Music Obsessions – August 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! The last month was pretty fun as a lot of new music videos landed and others popped up on my list from various shows and whatnot. All Chinese music from different spaces and styles but all very fun stuff! Let’s check it out!

最偉大的作品 Greatest Works of Art – 周杰倫 Jay Chou

Jay Chou is basically my youth seeing as he got famous in the prime of my post-secondary days around 2003 and he became the center of a lot of conversations and his songs became the focus of karaoke days back then as well making him an musician that I’ve been following for a long time (with some gaps in the middle) and I’ve shared quite a few songs of his. I should really considering doing a focus post on him when we get a slower month. This month, he dropped this one which the song itself is nice but the video is one that is even better, especially for those who watched his J-Style Trip on Netflix where you see some of his best friends pop up in this music video as well as he travels through time, performs a few magic tricks while recreating the art masterpieces.

一格格 Frames – 衛蘭 Janice Vidal

There’s a chunk of Janice Vidal’s discography which is an empty space for me when I stopped listening to Cantopop for a while (or at least the new stuff over a decade as I lost a little faith in what was coming out) and now its a lot of catch-up. This popped up mostly because of the Chinese singing variety show and their really good rendition but the original very nice. The whole chill vibe really suits the song and is such a feel good song in general.

賽勒斯的愛 Cherlas – 張敬軒 Hins Cheung

Its been a long time since I have looked up Hins Cheung’s new music. Funny enough he is rather underrated since he went onto the music scene fairly quietly and had a few hits but no one really knows him that well (at least in my circle of friends). This one oddly popped up my recommended videos recently. Somehow I found it rather catchy. The story is well portrayed in the music video as well. The lyrics are decent as well.

隆里电丝 Lonely Dance – KEY.L刘聪/ICE杨长青/盛宇DamnShine/Ricky

My latest variety watch is the latest season of The Rap of China Season 4 or something. I’m not an avid watcher of this variety show but this season is a competition of the best of the best or something so some pretty cool competitors in competition show. While I don’t really share a ton of variety show stuff, this one did get released as a single by one of the performers here but I still prefer the performance version more, mostly because I really do like ICE as a rapper and the whole guitarist Ricky is a super nice addition. Its a fun funky rap song which is kind of how I like hip hop music or just the fact that rap itself can be incorporated into so many different styles of music. This is a great example of it.

最後一堂課 Graduation – Eric Chou 周興哲
(“Mom, Don’t Do That!” End Theme)

I’m not sure if people actually watch Taiwanese series, even if they are Netflix series but I’ve had my eyes on them for a while and slowly catching up with it. The recent release of Mom, Don’t Do That! Is where this song is from. I do like Eric Chou quite a bit as well and he is diving into acting as he takes a cameo role in the series. The song does match certain parts of the series pretty well.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!

Music Obsessions – July 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! Today is going to be quite a fun assortment of music from a bunch of different things: TV series, variety shows, Chinese, English, French, etc. Let’s check it out!

À Contresens – Raffy

I don’t listen to a lot of Quebec music but Raffy has been a staple in our home especially since they were a chance encounter probably a decade ago when I saw them perform at a bar in Old Montreal. They have gone a long way since then and have been a constant entertainment via Twitch during the pandemic. As they head back out to performing live, they released their latest single. Its very much in their fun vibe style which I love because their music always sends some positive vibes.

紅日 Red Sun – 聲生不息 “Infinity and Beyond” Singers with Audience

Red Sun is a super popular Cantopop classic by Hacken Lee. Luckily the Chinese variety show had invited Hacken Lee so it made it extra special when he and all the singers and audience joined together to do this song. Its a really fun song and rather challenging since its also fairly fast. This is a pretty good rendition and a good new take on it.

