My top genres were Chinese pop, Japanese pop, Korean pop, Thai pop, and Japanese video game music. I don’t listen to a lot of English songs. So yeah, I don’t really expect many of you to know the music I listen to.
I shared this song in a blog post, and it still gets a lot of views today. Click here to see it.
Joker Xue has been on my Spotify Wrapped for the third year in a row now, so I’m not surprised about this.
It was 33k last year.
The audio aura thing is new. I wonder how it’s determined. What does dramatic music sound like, anyway?
If you have a Spotify wrapped, what was your audio aura? I’m curious!
I normally don’t write rant posts but I am enraged!!!
Girls Planet 999 is a girls trainee survival show based in Korea where 9 girls will debut. 33 Korean, 33 Japanese, and 33 Chinese girls participated in the show, hence the name Girls PLANET. So, tell me why 6 out of the 9 girls who made it in the final group were Korean, and the last 3 places were J, J, and C. That’s false advertising; the show should have been called Girls Korea 999. But let’s backtrack a bit. There’s a lot of context that needs to be provided.
1. WTF was that Voting System?
The show started with a Cell voting system in which one Korean, one Japanese, and one Chinese girl formed a cell. Voters would vote for their favourite girls individually as well as cells. Cells were eliminated, not individual girls. So if there was a popular girl with two lesser talented girls, all three girls would stay on. Do you see how problematic that is? Because of this stupid cell system, the girls that stayed on the show were unbalanced in terms of capability and skill. Some of the very talented girls were eliminated because their cell had fewer votes.
Afterwards, they got rid of the Cell voting system and they switched to voting for 3 Korean, 3 Japanese, and 3 Chinese. Then it was 1 Korean, 1 Japanese, and 1 Chinese. The final lineup seemed pretty good. The top 9 trainees were all talented. Then when it came to the finale, you could only vote for one girl. That’s normal; I’ve watched a number of trainee shows before (Chinese trainee shows, mind you). Here is the problem. Votes from Korea represented 50% of the total votes, and international (100+ countries) represented 50% of the votes. There are significantly more international voters and people who watch the show. I read that the show isn’t even that popular in Korea… You might think “Well this is okay because the show is Korean so why shouldn’t Korean voters make up 50% of the total votes?” Here’s the thing: Korean voters voted for Korean trainees. In the interim report, 8 out of 9 girls were Korean, and one was Chinese and in the last place. They were not voting for talent. I’ll say this right now: Some of the Japanese and Chinese girls are far more talented than some of those Korean girls who made it in the final group. I have my favourite Korean girls, of course, but are ALL 6 girls of the 9 are the most talented, and in that order? Heck no.
With the voting system, 10~ international votes equals to one Korean vote. So you could vote for the entire week but it wouldn’t even be the same as just one Korean vote. Again, you might think “So what? This is still a Korean show”.
THEN DON’T INVITE 66 FOREIGNERS ON THE SHOW. This leads to my next point.
2. Evil Editing and Mistranslations
I cannot speak for Japanese trainees, but Chinese trainees were mistranslated and made out to be villains. An eliminated Chinese trainee said that she was denied an interpreter and could not use a translating device even though she had one. From the start, there were communication problems between the girls. But also between the girls and the audience. Cai Bing, who had ranked in the top 9 since the start of the show, was mistranslated in the subtitles and fell off the ranks. CB was not one of my top picks but I feel that what happened to her was unfair.
Apart from mistranslations, there was evil editing. I’ve read comments that say “It’s not evil editing because the trainee actually said X”. Um actually, it is evil editing because those people fell for the mistranslations and believed those words to be the truth. In every episode of the show, Chinese trainees were portrayed as villains while Korean trainees were portrayed in a positive light. Japanese trainees weren’t shown very much in general, so they were cast aside. Before episode 1 was even released, the show released a trailer that showed Fu Yaning being rude to Choi Yujin, and it showed that the mentors were displeased by her remarks. That trailer had millions of views before the show had even started. But when you watched the actual episode, those two mentors actually liked FYN’s performance and praised her. They did not react in the way as presented in the trailer, but the audience was led to believe that. Later on in the show, we see that FYN and Yujin are actually good friends. An eliminated Chinese trainee even said that FYN had said something else. It really wasn’t that serious as it was made out to be. But before the show had even started, FYN received a lot of hate for this edited clip. FYN was not my top pick, by the way, but I still feel that it was unjust.
