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Hong Kong Cantonese pop wonder William So recently spoke up against criticisms Kit Chan had received while performing on Chinese singing programme I Am a Singer.
In his interview with xinmsn last Thursday (Feb 5) while promoting his newest television drama Once Upon a Song in Singapore, the veteran singer also expressed that he stands firm on his refusal to guest on such genre of programmes.
Dubbed as the first Hong Kong drama in history to be presented in the form of musicals, Once Upon a Song tells the story of a group of Hong Kongers who are passionate in achieving their musical and dancing dreams. William plays the role of a voice coach in the show, reliving this old career that he had taken on 30 years ago prior to becoming a singer.
William’s iconic mid-length wavy locks, which he had kept while actively promoting as a singer in the 1990s, resurfaced when he and leading actress Bernice Liu shot a nostalgic 90s-themed music video for the show. Matched with shades and a flowery-patterned shirt, viewers of the show showered praises for William’s hilarious styling.
While William is happy with his performance in the show, he shared in the interview about his concerns for the dwindling Cantopop industry. William lamented that it is ‘already impossible’ to reinstate the glory days of the industry when pop legends Anita Mui and Alam Tam were well-loved by Hong Kongers.
Instead, William cited I Am a Singer as an example to prove that the preferences of music listeners today have evolved and differed largely from the past.
“Nowadays, singers who don’t ‘belt’ are deemed to be poor in singing. How can Kit Chan be eliminated (from the show)? Apart from Jacky Cheung, I have collaborated with Kit the most and I know that we are both singers who have more restrained singing,” William shared.
“To be honest, if you were to listen to any of her songs with Jacky Cheung in the musical Snow.Wolf.Lake, you would know that she could have easily won the round as Kit is capable of belting,” he quipped.
William also compared singing to martial arts, wittily asking the question: If Bruce Lee and Ip Man were to have a duel, who is better and who would emerge as the winner in the end?
When asked if he would like to guest on the show, William frankly replied, “I am completely against that. My friends in Taiwan call me a ‘therapeutic singer’ and all these years, I have never been a singer who belts. I think I am bound to be eliminated based on the show’s definition of a good singer.”
Still soaking in the joy of being just married
Flitting in and out of showbiz intermittently for close to 30 years, the 47-year-old singer had once enjoyed the glorious record of selling 50, 000 copies of one of his albums but also went through a difficult period when he was caught for drug abuse.
Last year, William celebrated his 28th year in the music industry and specially released his new album titled 28. Last December, he also stepped into a new phase of life when he tied the knot with his girlfriend of eight years, Anita.
When asked about how he has changed after stepping into marriage life, William joked, “The biggest change since marriage is that I have put on a total of 5kg. I also have not fully adjusted my focus back on work as I was on a holiday during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I only became more serious about work after recording a new year celebratory programme in Taiwan last week.”
Is William leading a more relaxed life because he is planning for a baby?
“It has nothing to do with wanting a baby, I am just being lazy,” William firmly denied.
“It is still necessary for me to perform and earn a living. In the coming weeks, I would be busy with activities in San Francisco, Australia and China. I would only begin my ‘new music projects’ later this year,” William shared.
“These projects would include a collaboration with Richie Ren, Wong Ka Keung and Edmond Leung to release an album and a concert tour that starts in Hong Kong this November and Taiwan next year.”
This article is translated by Isadora Ong.
Catch Once Upon a Song when it airs from February 14 to February 28 on cHK On Demand (SingTel TV Channel 511).