrics.

7. 神奇女俠的退休生活
The first few times I heard this song, I kept wondering what she was singing because it sounded so comical. So this became the first Kay song for which I looked up the lyrics. The song became even more interesting and fun once I knew the whole song. Not to mention this song is just stylish and addictive.

6. 鍾無艷
This is the first Kay song that I got hooked on and is also one of Kay's most popular songs. It's not surprising because it's very catchy, the lyrics were written by one of the best lyricist in Hong Kong music industry, and, most importantly, Kay's rendition is simply mesmerizing.

5. 跟我走
This song is just extremely motivating. Whenever this song gets played, I get pumped up and sing along loudly. Unlike other songs that thank the fans, the lyrics in this one specifically recall the singer's personality and events around her. Even more special is that she shows off her yodeling skill, which is almost unheard of in Hong Kong pop music (the only exception I can think of is Faye Wong.)

4. 我歌... 故我在 / The One And Only
This review applies to both Cantonese and English versions. Melody and lyrics are just beautiful. Kay's live performances for this song rarely disappoint.

3. 滄海遺珠
Just freaking love her high notes in this song. Also I can relate to the lyrics because I usually favor the underdog. Partly because I'm sarcastic person; partly because I like to contradict the norm, play the devil's advocate, etc. But seriously, there are many hidden gems that are much more worthy than mainstream fads.

2. 17 度
Once I start listening to this song, I have to listen to it one or more times or else I'll feel uncomfortable. Kay's voice is so comforting, I can't seem to get enough.

1. 愁人節
This is number one because every time I listen to it, Kay's heartfelt rendition makes my eyes teary. Kay admits that every time she sings this song, she feels extra emotional. This says a lot about her character: what she cares about, why she became a singer, how she wants to deliver important messages through music and song, etc.
« Last Edit: 2011-Apr-07 03:07 by Den »

 

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