There was also the matter of showing Su Ruiqi yawning and Liang Jiao repeatedly going to the bathroom during practice. They did not show Korean or Japanese trainees “slacking off” so why did they focus on the Chinese trainees? SRQ was definitely not the only girl to yawn and Liang Jiao was definitely not the only girl to go to the bathroom (obviously). But do you see how the editing made these things such a big deal? Like why were those things even shown?
Anyways, pointing out every single thing would take forever, so let’s move on.
3. Using Foreign Trainees For Views (And JUST For Views)
Back to my first point on why it is problematic to invite two-thirds of the trainees from other countries but not debut them, only one Chinese trainee made it in the final group (and this girl was consistently number 1 and 2 before the 1-pick voting) and the Chinese trainees overall were painted in such a negative light. Fu Yaning brought the show a lot of views and attention due to her “rude behaviour” which was in fact, edited.
Yurina, who was consistently in the top 9 before the 1-pick voting, didn’t even debut in the end. Yet her popularity brought the show a lot of attention.
4. The Show Taught Me That Talent Does Not Matter
Due to the voting system with 50% Korean vote and 50% international, you just need to be Korean to have a high chance of making the final lineup. And I want to emphasize that I have my favourite Korean girls. Choi Yujin, Kim Dayeon, Seo Young Eun, and Bora were my favourite K girls, by the way. But you cannot convince tell me that the top 6 girls are the most talented of the 99 in that order. I am glad that Shen Xiaoting, Sakamoto Mashiro, and Hikaru made it in, but I also think that they deserve higher ranks. Definitely. And some of the other girls were robbed.
Anyways, it felt good venting about this stupid show. I will not be supporting the final group. I’m sorry, but with how bad the show was, they can kiss their international audience goodbye. And you know what? Good riddance.
Back when the first episode of Chuang 2021 aired, I wrote an impressions post and listed my favourite trainees at the time. Thanks for the 700+ views on that post. ^_^
The second stage performance aired this weekend, so I thought that I would write an updated list.
#1 – Bo Yuan
I mentioned Bo Yuan in my first post, but he wasn’t at the top. However, after seeing more of him on the show and his vlogs, he is #1.
Skill-wise, I definitely that he is within the top 11. He made it to A class in the initial ranking and theme song, both of which were decided by the trainees/mentors. Honestly, skill does not guarantee a spot because trainee shows are popularity contests. I believe that Bo Yuan has trained for six years. He deserves to debut.
People talk about his age (he is 28) but I like his maturity. He has amazing leadership skills and will make a great leader for the group. He takes care of the younger trainees.
I think that Bo Yuan can be a little more confident about his appearance. I think he is one of the most attractive trainees on the show, if not the most.
Bo Yuan climbed up from #46 to #36 to #20 to #7 (latest). I’m so happy that more and more people are noticing him. I hope that he maintains his rank and gets to debut. ^_^
Otherwise, I will be devastated. Like, for real.
P.S. Bo Yuan loves Jrock and is a weeb.
#2 – Yu Gengyin
I didn’t pay attention to Yu Gengyin in the initial ranking, but that changed completely when the first stage performance aired. Like Bo Yuan, Yu Gengyin is within the top 11 when it comes to skills. He also made it to A class in the initial ranking and theme song. He has also trained for several years and makes a great leader. He also takes good care of the younger trainees. I think these are the qualities I like in trainees. I like trainees with leadership skills, maturity, and talent. Yu Gengyin is also at the top when it comes to attractiveness.
Honestly, I cried at the first elimination episode because his rank was low (#22). He was dissatisfied with himself. He is underrated and deserves more attention. I hope that people will notice him and vote for him.
His vlog was one of my favourites. It was weird, but in a good way. I also loved him in Werewolf.