Portrait of You – James Lee
(“Love The Way You Are” Chinese Drama OST)

My latest series binge is Love The Way You Are on iQiYi streaming service. Is it anything super unique? Not really. So far, the first ten episodes have been fairly lighthearted but for once I actually they paced it a little quick that I’m not sure how its going to push another 20 episodes of the story forward. Either way, I’m not reviewing the show yet. Aside from my worrying, the soundtrack is pretty good. I really like this one which I later realized is by James Lee, who I wasn’t familiar with when he was popular in Korea before his unfortunate accident but he joined a Chinese variety show last year and I’m happy to see him making some music there.

現代戀愛安全手冊 Love 101 – 衛蘭 Janice Vidal

Janice Vidal’s latest single here! While I’m a pretty big fan of Janice Vidal’s recent music and even when she first started out in Hong Kong (but missing the whole middle chunk of maybe a decade or something), I only happen to find her music when it pops up in the recommended section on Youtube. I really should be making a better effort since her music is so good and has some meaningful lyrics whatever topic she talks about.

Teenage Dream – The Rescues

This last one is a discovery as part of the soundtrack on Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy. I’m a big fan of covers especially when they are done in a different vibe. I do like Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream however, this rendition actually adds a good change and feeling to the whole song. It definitely was a great find from watching TV series.

That’s it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

Music Obsessions – June 2022

Welcome to the next Music Obsessions!

Much like last month, I can’t say that my music exploration has expanded much further than the performances from Chinese music variety show Infinity and Beyond and TV series OST. What can I say? I just have so much backlog that I’m trying to keep things a little bit more at the minimum and work on what needs to be done. With that said, there are some nice Cantopop songs chosen for the show to make into their own rendition and its been quite awesome overall to rediscover these songs.

Breath of Wind 风息 by Yanbin Hu 胡彦斌 & Xuanqing Ye 叶炫清

Who Rules The World really was quite the Chinese TV drama and such a great pick by Netflix to add to their library. I can see how it had such ratings in the recent releases from Chinese dramas and the talk that it had. I’ll be addressing all that in the upcoming TV binge (sooner than later hopefully). The soundtrack also did it lots of wonder and perhaps the one that grew on me a lot was this duet which truly did come at some great moments.

1984 – 周笔畅 Bibi Zhou

1984 was originally sang by Swing, a band duo who has now moved on to behind the scenes writing and producing music for other artists. One of them being Eric Kwok who has written some great contributions to Cantopop. I’m always pretty happy when anyone talks about Swing because they are such an underrated band that didn’t quite get the attention they deserved (probably because they weren’t active for that long). 1984 is one of their biggest hits and even then, they duo themselves according from the interview during Infinity and Beyond actually thought that the song was really difficult for them. In that sense, Bibi Zhou does do great with it in her own arrangement.

一生所爱 Love in a Life Time – 卢冠廷 Lowell Lo

Some of the best moments of the show is how they are able to truly bring forth fantastic music producers, lyricist and composers to highlight their work for Cantopop. Most people don’t know Lowell Lo as he only did some small supporting/cameo roles in popular Hong Kong films however, he is a fantastic composer much like his wife who pairs up with him as lyricist. Plus, he has some fantastic music back in the days. While he has mostly retired from the scene, there’s something so nostalgic about his own interpretation for this song which was a key song in A Chinese Odyssey. The scenes if I’m not mistaken are from Part 2 Cinderella (but I haven’t seen those movies in a long time so I could be wrong).

最佳损友 The Best Damn Friend – 李克勤 Hacken Lee & 毛不易 Buyi Mao

Originally a song of Eason Chan’s, this new rendition of The Best Damn Friend does capture another type of relationship as per the theme of the week and this time for them looking at friendships, some that might not have lasted despite how great it was before. A bit of a bittersweet sort of song. In the hands of two great singers like Hacken Lee and Buyi Ma in this new arrangement, its revives the song again.

