Xu Wei: Every minute is fresh
Veteran Rock n' Roll singer Xu Wei is due to release his 2004 album in coming winter. His latest album is named Every Minute is Fresh.
But few know his past. He gave up the opportunity to enter university and when he was demobilized from the army, he gave up a well-paid job teaching and again selected a lonely but most beloved way to pursue his dream of music making.
When Xu was in Xi'an, he used to walk on the old city walls aimlessly as the sun set.
"At that time, even eating was a big problem for us. We were so hungry that we couldn't pluck the strings. One bowl of hand-pulled noodles for five men, and five bowls of noodle soup free of charge. The ideal life we longed for was only two expensive guitars and a pack of Marlboro cancer sticks.
"Flying" was the imagination and dream for most people who are in an isolated environment yearning to be free. His band formed in Xi'an was called "Flying". It won acclaim as well as applause despite an inevitable separation in 1994. After that Xu came to Beijing.
- The sun is setting in the city I miss. Why am I always full of affection for her? She made me happy and made me sad. She gave me hope as well as desperation...
Walking on Chang'an Street in Beijing, these lyrics and melodies for Xi'an flew out smoothly from the bottom of his heart. Sometimes, to better understand a city, you have no better choice than to leave it.
The City I Miss is a popular song recorded in Xu's first album: Elsewhere. All his experiences and emotions accumulated along the ancient city walls of Xi'an have been pressed into the little magic cassette.
- I have only two days but I cannot guarantee. One day for birth and the other for death. I have only two days but I cannot guarantee. One day to gain and the other to lose...
After the second album was published, Xu decided to go back to his hometown. He found that Xi'an had become more and more modernized. But compared to Beijing, the tempo of people's life in Xi'an was still a bit slow. Over the following year, Xu ate properly and slept early, and took physical training every morning. He chatted with his parents, practiced calligraphy and read works of Chuang-tzu (369-286BC Chinese philosopher and writer of the Warring States Period).
"I found that there were many people in Xi'an pursuing their dreams quietly with few social contacts. They seek neither fame nor wealth, just like hermits." Xu realized, "Actually, Xi'an is very nice." From then on, words like loneliness and desperation have all but disappeared from his lyrics.
The latest album, Every Minute is Fresh, is expected to be a simple and
transparent essential to music itself. He will continue to use his direct and
passionate voice to give the music lovers a winter comfort.