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A Wishing Star: Huang Dawei (1)
    2007-06-11 14:26:32     CRIENGLISH.com


8 albums in 16 years.

That's not very productive for a singer-composer.

But that's how serious David Huang or Huang Dawei is about his music. He wrote every note and lyric himself.

He is possibly even more serious than you imagine.

"I heard this from one of my idols, John Goodsall, a brilliant guitarist, when I met him in Los Angles. I asked him 'if you can't play guitar, what are you gonna do?' he said, 'if I can't play guitar, I'll be dead.' He's that serious about it. And it's similar with me. If I am not doing music, there is nothing else I want to do, or I care to do in this world."

As a musician devoting his heart and soul into what he is doing, David Huang wants to be a leader, not a follower, and forge the way ahead for Chinese pop music.

He's proved himself to us with every single song produced.

From "Broken Hearts" in 1990 to "Mercy " and "Love", his love ballets reach deep into your heart and stir every little sentiment that lies there.

Although his eighth solo album "Passion" hasn't been officially released on the Chinese mainland yet, the single "Passion" has already climbed to the top of the music charts on IRadio.

Recently, his Olympic song "Wishing Star" became the top 1 nominated song competing to become the official theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. David Huang once again surfaced in the media.

In pop music circles, the singer is an evergreen artist.

His success in Asia is not one of pure luck. If you talk to him in person, you will immediately be affected by his passion for music. That passion has made him an idol, one whom his music colleagues look up to.

Jon is a guitarist and singer who has played with many top musicians in Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. He is currently partnering with David Wong.

"A lot of people listen to David's music- they cry, they laugh, and they feel the energy and excitement of it. People who don't even know him, can be touched by his voice. When your singing and doing music with your heart, it transpires, and it gets to people. I learny that from David. When I first met him, I was a guitar player. I was very angry because he made me play this one guitar solo for three days and three nights straight. When I say three days, I mean ten hours a day. My fingers were bleeding. I was young and I was ignorant. I didn't know what he was talking about coz he was like: 'listen, the notes are right. It sounds good. Everything's perfect. But there's no spirit. Go home and listen to it again and come back tomorrow.' That's exactly what I did. 'As David says its gotta be perfect. And perfect doesn't just mean the notes and rhythm and pitches are perfect. It has to have soul. It has to have heart. I think that's probably the most important thing I've learnt from the godfather of music'."

Gathering a bunch of young talented musicians around him, this diligent leader works 20 hours a day. To David, discipline and hard work is more important than talent and genes in order to sustain his career and to produce the quality of music he likes. For this reason, David Huang has earned the respect and favour of many music critics through his diligence, talent and perhaps most importantly from his independence from what is happening in the pop market right now.

Faced with fame, David remains calm and clear-minded, and still gives top priority to his music.

"By having a low profile, and not being too concerned about the market or commerciality, it seems that I have found a voice in myselfone that lot of musicians and critics would like to hear. That's the irony of it. Sometimes I think that if you're really shooting for the money, fame or Ferraris, you get separated from the musical side of things. So I tend to concentrate on the music. I'm just honoured that I have this long career".

Certainly it is not easy for David Huang to maintain a career after sixteen years, not to mention doing it well. In order to stay atop the short-life-span" nature of the pop music industry, David never stops learning new things and keeping his mind in the game.

"I listen to violin music. I listen to music I know nothing about. My favourite instrument is the violin, and it has nothing to do with my music. I am afraid of listening to other pop music that might influence me in what I am working on. As a composer, all my earlier influences were pretty set. And it took me a long time to develop my own style. So I am really afraid to listen to what's popular out there right now, because some of that will creep into my own work. So I listen to classical music, free jazz, things that have nothing to do with what I am working on. That way I can stay true to my creativity and what I am working on at the moment."

Although a successful singer himself, David Huang is also one of the most sought-after composers and producers in the music business. What makes him so popular among his peers? Just how did he first enter the music industry and thus become the black sheep in his family? David was in the lime light of the media before 2005, but after he became much more publicized. Why? What is he going to do after his latest release "Passion"? We will find out all this and more, next time.



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