Being of Cantonese speaking background (however I am not descended from Hong Kong) I have grown up listening to the Cantopop that my parents listened to and I guess you could say that was and still is the best era of Cantonese pop music. Music from the 80s and 90s really were the Golden Ages, creating and producing singers who are now considered ‘legends’ and soaring Cantopop to new heights.
Taiwan artist Bii is back with his second album!!! It actually came out in mid May but I’ve only really gotten the time to properly check it out….. and boy do I love it!!! Its been awhile since Bii has graced our screens, reason being was that he spent the last 16 months in the military (he just couldn’t escape it).
This post isn’t really to talk about Bii’s new album but more of who he is and his pre-debut story. Many of you may (or may not) already know who Bii is, he is a half Taiwanese half Korean singer and thats all you probably know about him but let me give you more of an insight…. this is also what makes me like him this much.
Bii is a 23 year old artist based in Taiwan, the meaning of his stage name Bii stands for Be I I, the I’s representing his heritage. When Bii made his come back with his second album he decided to promote with his Chinese name 畢書盡 Bi Shu Jin but not that he was dropping Bii, oh his Korean name is 필서진 Pil Seo Jin. Bii as most of you know is of Taiwanese and Korean heritage, his father is from Taiwan and his mother is from Korea. Bii was born and raised in Korea by his mother while his father worked in China. For Bii growing up in Korea wasn’t the easiest thing as he wasn’t considered one of ‘them’, he wasn’t considered a Korean due to the fact that he had a foreign father. Back then (I don’t know if it is the same now) but Korean mothers were not allowed to pass their citizenship on to their children (of foreign fathers) even if they were born in that very country. So this meant that Bii was never given Korean citizenship, this also meant that when it came to college Bii had to pay more as he was considered a foreign student.
When Bii was 17 he decided to find his father leaving Korea, but before going to China, Bii stopped off in Taiwan to seek a friend of his parents who was then to take him to China to his father. At that time the friend happened to take Bii to a management company that belong to their friend (veteran singer) 李亞明 Li Ya Ming. The friend happened to mention that Bii liked to sing so when Li Ya Ming ask Bii to sing, Bii just looked at him blankly and waved his hands, Bii at 17yrs of age spoke no Mandarin at all. But Li Ya Ming saw something and it wasn’t Bii’s good looks so asked him to sing anything even if it was Korean, after he heard Bii sing he decided to sign him and have him learn mandarin as well as other things that will help develop him as a musician. But Bii released his first EP when he was 21years old, 4 years later…. why did it take so long? Well turns out it was actually because of Bii himself, he was quite an arrogant teenager, he wanted to be a singer but didn’t want to work for it, he expected it to be given to him on a silver platter. Li Ya Ming didn’t like Bii’s way of thinking and his attitude towards life but to Li Ya Ming he would still do something about it but it was one incident that drew the line for Li Ya Ming. Bii had gotten drunk and picked a fight with someone (or people I’m not too sure) which lead to him being arrested and also taken to the hospital due to the injuries (just minor ones). Li Ya Ming had sent Bii to China to give him to his father but what he didn’t realise was that his father didn’t have the time for Bii, so Bii’s father sent him to work in a factory in Shenzhen 深圳. After about nine months Bii’s father contacted Li Ya Min and said he thought it was now ok for Bii to go back to Taiwan to see Li Ya Ming. At that time Li Ya Ming thought ok I’ll just see him and see how was his life in China but that was it, but after Li Ya Ming saw Bii and realised how hard those 9months were for Bii (Bii had explained that where he worked, he was suppose to get 900rmb per day but he only ended up getting about 100rmb as there were always ‘deductions’, he was bullied by co-workers, he never had enough to eat, all he ever bought was food was bread which will have had to last him for days) and realised how much those 9months impacted Bii and the way he sees life. Bii was then given a second chance and this time he didn’t waste it.
Bii’s first self composed song was called ‘What Can I do?’ and it was in Korean and it was a song dedicated to his mother and thus his professional road as an artist starts….
What I have written is what I have gathered from interviews hes had and from an interview Li Ya Ming did in regards to Bii, so please correct me if I have anything incorrect!!
