Rock star mellowing out

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-10-20 09:19:17

Rock star mellowing out

Singer-songwriter Hu Hongjin (left) poses in front of a poster of his new album with Shen Lihui, founder of Modern Sky. Zou Hong / China Daily

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Singer-songwriter Wu Hongjin, better known as Zuoxiao Zuzhou, recently released his latest album, We Need a Troubadour, in Beijing. Wu's lyrics are obscure, and his music is considered non-mainstream.

Wu has released 17 studio albums during his decade long career, and made headlines for the way he prices his albums, ranging from 30 to 500 yuan ($4.90 to $81.61).

The 44 year-old is comfortable with the controversy, but will only answer questions from reporters after they listen to his music. At a recent media conference to introduce his new album, Wu played three full length music videos before taking questions.

Some music critics say his singing skills are below average, and the stories he tells in his songs are difficult to understand. In his previous albums, Wu is heard screaming and roaring, but his latest work is more toned down.

His new album features 11 songs, and Wu invited Taiwan singer-songwriters Bobby Chen, Sandee Chan and Hong Kong singer-songwriter Anthony Wong, to sing with him on three of the tracks: Take A Picture, Pacific Breeze and The Most Absurd.

"I want to show you my spiritual world is shared by these talented musicians," he says.

"Looking back on my history, you will see that it usually takes about five to 10 years for my songs to be understood and welcomed. So for the new album, I am not worried. I don't want to explain too much because I think it is stupid."

Shen Lihui, the founder and head of Modern Sky, China's biggest indie music label, produced and released Wu's latest album.

"Though he looks unreliable, Wu finished all of his work ahead of schedule,” Shen says. "This time he is also reasonable about pricing his album, which is being sold for 85 yuan."

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