P.S. Yu Gengyin is a JJ Lin fan.
#3-5 – Mika/Rikimaru/Santa
When it comes to trainees, I look at talent first and foremost. Then, I look at qualities like personality and appearance. These trainees have everything. Although their ranks have been fluctuating, I believe that these three will make it to the final group. They have enormous fanbases and have consistently remained within the 11.
I also like Oscar, Lin Mo, Caelan, Liu Yu, and Nine. I like Zeng Hanjiang but his ranking is low. I was really impressed by Luo Yan in the original rap performance, but his ranking is super dangerous right now.
Thanks Minty for the tag. ❤ There are so many prompts, hahaha. 95% of the music I listen to are from Asian dramas, anime, other shows, and games. That’s why most of the songs I listen to are in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or Korean.
Link back to the original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
For every prompt you choose, name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s grapics)
Have fun and play your music LOUD!
1) Home Town Glory
Songs that remind you of home
The gist of it is: Suddenly, it seems that time has passed by so quickly and you’re left feeling confused where exactly that time went. It’s a very sad song.
2) It’s a Love Story
Your favourite songs about love
This is from The Phantom of the Opera musical. Raoul is played by Kwang-ho Hong. I actually don’t like Raoul and prefer Erik, but I like Kwang-ho Hong too much. I like this specific performance.
Another favourite is Time of Flight 時間飛行 by Bai Yu 白宇 and Zhu Yilong 朱一龍. It’s from the Chinese BL drama, Guardian. I talk about this song more in #11.
3) Shut Up and Dance
Songs you have to dance to
I’m a boring person and never dance to music.
4) If This Was a Movie
Songs from movies/TV/Broadway
I love the songs from the musicals, Jekyll and Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, and Death Note. My favourite musical singers are Kwang-ho Hong and Zheng Yunlong.
I like anything Kwang-ho Hong sings. Here, he sings This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde.
5) Comfort Crowd
Songs that make you feel calm
Kago no Naka ni Tori 籠の中に鳥 by yourness makes me feel calm. It’s from the anime, Sing “Yesterday” For You.
A chill instrumental song is Revelation, also known as Oracle. It’s from the Catherine OST. Catherine is one of my favourite video games.
Another calm song is Artic Whispers by Bai Yu. It helps me fall asleep.
When I was in a child, I listened to S.H.E, Fahrenheit, and JJ Lin every day after school.
I believe this song is from 2006 because it has clips from the Taiwanese drama, Hana Kimi. Two of the Fahrenheit members starred in it.
7) Let’s Get Down to Business
Songs that motivate you
I was feeling down one day and then Man With a Mission’s Fly Again played on my phone (it was on shuffle). At the time, the lyrics and the overall feeling of the song lifted my mood. I still feel lucky about getting a pick at their concert.
8) Old Town Road
Songs from the past (like really old ones) that you love
I feel like this and #6 are the same for me.
9) Cry With You
Songs that make you cry and cry
Where Has Time Gone? (See #1) makes me cry.
10) I Think I’m in Love
Your latest music obsessions
This one is easy to answer. The songs that I listen to repeat are from the shows I’m currently watching.
The first one is The Love Letter 唯一寫過的情書 by Alex Chou 周予天. It’s from the Taiwanese BL drama, We Best Love: Fighting Mr. 2nd. I loved the first season, but this season feels so… raw. I’m enjoying it a lot more. I don’t know why I love dramas that are painful to watch.
The next song is Ask Heaven by Liu Yuning. It is the opening song for Word of Honor, a Chinese historical BL series. I’ve been listening to the entire album non-stop these days.
This series was recommend to me by a Twitter stranger, and I’m thankful for them because I’m enjoying it a lot. If you like The Untamed, I definitely recommend Word of Honor.
11) Writer in the Dark
Favourite lyrics from songs
The English translation for Time of Flight by Bai Yu and Zhu Yilong (#2) probably won’t make a lot of sense.
In Guardian, Bai Yu plays Zhao Yunlan and Zhu Yilong plays Shen Wei. Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei are soulmates, and this has been proven time and time again. No matter how many years pass (and I’m talking about thousands of years), the feelings are never lost. They will find always each other again.