我钟意 I Prefer- 炎明熹 Gigi Yim&魔动闪霸 SmellyD & Azi

The latest offering that I love was from last week’s episode as they dived into another theme challenge. This time, they arrange and add a fun rap twist because of the rap duo here to give it such a happy vibe. Seeing as Gigi Leung is one of my favorite singers of all time, and I used to listen to this song a bunch, this new rendition still managed to give me the same happy vibes and was probably one of the standout performances solely on the youthfulness of the whole performance, even the added part which manages to give the song a naivety. Hong Kong’s The Academy winner Gigi Yim is really starting to impress me though. I’m starting to see her talent more and more as the show goes on.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

Music Obsessions – May 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! I think the big takeaway from April is that I survived yet another year of it! This year was especially challenging. Luckily, there was two newly added TV show on Netflix for a fun Chinese Drama with a decent soundtrack and a martial arts world newly released Tencent one and a new singing variety show that launched very recently which provided me lots of music to share plus bringing back a lot of nostalgia for Cantopop classics.

Facade 被人 – Joker Xue 薛之谦

For a modern series based on the esports world, Falling Into Your Smile isn’t exactly the best of its recent batch using this setting but the soundtrack for this one still is pretty fun. Of course, I’ve shared a bunch of Joker Xue songs in these Music Obsessions. Its rare to see him doing songs for a TV series OST but this song really blends well with the series. I love his voice and the song itself is pretty good.

Soulmate 第一默契 – Xu Kai 许凯 & Cheng Xiao 程潇
(“Falling Into Your Smile” Ending Theme)

Continuing on with the soundtrack for Falling Into Your Smile, it seems suitable to add in at least one of the theme songs especially since it includes a duet from the two main leads which had pretty good chemistry. It brings me back to when I was talking about Cheng Xiao earlier this year when I shared the duet for The World of Fantasy. This music video also captures the TV series pretty well especially the romantic chemistry element. This time, Xu Kai is a much more seasoned actor so probably in terms of singing its not quite as good but it still captures the vibe of the show.

无双 Wu Shuang – Liu Yuning

The latest Chinese series to land on Netflix is Who Rules The World which actually is getting some pretty impressive ratings as its airing in China right now. It probably has to do with the main leads Yang Yang and Lusi Zhao who are in a lot of TV series which has pretty high profile. However, its nice to see them in this sort of martial arts/fantasy world where they do fit so very well together. The script itself is done really well and the chemistry behind them including the world building is so far is good. Plus, the main theme here is by one of my fave up and coming singers, Yuning Liu. I mean, I share a ton of his music here already.

Infinity and Beyond 声生不息 – Performance Favorites

One of my favorite music variety shows to land this while is Infinity and Beyond. In commemoration of the 25 years of Hong Kong Handover, the show invites both Mainland China and Hong Kong singers to group together in men and women team in a competition format ranging from new to veteran singers to battle against each other. Every competition evening includes 2 top choices along with the winning team and audience performance which will eventually be compiled to a soundtrack for the show at the end. Its a pretty neat idea especially since it takes a lot of the Hong Kong classics and gives it a new life for the newer generation. Plus, most of the show doesn’t feel like a competition and just a bunch of good and great singers gathered together to share some good performances. It was pretty hard to narrow down what I liked since there’s quite a few but I didn’t want to overload everyone since a lot of this has to do with nostalgia.

初恋 First Love – Mike Tsang 曾比特

卡拉永远ok Forever Karaoke – 魔动闪霸

海阔天空 Boundless Oceans Vast Skies – Women Team With Audience

That’s it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to lately?

Music Obsessions – March 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! Its hard to imagine that we’re already in March! There’s not a whole lot of new music to share but I’m going to share some new finds from TV series and other stuff this past month.

Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends – The Piano Guys

Its been a while since I listened to The Piano Guys but when their music popped up during the Winter Olympics for the Chinese Figure Skating team for their free dance, I looked it up and voila! I think its a wonderful piece of music and lots of fun.

