Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why I Admire Jay Chou

In today’s post, I want to talk about the reasons why I look up to Jay Chou, Taiwan’s King of Mandopop but before moving onto the main topic, I want to firstly talk about how I got into him. The first time I learned about Jay Chou was back in 2005 when I heard a few of my friends talking about him in my high school PE locker room. I remember one of my friends was excitedly holding his 3rd album, “8 Dimensions” and her smile was brimming with excitement. I was really curious about this man whose music can simply bring a smile to my friend’s face that I decided to Google the name “Jay Chou”. This was the moment when I found out he was the most famous male singer in Taiwan. After sampling a few of his songs, I was like “Wow, this man can really sing. I have never heard music as good as his before”. It was then that I finally understand why my friends went crazy over him. When I first listened to his songs, I got excited like my friends and immediately fell in love with his music that I told myself that I had to buy Jay’s CD no matter what. Because I was still a minor during high school, I did not have a lot of money so I decided to buy the bootleg copy of his CD. During the Chinese New Year festival in San Francisco, Chinatown, I was glad to have stumbled upon the bootleg version of Jay’s 6th album, “November’s Chopin”. It was a deluxe edition with 2 CDs containing songs from “November’s Chopin” as well as songs from his older albums. Almost all of the songs were addictive on first listen.

 The first music video I saw on Youtube was “Lovable Women” or “Ke Ai Nu ren”, his most popular song from his 1st album entitled “Jay”. The song had a very nice, catchy beat to it and the lyrics were very simple that it was very easy to sing along to. By the time I have done extensive research on Jay, I had the desire to purchase all the official copies of his CDs so I decided to save up money from my job working at the school cafeteria. In 2006, when Jay released his 7th album, “Still Fantasy”, I knew I had to get my hands on this CD; otherwise, I will regret for the rest of my life. Thus, I ordered the CD online from Along with the CD came a big Jay “time-travel” poster. Ever since 2006, I started spending money on everything related to Jay such s his CDs, his movies, books, etc. that I decided to start a collection. As you can see, I have been collecting his merchandises for 6 years. You can find pictures of my JC collection on my FB page:!/media/set/?set=a.10150475806520658.366464.722145657&type=3

Now, moving back to the main topic…
Why do I admire Jay Chou? There are many reasons why I admire Jay Chou. But the number one reason is because I find his music to be very unique. He creates music that are different from other artists; for instance, he is the first Chinese singer to effectively combine Zhong guo Feng (Chinese style) music with Western style music. The first Zhong Guo Feng song I heard from him was “Hair Like Snow (Fa Ru Xue) in which he combined Chinese instruments (Gu Zheng) with Western rap and special sound effects (rain drops).

Another song with the zhong guo feng element is “Fearless” or “Huo Yuan Jia”. In this song, Jay used various Chinese instruments such as drums and the Er Hu and displayed a high Chinese opera singing voice which was combined with Western rock. With these combinations, Jay’s music not only can appeal to Chinese fans but Western fans as well. Also, unlike other artists who focus on only one genre, Jay’s music covers a variety of genres. He is actually the first Chinese artist to use the country genre in his music. There is a song called “Cowboy is Very Busy” or “Niu Zai Hen Mang” featured in his 8th album, “On The Run” that uses the country genre.

Another reason why I admire Jay Chou is because he motivated me to continue learning Chinese when I have almost given up. Before I knew Jay existed, I was not very interested in learning Mandarin because I felt I did not really need it in the future. However, because of Jay’s music, I realized that Mandarin is very important as it can provide me with a lot of benefits. For instance, I can be able find a job in Asia in the future if I possess effective/decent Mandarin skills and also be able to read Chinese characters which a lot of American born Chinese cannot. When I was little, no matter how much my parents forced me to learn Mandarin, I was never really interested. Because many people like me really wanted to understand what his lyrics are about, I pushed myself to continue with my Chinese studies. Therefore, thanks to Jay’s music, my Chinese has improved in leaps and bounds over the years. Now, I am able to sing most of his songs especially his slow ballads. Moreover, I was glad to have learned that Jay can bring a really big influence to the world through his music. Interesting fact: In Taiwan, lyrics from his music is being used in school exams to test students’ knowledge of the meaning behind his music.

I also like the fact that his music raises awareness about many of the problems facing society today. Instead of singing about sex, drugs, and money like many Western artists, Jay sings about issues such as the importance of filial piety ("Listen to Mother's Words"), problem with domestic violence ("Dad, I'm Back"), the simplicity of life ("Paddy Fragrance Rice"), and the casualties of war ("Wounds of War"). I really like how his music helps to bring a positive outlook on life. For example, in his song, “Paddy Fragrance Rice” or “Dao Xiang” from his 9th Album “Capricorn”, the lyrics, penned by Jay himself, provides encouragement to his audience that they should never give up on life whenever they are faced with a downfall. Due to the increase of suicide rates in Asia, the goal of this song is to discourage suicide and encourage people to live on happily with what they have. Thus, if we fall down, then we should get back up and continue to walk forward and strive no matter what. Also, if we cannot find happiness in our life, then we should look into the other direction and try to find happiness there. We only have one life to live so always stay positive and cherish your life, everyone!! :D

Another reason why I admire Jay Chou is that despite his natural shyness and not having the looks of a pop star, he still managed to make his way into the music scene to become one of Taiwan’s hottest pop star today. I really like the fact that his talent is what had really brought him to the position he deserves to be in today and not because of his physical appearance. To be honest, my first impression of Jay was definitely not a pretty boy but I was immediately blown away by both his voice and his music on first listen.

Jay also taught me a lesson: “Never judge a book by its cover”. Physical appearance is not important; what’s important is the inside. For instance, durian looks unpleasant on the outside and has an unusual odor but once you savour it in your mouth, you will realize how good it tastes.


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  2. He is simply a living genius and u too, for ending the blog with some delicious durians. haha

    1. Haha glad you enjoyed reading my blog! Yes jay Chou is a genius! Keep on coming back to read more new blog posts from my blog! :)