Zhu Yilong: How much more serious and how firm it is to make a difference
How many exercises will you become like this?
Bai Yu: I am always waiting for a message here, you have not given up.
Chorus: Flying together across time”
I also like the lyrics from Joker Xue’s Animal World. I’ve interpreted the lyrics in this post.
12) Sign of the Times
Songs in the charts that you love
I have no idea. I just listen to what I like.
13) More Than a Memory
Songs you have specific memories attached to. Tell us the memory.
When COVID was a new thing, I got into Thai dramas for the first time. Listening to the songs from the dramas reminds me of that period because I had so much energy at the time. No one wants a pandemic, but I made the most of my time and tried a lot of new things.
This song is sung by Bright Vachirawit, who played Sarawat in 2gether: The Series. I’m currently watching Lovely Writer: The Series. Thai dramas make me so happy and I love the music.
Another song is Wu Ji 无羁 by Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. The reason is because I watched The Untamed with my friends and did a blogger collab on it. Instead of watching alone like I normally do with shows, I had people to watch and talk with. I talk about it more in #17.
14) Sing to Me Instead
Those songs you have to sing to
15) I Wasn’t Expecting That
Songs that you didn’t expect to love, but you do
In 2018, I knew that the opening song for the anime, Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii, was popular. When I listened to it the first time, I thought it was overhyped. I didn’t include in My Top 5 Spring 2018 Anime Opening Songs post. After I published that post, I couldn’t stop listening to it. LOL
The song is called Fiction by Sumika.
16) Favourite Record
Albums you can’t live without
My favourite album is The Untamed OST by various artists. The Untamed is my favourite Asian drama, so I hold the music dear to my heart.
My other favourite albums are the Guardian OST (#2 and #11) and the Word of Honor OST (#10).
17) Video Games
Name your favourite music videos
I’m a little confused why this is titled “Video Games’ when it’s asking about music videos. Anyway, my favourite music video is Wu Ji 无羁 by Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. It’s the opening song for The Untamed. It’s my favourite music video because my feelings for this drama resurface every time I watch it. It’s one of my favourite songs.
Chuang 2021, also known as Produce Camp 2021, is a Chinese trainee survival competition. This year is different because they are aiming to form an international group. That being said, a handful of the trainees are from overseas. This year, they will form an 11-member boy group. Episode 1 is nearly five hours with two parts.
You can watch it on the official WeTV website, app, and official YouTube channels. You can vote daily on the WeTV app.
A bit of information about me: I’ve watched Chuang 2019 and Chuang 2020.
There have never been so many international trainees. I thought it was cool that everyone had an earpiece and listened to interpretations in real-time. I wonder if this was just for the first episode, or if it will continue like that for the rest of the show. I don’t think it is realistic to have the live interpretations for the entirety of the show (i.e. during practices) so it will be interesting to see how the trainees interact with one another.
I also thought the cultural exchanges were interesting. Chinese trainee shows are generally quite positive and wholesome, despite it being a survival show. I can’t wait to see the friendships that blossom. Episode 1 already showed us some beautiful moments (*ahem* Santa and Liu Yu hahaha).
Mentors are also very important in a show. Personally, I really like Zhou Shen, Nene, and Zhou Zhennan.
On a side note: I’m also watching Youth With You Season 3 on the IQ website. I might write a reaction post.
Okay, here are my favourite Chuang 2021 trainees thus far (not in order):
Santa – From Japan; 3x House Dance World Champion. He got 100% of the votes from the mentors and trainees in the first episode. There is no doubt at all about his dancing skills. I want to hear more of his singing or rap, especially in Chinese. I love his attitude.
Liu Yu – He looks beautiful in hanfu, but most of all, I love how much he respects the hanfu. He said that when he is wearing it, he has to be composed and not act super excited.
Mika – From Hawaii; half Japanese and half American. He is a member of Intersection, which sang songs for the anime, Fruits Basket and Black Clover. I definitely see Mika in the final lineup. He acts very respectful and his voice is so beautiful.