對立面 Opposite – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai
(“The Wolf” Chinese Drama OST)

Its my second attempt to watch the Chinese drama The Wolf as I work through some of the series that I’ve either started or catch up with last year’s TV series that I missed but had wanted to watch. I have to say that the second watch is a little more successful but can’t say I’m enjoying it a lot more even though I’m further. However, there is no denying that the soundtrack is a great selling point for the series and one of the reasons that some of the moments do pull through. I will finish it gradually….in time.

满月之下 Under The Full Moon -曾咏欣 Nicola Tsang
(“Love Under The Full Moon” Chinese Drama OST)

The latest TV series that I started is Love Under The Full Moon. It also has a great soundtrack. Super hard to find the legit videos for it though. Still, I found one which was a bit of the promo trailer with one of the sounds. The show itself is pretty fun diving into time travel and playing with quantum science (which I know nothing about it so it easily sells for myself). With that said, the show is pretty fun and the soundtrack matches up to it.

Dear Leslie – Leo Ku 古巨基

My latest addition to my list on Spotify is this song from Leo Ku. I know I showcased a bunch of Leo Ku last month with his huge medley songs but I’ve been rather nostalgic with the whole the music thing and Leslie Cheung is a talent that took his life too early so when Leo Ku did this tribute a few years back, I didn’t know about it until recently and its rather good.

奇洛李維斯回信 A Letter From Keanu Reeves – 薛凱琪 Fiona Sit

Diving back to older music, this song keeps popping up on my shuffle playlist on Spotify. Its not quality music since I honestly feel like Fiona Sit’s quality music comes in the past few years but I thought the whole idea for the song was so cute since it goes into the whole fangirl culture and hoping that the celebrity you like would reply your letters and stuff and in this case, its Keanu Reeves.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

Music Obsessions – January 2022

Welcome to the first Music Obsessions of this year. To be honest, I’ve been just listening to a lot of old stuff lately so not really a whole lot of new things to share especially since a lot of the new stuff is from Netflix movies and holiday films so it seems like its not exactly a great time to share it. However, I did get back to listening to some fun older music as I was updating music on Spotify so I’ll share a few of those here.

The Wrong Song – mxmtoon & Dylan Chenfeld

Mixtape is one of those movies that I find are somewhat of a hidden gem. It has content that I really like and also focuses on the mixtape era which teaches the newer generation of when there were people putting together mixtapes and the whole idea of it. Of course, that’s besides the point here because the final song that they find is the original which probably means more in the movie than listening to it alone but I do enjoy the lyrics and such.

龍捲風 Tornado – MAYDAY五月天 feat.周杰倫 Jay Chou

Tornado was originally released on Jay Chou’s album in 2000 and probably the song that truly put him on the map. Its pretty epic to see that 2 decades later after many hits, he decided to team up with Taiwanese band Mayday to release this version. Its also a great version to be honest since both of them are very talented.

The Big Hits 勁歌金曲 – 古巨基 Leo Ku

The epitome of Cantopop medley does have to go to Leo Ku when he created an actual song that lasted 12 minutes and included a bunch of Cantonese songs that were really popular. The first compilation actually snuck in some popular classic Mandarin songs as well which worked incredibly well. However, it was quite a breakthrough and accompanied myself through a lot of karaoke sessions as the starting song when I was younger as warm up when with friends.

The Big Hits 2: The King of Love 情歌王 – 古巨基 Leo Ku

Of course, Leo Ku’s first medley success leads him to The Big Hits 2 which is a compilation of Mandarin love songs which has a lot of pretty fantastic choices as well. Its not quite the novel idea this time around since the original The Big Hits song and didn’t accompany me as much but recently, I’ve been revisiting it and there are some really great hits included in this medley that is well worth a listen.

勁歌金曲3-Party King – 古巨基 Leo Ku

To wrap up today’s session, I figure I’d just finish up introducing these Leo Ku medleys since the final one is called Party King, one that I knew existed but listened to the least as I had pretty much taken a break on Hong Kong music for a little while. However, as I listened to this again, I realized there are some decent songs mixed up in here and some pretty nice hit songs in there. My only issue with the Party King mix is that it does use that one party song beat to string all the songs together and it loses some of the actual music but does manage to cleverly put each of the songs and lyrics together.

