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Li Xu
Actor , Composer , Singer
88,552 views| 17  Posts

My Hope for Hong Kong Music

OK Guys this is gonna get a little heated here, I might piss some people off, in fact I know I probably will. But this is how I feel.All I ever hear is how there is no market in Hong Kong for rock, there is no alternative scene, there is no way of making money in music, there is no way of making hong kong love rock. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah..I personally confidently believe that this is a pile of shit.I know me and my band aint mega stars, we're barely even known by our friends let alone hong kong people, and maybe I don't have the right to comment yet as I'm still pretty new to Hong Kong but goddamn you don't half get a lot of negativity when it comes to music conversations here..Yes I agree with most people when it comes to rock here. there is a barely a scene here, there is very little money in it, yes it's nothing like England or the states or in fact pretty much the most of Asia apart from here.But the question I ask is WHY? I do totally agree with people's comments on what Karaoke has done to Hong Kong, but at the same time Japan is freaking ran 24-7 on karaoke yet still it has a huge alternative scene? So why does it work there and not here??All the bands seem to blame the fans and the general public for not supporting them and maybe for a while I felt like that too.. I really did.But I realised something very recently..It's not the fans that don't respond to music.It's the artists not responding to the needs of the public?I believe Hong Kong is ready for every type of music. I believe that Sigor Ros played hongkong recently and I know my old Guitarist probably cried watching them! I know my bassists dad used to enjoy listening to Sigor Ros! thats a seriously old local dude listening to that!I blame musicians. I'm sorry guys, not all of you but a lot of you.I blame musicians commitment to making original music in HK.I blame musicians commitment to being poor and penniless in order to live a life that allows you to make good music.I blame musicians (maybe i am guilty too of this?) for compromising their integrity as individual artists in order to try and write music that they THINK people will accept rather than making music that is from the heart. I am guilty of this and I accept I have done it.I blame musicians in Hong Kong for their lack of LOYALTY to THEIR band. It seems that everyone here constantly flitters between projects in order to have fun and show how versatile they are or whatever or make a quick buck. I don't agree with it in the slightest.Where I was from all my mates had ONE band and you sold your soul to it. Focus on one band and get one right, don't spread yourself too thin!The reason I feel that Hong Kong has a shite scene (hope you don't mind me saying that)is that basically a lot of musicians lack integrity and loyalty.A band will never be a good band without loyalty, if you're a great musician then fine, find other great musicians, but stay loyal to your band once it's in place and write the best music you can, join forces and fight together to save music. Don't go hopping off to your little side projects to have fun invest that time into growing with your group! I personally HATE hopping bands, maybe my lineup has changed, but I am loyal to the guys who put their hearts into OUR band.Music to me is 90% work and 10% play, if that. It just seems here that people are either 90% play and no work or just, well amazing session musicians who work to pay rent but lose the fire of a REAL Artist..Ok maybe I'm moving off my points a little now..Loyalty to your band is imperative.I love my band so much, I love the music we write and although sometimes I sit and write the odd ballad to quench my feminine side. I have no time for anything other than Gong Wu.I know of and respect about 3 bands in Hong Kong for trying to do something good for their scene but most importantly for trying to stay together and make awesome music (cough Never N cough cough). But it seems they have the same problem as me, constantly flittering musicians who will never commit their 100% to what needs to be done in order to succeed.If Guns and Roses or Linkin Park play HK, they get a huge turnout (ok it aint no USA or UK turnout) so why do most local shows get no support?? The bands here need to:A: Stay loyal and Grow together and stop swapping members (my band is just as guilty but hopefully no more)B: Write songs that rock! C: Play a live show to ENTERTAIN the crowd!!! (In my unprofessional opinion) I will pay $50 to watch a SHIT band play live that make me laugh, even at their own expense or just simply WOW me with their Spirit! (I don't even care if my band is in this category, I will forsake my own pride and sing a million bum notes to make sure the crowd has fun)There are too many bands here trying