Lin Mo – I love his voice. Although Lin Mo was the most popular trainee prior to the show, he still needs to work hard because the trainees are so talented this year.
Zhou Keyu – He speaks English very well, which is an asset. I think he’s an all-rounder. One of my favourites. I think he will make it to the final lineup.
Kazuma – Half Japanese and half American; also a member of Intersection. He sings Chinese songs very well. It’s very clear.
NINE – From Thailand. So adorable! NINE is one of my favourites for sure. I cannot believe that he and Patrick learned Chinese in three months. As a Chinese speaker, I can understand both of them. They must be very intelligent because they learned a hard language, sing, and dance so quickly. I’ve actually watched 2 Moons, but not season 2. I will watch it now for NINE. Hahaha.
Oscar – One of my favourites. He can also speak English. I think he will make it to the final lineup and become one of the main rappers.
I also like Rikimaru, Wu Yuheng, Patrick, AMU, Yu Yang, Zeng Hanjiang, and Bo Yuan. I think Zeng Hanjiang is more suitable to be a solo artist, though… but we shall see.
Many of the Japanese, American, and European trainees haven’t performed yet. My list will probably change as the show progresses. I don’t have a bias yet, but my top three right now are Oscar, NINE, and Zhou Keyu.
I started a new Taiwanese drama called No. 1 For You today and I’m almost done watching it. It happens to all the shows I love – Once I start something good, I will finish it as fast as I can. I think I’ll make a list of the shows I’ve binged and post it on the blog. The drama is a BL, by the way. Both main leads are very attractive.
Anyway, I loved one of the songs in the drama. Then I found out that the actor that plays the main character (Shu Yi) sang the song. I also found out that he is half-Japanese and is fluent in it. In the drama, Shu Yi sometimes talks in Japanese, so this makes more sense.
The song made me cry. It’s the perfect song for this drama.
I’ve already reached both my follower and blog hit goals, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with this blog. I just really like the song, so I wanted to blog about it. I think that’s the direction I will take… to share the things I like and a bit about my life. 🙂 Thank you.
A bit of information about me: In 2018, I was invested in Singer 2018, which is a singing competition for professional and well-established singers. It took place in China.
Earlier this year, I was super invested in Chuang 2020, a girls trainee survival show that took place in China. The 7-member group, BonBon Girls 303, was formed. I voted every day when it aired.
I’ve also watched a boys trainee survival show called Chuang 2019. The 11-member band, R1SE, was formed. I’m currently watching Super Vocal Season One, which is a singing competition for opera and musical singers.
Each episode is around two hours and the finales are around four hours. Two hours for one episode is not enough, by the way. There’s so much content that gets left out. You can probably tell that I like these types of shows.
Why, though? Note: A lot of these reasons are applicable to non-Chinese singing competitions.
1) TO WATCH THE CONTESTANTS WE LOVE
A lot of the contestants already have established fanbases. I watched Singer 2018 for Hua Chenyu and I watched Chuang 2020 for Chen Zhuoxuan, Nene, and Joyce Chu. I’m watching Super Vocal for Zheng Yunlong and Ayanga.
2) TO DISCOVER TALENTED ARTISTS
I became a fan of Zhao Lei, Zhou Zhennan, and Liu Ye after I watched Chuang 2019.
3) FOR THE FRIENDSHIPS
Although these are competitions, there are moments of beautiful friendship between the contestants. In Chuang 2020, Nene cried because she was afraid that Wu Yalu was going to be eliminated. Nene had a secure ranking but the one she was worried about was her best friend. Liu Xiening and Xu Yiyang’s friendship was touching, too.
In Super Vocal, Zheng Yunlong and Ayanga’s friendship started from when they were roommates during their university years.
4) TO FEEL INSPIRED
The contestants are hard-working and determined to achieve their goals. I know I felt inspired when I watched this scene in Super Vocal:
The contestants have to face a lot of challenges during the show, too. Although it’s challenging for them and entertaining for us, it pushes them to learn and grow as artists.