Not exactly the best Music Obsessions but I’ve been wanting to revisit some older songs lately.
Hope you enjoyed! What have you been listening to lately?

Music Obsessions: July 2021

Another month has passed by! Its time for the next Music Obsessions! A decent mix this time from Cantopop to collabs and c-pop. All of them pretty fun!

Raining – Lil Ghost

Lil Ghost is one of those new musical artists from idol shows that really have constantly surprised me. First with his rap and hip hop music when he first debut solo after Nine Percent and then when he joined the second season of Our Song where he paired up with Coco Lee and probably learned quite a bit. Which leads to his latest music which is a change in style focusing more on his singing vocal abilities than his rap. I think there’a still some room for improvement but overall, the style and vibe from the music is so uplifting that its so happy to listen to.

The Way You Make Me Feel – 莫文蔚 Karen Mok

Big fan of Karen Mok right here. She has such a unique voice and singing style. Plus, nowadays cantopop is slowly losing out on quality (in my opinion) so when singers from the 90s and 00s come out with new music, its so awesome. I really like the style of her latest music videos which are so happy and positive.

Happy For You – Lukas Graham (feat. 衛蘭 Janice Vidal)

I have been listening to Janice Vidal again who I think doesn’t put out enough music and is pretty underrated. Refer to last month’s music obsessions when I shared “It’s Okay To Be Sad”. Here she does a collab with Lukas Graham for his song Happy For You and adding in that cantopop lyrics and style which a lovely mesh.

Zoom – R1SE

I’m still going through a bit of a ending phase as R1SE disbanded this past month. While I think they had good potential and whatnot, the different members seem to be popping up here and there whether its TV series or variety shows, etc. In time we will see how the members will do. However, as their farewell album’s main theme, ZOOM is a pretty good song. Cool and fun and pretty much shows off how this boy group is really good. Honestly, I think that after Nine Percent, this group is pretty solid. If only this year’s Youth With You group had formed, it would maybe have been another potentially solid one. With that said, I’ve gone on a tangent…

时光少年 Back to Youth – 胡夏 Fox Hu
(Flourish In Time’s Main Theme)

Ending it on the main theme song for Flourish in Time which is playing on Tencent right now and one that I’ve grown to like a lot. I left it on the side a little so that I can binge the last few episodes and not have to wait it out for the ending episodes. Fox Hu is renowned for being a singer of theme songs (although he has proved that he is capable of much more) and this song is pretty good. I like both the lyrics and melody and lot. It fits this kind of schoolyard romance.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to lately?

Music Obsessions – October 2020

Welcome to the next Music Obsessions! Its been quite a good month with some nice music that popped up on my radar. Maybe slightly less selection than previous months but there’s some decent choices here.

Enjoy!

You Are My Hero (“Chasing Dream 我的拳王男友” Main Theme) 你是我的英雄 – 刘艾立 Erika

Johnnie To is a director of a wide range of movie genres although probably he is most known for his action films. Chasing Dream (review) was something of a hidden gem for this year’s Fantasia Festival and I ended up liking it a lot more than I expected. The main theme is pretty awesome.

Pretty Please – Jackson Wang & Galantis

Jackson Wang’s music this year has been fantastic. Starting with a killer hit with “100 Ways” and then using the same actress to create this video with some great vibes and rhythm of chasing a girl down the street. Its giving some strong vibes of Ne-yo’s video “One in a Million”, right? Either way, its super feel good. I do like this new direction that he’s been choosing for his music instead of the pure rap music. I like this style of Jackson Wang more than the bad-ass Jackson Wang a little more. Granted, I do think Papillon is a pretty cool song in general.