Bii released his first EP at the start of July but it wasn’t until the end of July when Bii got his big break. Bii’s song was use for both opening and ending theme to popular drama 鍾無艷 Zhong Wu yen and this is how I got to know Bii. I’m a big watcher of T-dramas (well only good ones) and I’m more likely to watch or give a drama ago if someone I know is in it. It is always a bonus for the drama if the theme songs are really good and suited to the drama and I just loved both 鍾無艷’s themes, 到不了的幸福 is the openeing theme and 轉身之後 is the ending theme. I didn’t know who sung it but what I like was the drama’s opening scene, it went really well with the song and that the ‘plot’ of the drama was connected to the lyrics of both themes. Then finally came the question of who was the singer, because I like that the songs went so well with the drama and on top the singer was actually pretty good, he had voice that was different and distinct and there started my search, result and love for Bii and its always a bonus that Bii is just a cutie….
For now I leave you with a picture of Bii with his mother and younger brother and the Mv to the title song of this second album.
2010 saw Cantonese Pop bring out a new group C AllStar. Of recently years I’ve not been a big fan of canto pop as in my eyes a lot of artists (if that’s what you call them) are just not good singers… they don’t even need to be good at least hold a note, but unfortunately most can’t even do that.
I prefer the oldies such as Jacky Cheung, Sammie Cheng, Leo Ku and etc. Yes these artists are active but they’re not new meat.
The newer artists in my Canto selection are artists such as Raymond Lam and G.E.M to name a few (seriously a few), I know they’re not new but to me they are new meat.
So C AllStar, a four member boy group made up of members King, Jase, On仔 and 釗峰 are an A cappella group (taken from their wiki page).
TO BE CONTINUED….
There is only so much I can blog from my blackberry.
I’m loving this song from A-Lin’s new 寂寞不痛 album!!!! Its so good, its so emotional that my eyes will get teary!!!
而最痛的距離 是你不在身邊 卻在我的心裡
而最痛的距離 是你不在身邊 卻在我的心裡
而最痛的距離 是你不在身邊 卻在我的心裡
I know I’ve said I’ll be posting my reviews on Nicholas Teo & Tank’s new albums, but I was listening [still am listening to it] to Khalil Fong’s new albumso I thought I might as well do it now. My reviews are generally wishy washy though hahahahaha
This I believe is the sixth album, well I’m not sure you can say its a sixth album as its more like a special? a compilation? anyhow its a new album.
The album is called ‘Timeless’ and its full of covers that traces musical inspirations, its songs that he grew up listening to and songs that encouraged and influenced him to become who he is today. He always had the plan to release a cover album ever since he debuted in 2005 and now was the time for it.
The album consist of ten songs, English, Mandarin, Cantonese and even Spanish.
01. You Are The Sunshine of My Life feat. 黃韻玲 (O.S. Stevie Wonder)
02. Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You (O.S. Glenn Medeiros)
03. Bad (O.S. Michael Jackson)
04. Kwang Chiu 狂潮 (O.S. 關菊英SusannaKwan)
05. La Bamba (O.S. Ritchie Valens)
06. Red Bean 紅豆 (O.S. 王菲 Faye Wang)
07. Georgia on My Mind (O.S. Ray Charles)
08. Remember 記得 (O.S. 張惠妹Amei Chang)
09. Wonderful Tonight (O.S. Eric Clapton)
10. Moon River (O.S. Andy William)
Looking that the track list, he really does have a good sense of music doesn’t he?
Its a lovely album, he rearranged all the songs and made it his own without losing the originality of the song. I particularly his version of Faye Wong 王菲’s Red Bean 紅豆, Glenn Medeiro’s Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You and Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight. The originals of these songs I really like anyway and Khalil’s version did not let the songs down.
Also I think [please correct me if I’m wrong] its the first time he has actually recorded a song in Cantonese right? As in put a Cantonese song on his album?
I give the album a 9.5/10 => a must listen. Why not 10/10? I can’t be that biased!! LOL
His New MV 沉默的瞬間 The Moment Of Silence
Quite like the song, I’ve always been somewhat of a fan since his debut a few years ago! I’ve also got the new album but I’ve yet to give it a listen, probably will give a brief review or an opinion of it along with a few other albums!! ^____^