5) FOR THE MUSIC
All the contestants are talented! Since these are singing shows, there’s obviously beautiful singing involved! Sometimes there’s rap, dance, and musical instruments too, depending on the show. Not only do they sing, they sometimes rearrange the music (Singer 2018, Super Vocal), write the music, and create the choreography (Chuang 2019). The art of performing in front of an audience is important as well as selecting the right song.
6) TO APPRECIATE NEW MUSIC GENRES AND SONGS
Prior to watching Singer 2018, I didn’t really appreciate Chinese folk music. I changed my mind after I learned more about it and saw the hard work behind the scenes.
7) TO LEARN NEW THINGS
I’ve liked songs from musicals and opera for many years, but I didn’t know the meaning behind some of the songs. In Super Vocal, they explain the story behind the song.
8) YOU GET TO PARTICIPATE
This one is for survival competitions that involve voting. It’s exciting to support your favourites. There’s a reason to vote for them: So that they can debut (This depends on the show).
When Chuang 2020 aired, I had something to look forward every week.
Do you see why I like Chinese singing competitions now?
R1SE is an 11-member boy band that was formed at the end of the Chinese trainee survival show, Chuang 2019. The 11 members secured the most votes and thus, R1SE was created. They are popular in China but they aren’t as well-known internationally. I suspect this has to do with the lack of translated content. The Chuang episodes on YouTube don’t even have English subtitles. They deserve more recognition!
Since R1SE is a temporary group, they have less than a year left. I still think this is worth writing about because they have some amazing performances.
You’ve probably listened to their songs if you have watched Mo Dao Zu Shi, The King’s Avatar live-action, or Scumbag System.
1. R1SE – 少年如故《魔道祖师 Mo Dao Zu Shi》
This is the third ending of Mo Dao Zu Shi. Five of the members sing it. They are Zhao Lei, Ren Hao, Liu Ye, He Luoluo, and Zhai Xiaowen.
2. R1SE – 荣耀的战场 《全职高手 The King’s Avatar》
Most of their videos on YouTube are in Chinese.
3. R1SE 赵磊 Zhao Lei – 忘言歌 Song of Words Unsaid《Scumbag System》
Zhao Lei is one of my favourite members. Scumbag System is actually airing right now. You can watch the episodes legally on YouTube. They have English subtitles! The CGI rubbed me the wrong way at first but I quickly got used to it. The story is by the creator of Mo Dao Zu Shi. I recommend it.
4. R1SE – 曜
This is their live performance of 曜. They’re amazing in this one! The chorus is catchy.
5. R1SE – 中国话
The original song is sung by the Taiwanese girl group, S.H.E. In this live performance, they added Chinese opera and rap. It’s cool that they combined these different genres. This is one of my favourite performances of theirs. At the end of the performance, they pulled out nunchucks like?? Wah.
I love Zhao Lei’s opera in the beginning and Zhang Yanqi’s rap @2:57.
6. R1SE – YOU
This is the practice video version of YOU. This song is more focused on vocals. I love Liu Ye’s vocals the most in this one. He’s also my favourite member.
7. R1SE 翟潇闻、赵磊 – Forever Young
This is Zhai Xiaowen and Zhao Lei’s live performance of Forever Young. The original song is sung by another singer but I actually prefer their cover. They are the main vocals of the group.
This is a performance from Chuang 2019. Only two members of R1SE are in this one (Zhou Zhennan and Zhao Lei). This is my favourite performance from the show. Zhou Zhennan, the one who secured first place in all the episodes, is amazing in this one. Not only is his rap great, but his vocals are perfect @2:50. This song isn’t really his style either, which makes it even more impressive.
9. R1SE+SNH48 – Y’all Don’t Touch It
I like this performance but I think R1SE does a better job than the girls… I think Ren Hao, Liu Ye, and Zhou Zhennan’s visuals pop out in this one. Ren Hao is the one in the beginning and Liu Ye appears at @1:40.
Runner-up songs and performances: 梦在黎明破晓时 and Blue Bird (Yes, the Naruto opening).
I hope that you’ll check out R1SE’s songs. It’s a shame that they aren’t promoted to international audiences. That’s why us fans are pulling our weight in hopes that someone out there will be interested!