I Really Like You – Jerry Yan & Shen Yue
(‘Count Your Lucky Stars’ Ending Theme)

Easily one of my favorite series this year, the main theme for the series is pretty good for Count Your Lucky Stars but I love both Jerry Yan and Shen Yue even if this was a huge gimmick for the Meteor Garden fans (old and new version) but they really do have chemistry even if everyone moaning about the age gap. Back to the music, the ending theme is so cute. Paired up with this video, its just a perfect match and wraps up the really cute vibes from the series.

My Little Night Light 小夜燈 – 鄭欣宜 Joyce Cheng

The latest find for the month has to go to Joyce Cheng’s latest music release. I don’t know if its the fact that I still have a night light or the lyrics itself that seems to really connect with me but this song just tugged at my emotions quite a bit. Its a nice song whether its the melody or the lyrics, its actually quite beautiful.

That’s it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

Music Obsessions – February 2018

Its February and right in time for the Valentine’s special! So we’re going to do some romantic songs here. Honestly, my past month has been quite reminescent in catching up with Hong Kong pop music from singers that I’ve listened to before. I’ll have some other fun stuff as usual 🙂

Let’s go!

This Girl – Hunter Hayes 

Fun and energetic is what I love about Hunter Hayes’ songs. His love songs are always so positive and its really a nice and happy time to listen to.

真命天子 The One – Sammi Cheng

One of my ultimate favorite singers is Sammi Cheng. To me, she’s quite the queen of 90’s Hong Kong pop music. She is fantastic and within her tons of songs, I remember really love this one because of how happy it is especially when it was the theme of a 20 episode Hong Kong TV series that I really enjoyed a lot. She sings about the feelings of meeting and being with “the one”. I love how she uses heartbeat sounds to start the song.

你的男人 Your Man -Andy Hui

Quite the coincidence that I’ve always recently been listening to Andy Hui and catching up with his music. He also happens to be Sammi Cheng’s husband and their careers started in the 90’s at about the same time and their love story is quite something as they were together for a long time, broke up and then went back together and are married since a few years back. However, this song actually starts at around the 1:30 point as the story here is about a man growing out of his bad habits to be his girlfriend’s man and be able to save up to propose and get married debt-free. Andy Hui sings really  nice love songs and I’ve always been a fan.

最後最後 Last Dance -Fiona Sit

Probably the song that I’ve been listening the most on repeat in this month’s selection and one that is somewhat of a bittersweet story told by this music video about the song Last Dance. I can’t say that Fiona Sit is my favorite singer because she never had this very impressive vocal talents but her music is very catchy especially when one of her breakout songs translated is called Letter to Keanu Reeves and its incredibly cute. I’ve been reminiscing and listening to that one when I saw this song pop up in the recommended and its a newer song but her vocals are really quite good now and the song here is beautiful about the last dance of a couple that broke up over a stupid argument and the guy comes back after a few years for a last dance before he leaves to go back home.

手望 – Hins Cheung & Ivana Wong 

I’ve been a fan of Hins Cheung since the release of his first album. I can’t believe how long its been since he’s been in the business. Time sure does fly by. Before I stopped listening to Cantopop for a while, one of the last songs I listened to a lot was this duet between him and Ivana Wong (who is vouched by Jacky Cheung, who happens to be a king of the industry in 90’s and is one of the best singers ever in my opinion). This song is quite romantic. Unfortunately, there is a pun element to the title so I’m not exactly sure how to translate it. However, their vocals and the tune is just so awesome.

For the additional fun bit:

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – Free Dance ‘Moulin Rouge’ Canadian Skating Nationals 2018

I used to watch the Figure Skating Nationals and Olympics and everything all the time with my dad. After he passed, I actually stopped for whatever reason. I saw a post on this on Facebook the other day. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are amazing and got a perfect score for this routine. You could feel the beauty in their dance and coordination and it did feel like they were so in sync. It helps that they chose one of my favorite soundtracks, Moulin Rouge, which I listen to all the time.

That’s it for this February special Romantic Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?