Veteran Hong Kong pop star finally ready to show L.O.V.E.

(China Daily) When the numbers appeared on the screen above the stage, Eason Chan Yik-shun covered his mouth with his hands, a look of disbelief etched on his face.

Since his career started in 1995, the Hong Kong pop singer has released 89 records - sales of which have totaled in excess of 20 million copies - performed more than 300 solo concerts in over 80 cities worldwide, and received 170 awards for Best Male Singer, including three prestigious Golden Melody Awards.

He has also launched his own music label, EAS Music, and one of the first artists he signed was Hong Kong singer-songwriter and producer, Eric Wai-leung, who also writes songs for other Cantonese pop stars, including Chan himself.

"I was so shocked when I saw the numbers," Chan said at a press conference in Hong Kong last week. "I never realized that I had done so much in my career.

"I've been in the music industry for a long time, but I didn't realize how popular I had become until I saw fans at my concerts. They give me instant feedback there," he observed.

"However, when I return home, I am just the same person my childhood friends knew. I am not a star."

This year, Chan is gong to release a new album, entitled L.O.V.E., that was originally slated for release back in 2013, but it was sidelined when he began to suffer from depression.

Prior to that, between 2010 to 2012, Chan was touring the world, including his second visit to London, where he played the massive O2 Arena - making him the first Asian artist to perform at the venue.

On stage, he was delivering shows with enthusiasm and zeal, but after the two-year-long tour, he felt empty.

"After the tour, I didn't know what to do. I spent a week in London and I was supposed to record the album. However, I found myself doing nothing at home but watching videos of my previous concerts," recalled Chan. "I was not in the right mood for another new album then.

"I started going to the gym and taking jobs, such as coaching or judging on some singing competition TV shows. Gradually, I recovered," Chan said.

Born in Hong Kong, he graduated from Kingston University with a degree in architecture and later trained in vocals at the Royal Academy of Music in UK, the 44-year-old kicked off his music career after winning a singing competition in Hong Kong in 1995.

At that time, he was considered as one of the biggest new stars, regularly compared to Canto-pop icon, Jacky Cheung.

"I can still remember how nervous I was when I performed at that singing competition," Chan said.

"My hands were tight. My shoulders were tight. I thought winning it was the end, but it was just a beginning."

However, his musical path was not always smooth, despite the fame and recognition from both his fans and critics.

Chan felt frustrated when his former record company asked him to sing love ballads, following the same music styles as those performed by Cheung.

He also remembers that he had high expectations of winning the Album of the Year award at the Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation, one of the biggest annual pop music awards in Hong Kong, with his Cantonese album U87 released in 2005.

However, it wasn't to be.

"You could see how embarrassed I was on the screen, then, but now, I am over 40 years old and I consider my career differently," Can concluded, "music brings me lots of fun. I enjoy it."

Source: By Chen Nan | China Daily 

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