to play tight and perfect, that just that stand around looking like retards when they should be ROCKING OUT!)I WILL NO WAY PAY MONEY TO WATCH A BAND THAT PLAYS AMAZINGLY BORE ME TO DEATH!FRONTMEN it is your sworn responsibility to entertain the crowd! Make them laugh, scare them, bite  bats head off, break your arm, roll in your own shit, tell shit jokes. get naked, start a fight with your bassist!!!! Just make sure the people who turn up to the show go home laughing or smiling about something. If you can't entertain a crowd, go be a keyboardist (no offence to you guys on keys, I personally love keys) and get a good frontman into your band!!D: fuck the haters, you will always have them, I believe you'll know when your becoming famous when people throw shit at you and boo. fuck those guys... they mean your halfway there! play to the people that love you and never be afraid to be a retard.. Haters be hatin as some gangster rapper once said.Unless you're Kurt Cobain don't just stand there, fucking ROCK OUT! If you do I will hate you. Sorry I will. if you piss your pants on stage once I hate you is the only way to save yourself.E: don't be something you're not, people smell fakeness. if you aint liam ghallager then don't swagger like you are, just be yourself. if you think it's cool to act like jeff buckley or kurt and it aint you. you will look like a retard and everyone will see it. just be confident in who you are la..Promoters:F: If it's your own show (promoters take note) Don't rip people off. $180 for a show full of unprofessional bands and a free drink is bullshit to me. I wont go because I can't afford it. (I quote, "oooh the turnout wasn't good tonight was it? sigh people here need to support local bands more, the local scene sucks") ARGH!!! Don't rip people off and maybe people will come!! people give coins to beggars but SERIOUSLY no one gives up a months wages to them!!!$180 is like a months eating in Yoshinoya for most other music lovers, maybe charge $40 and you will quadruple your turnout..(it is tried and tested by me in the past so try it)$50 to watch 5 shit bands and one good one is worth it to me, hell, I will watch 6 shit bands for $50.. GIVE A BIG FREE GUESTLIST!! GUESTLIST FRIENDS USUALLY ALWAYS BRING OTHER FRIENDS THAT AREN'T POOR MUSICIANS AND FOR $50 THE OTHER GUYS WILL PAY AND MAKE UP FOR THE FREENESS OF THE MAIN FRIENDS. TRY IT!G: DON'T FORGET THE LOCALS! Although I am mixed I am proud to be chinese and I love people from HK, in fact in a lot of ways I relate more to you guys from here than the UK. I am proud to be Chinese and from HK (and maybe not so much Leicester as Leicester is abit shitty)  But yeah, I wish I could speak Cantonese better and live in To Kwa Wan. In fact the huge disadvantage that I hate is that I cannot speak good cantonese, but now I go to cantonese school. I dont wanna speak mandarin even if it is more useful. I wanna speak cantonese and I am so pissed off that I didn't get much exposure to it in the UK as a kid. (I was pretty much the only yellow kid in my town)Anyway this small statement has, as usual with me, turned into an essay. There are many other reasons that I can personally blame for HK having a shite and inconsistent music scene.but i guess i'll leave you to ponder on what I've said..Sorry if I've offended anyone in anyway, it's a genetic character flaw and I can't change it so love it or leave it.I stick by everything I've said and I will take the time to give Respect to some people I have worked closely with in HK.Re:spect Magazine HK - you guys proved to me that for $50 inc free drink and 5 bands, you can FILL A HUGE FUCKING LOCAL VENUE. and still make a bit of dosh.Chris B from the underground - lovely girl with a big heart for music, I know personally she'd sell her soul to help make this scene kickass..All the promoters that have worked with my band in the past and are really trying, Kimi, Kaman, Gary, Jesper, Koya, Cat, Steven, Joanne, Riz and others, you guys are awesome.AnD keep trying guys, I think what your trying to do is good and I respect it.The venues that probably make losses to try and support local acts but still keep doing it.And last but not least all the guys that I think are cool in HK or even shit but still play with heart! I think you're cool. Obviously not naming anyone because I might leave people out who deserve complimenting..You guys that play with heart or downright entertain me.Oh and does anyone remember a band called Beyond? I love them. Living proof that music if made from the heart and with passion works universally.They made cantonese sound like the most beautiful language ever, not heard many others that can.Oh and I gotta respect Cantopop, love it or hate it, they have cornered the market here, and for that I show respect..Now to try and destroy them, respectfully..:)I'm just gonna hit post and not check what I've written, I'm sure I sound like a cockmaster..

about 11 years ago 0 likes  11 comments  0 shares
Photo 58618
Amen to that. I still think the crowd is to blame too, but you do make an excellent point.
about 11 years ago
Photo 103477
yep i love Beyond, and even though i wasn't old enough to remember the earlier days i still listen to them today. oh..and i'm also the only yellow kid in my town (well apart from my family) and hardly know much canto either. too bad I don't live in HK :(
about 11 years ago
Photo 40915
i am 100% in agreement with you
about 11 years ago
Rottendoubt a4 patrick
thanks for the respect. if you have any ideas about how to help out more, let us know! we're still figuring it out ourselves.
about 11 years ago
Mariejost 26 dsc00460
I have to say in my very limited exposure to HK music, I am bewildered why the city doesn't rock. Let's face it, Cantonese is a much better language to sing rock in than Mandarin (too many soft initial consonants and nasalized vowels for my taste). So why is there a rock scene in Beijing, but not in HK? What is it about the culture of HK (or how the folks living in HK perceive of themselves and their culture) that does not welcome rock (at least by local artists)? It can't only be the fault of Cantopop (though ears reared on the sugary sweetness of Cantopop do have to adjust themselves to the hit you between the eyes, adrenaline pumping force of rock that, when experienced live is as much a kinetic experience as a sonic one. (I have been to shows that were so loud, I felt like I was being beaten up by the music it pummeled my body so hard.) I love it that you're learning Cantonese. I share your pain. At least you're doing it where you can hear the language all around you 24/7. I would give anything to spend 6 months in HK learning the local lingo. Time to go and buy a lottery ticket if that is my dream. :-)
about 11 years ago
Photo 214991
Keep that fire and passion burning strong and you will achieve whatever you dream or desire ;) Keep Rocking dude!!!
about 11 years ago
Photo 43083
Since I've never been to HK, I can't comment on how good or bad the music scene is there .. but from what you've said here, sounds like good ol' rock n' roll is more popular in 3rd world countries than a "partay" place that I've heard HK is .. TOTALLY MESSED UP, man!!! Just keep it honest like you have in this blog, & ROCK ON, Li !!! :)
about 11 years ago
Photo 48700
Wow no hatemail as of yet.... Cool. I'm glad there are people in here in agreement with me! Yeah it is a topic that does invoke a lot of passion on my part (hence the rant) and I know someday soon enough something will change. I hope I can help play a part in that change and not "create" a scene but help play a part in the evolution of live music here in HK
about 11 years ago
Photo 48700
and Thomas, personally I believe it is the frontman's job to bully the crowd into responding. At one of our last shows I single handedly ordered the fringe club to remove all chairs and tables out of the main room.. I then proceeded to walk around to all the people sitting at the back of the venue and bullied and embarrassed them to come join the main crowd. Sometimes people need to be pushed to enjoy themselves? How many times have you had a friend at karaoke that is desperate to sing but too embarrassed to? if you force them into singing one song, usually u can't get the microphone back right? to me this is what a good crowd is like. Sometimes as a frontman you gotta go Rambo in their asses. (unless 3 people turn up to you show then you might aswell have a good practice)
about 11 years ago
Photo 58618
You're right, my point was more about the crowd showing up in the first place. Many times I noticed people wouldn't really bother paying 'ok money' to see a recommendation of mine, but would splurge big bucks on over-hyped crap just because some magazine (usually printing an almost unedited band press release) would say those guy are good. It's true though that once you get there, it's the band or frontman to deliver the goods and then some more. I've been to some bigger concerts where the opening act rocked the house and came out as the winner just because they were so full on even though I never heard of them but the main act was so fucking blasé I never bothered paying again to see them.
about 11 years ago
Photo 64090
love reading blogs that are not filtered, and has sense to it. Just do your thing, and love what you do! Hope everything is going great~!
about 11 years ago

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more music at: www.myspace.com/lixu www.myspace.com/gongwu www.lixufans.com

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Languages Spoken
english, cantonese
Location (City, Country)
Hong Kong
Gender
male
Member Since
December 10, 2007