In my last post, I wrote about Haruma Miura, a Japanese actor who committed suicide. I felt very sad about his death, so I did this drawing.
想过离开以这种方式存在 I once thought of leaving and to exist in absence
是因为 那些旁白 那些姿态 那些伤害 It was because of those narratives, those stances, and those inflicted pains
不想离开 I don’t want to leave
The above lyrics are from Hua Chenyu’s song, I really want to love this world.
Hua Chenyu said, “Hope everyone can pay more attention to the friends around them, and also correctly understand depression. When you are alone and lost, I hope this song can give you some courage, open the door, love this world, and let yourself be loved.”
This is not easy. But it keeps happening which makes me so upset and frustrated. I feel powerless sometimes… but I hope that this song will reach some of you out there, wherever you are.
I’ve been feeling quite jaded with society lately re: panic buying due to the coronavirus. I.e. fights at the stores, stocking up baby wipes because hand sanitizers are sold out and leaving nothing behind for families with babies. I’ve lost some faith in humanity because of those people who resell toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizers. When I read the news, it feels like an animal world. Every man for himself.
I’ve always been interested in human nature. I have a Psychology degree but I thought it wasn’t enough. I’ve examined portrayals of human nature depicted in novels, plays, textbooks, manga, dramas, films, music and video games. I think that I was secretly hoping to find something that said, humans are not selfish. You can believe in people.
Unfortunately, the recent news has not helped hahaha. Instead, I felt more pessimistic than I already was!
Then I came across two songs by Chinese artists I love. The first is my favourite singer, Hua Chenyu. I’ve written about him multiple times. The second is Wang Yibo, who starred in my favourite Chinese drama, The Untamed. Their songs inspire hope and give comfort for everybody around the world regarding the recent events. Their songs are on Spotify.
Hua Chenyu 华晨宇 – You Have To Believe This Is Not The Last Day 你要相信，这不是最后一天
This is a powerful song. Hua Hua writes about believing that this is not the last day and that better days will come. [English translation lyric YouTube video link here]
Wang Yibo 王一搏 – We Stay Together 因为我们在一起
Yibo has a calming singing voice and he makes you feel less anxious about everything. [English translation lyric YouTube video here]
Thanks Hua Hua and Yibo for using your talents and influence to instil hope in people (like me).
I’m watching seven shows from this season so… the Spring 2019 Anime First Impressions post will be up within the next few days. Sorry for the delay.
I’ve been busy these past few weeks. I’ve been studying for finals and working on final assignments for uni. The thing is, I’ve been working four days a week and went to practicum two days a week. I also interviewed for a research assistant job. It’s kind of tiring to write papers after an eight-hour work day…
The good news? I finished my practicum hours yesterday and I got the job I interviewed for. Now I have two jobs. I still have a final exam and an assignment to finish, but I’m excited for future cosplays and blog posts. I have a list of cosplays and blog posts I want to write.
Animal World is a super interesting song because the lyrics make you think a lot. This song is not related to the Chinese film with the same name. Joker Xue is the lyricist of this song.
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species book appears in the music video. Darwin made great contributions to the field of science because of his research on evolution. I’ve taken a university-level course on Animal Psychology and I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology so I might be able to provide some insight…
I’ve only provided my interpretations to the parts that stood out the most to me.
This part is about swallowing a lover. The female praying mantis eats the male after they mate.
This part is about humans laughing at how fake the animal world is. Humans work hard to evolve. My interpretation of this – this relates to how superficial society has become. We spend a lot of money to look good. We spend a lot of time altering how we look by applying filters to our pictures and posting on social media to show how much “fun” we are having. All of these, one could argue, is “fake.”
This part is about thinking that animals are stupid. My interpretation is that we as a human race believe that we are superior to other animals. Whether or not this is true, is up for debate.
This part talks about how people don’t always hide their true nature. It talks about the “ugly” side of people and how we can easily break up with a person for superficial reasons. The next part says that people are always worried about being alone.
Now the lyrics are saying that humans should not evolve, to not let the animal world become more fake than it already is. Here, we understand the perspective of the singer – which is not necessarily Joker Xue’s perspective.
This part says that we should show our claws and teeth. My interpretation is that we should drop the superficial act and show our “true selves.” We can be cunning and harm others, so why not show it.
This part talks about Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” phrase and that it is part of our human nature. The interesting part about this is that it says that part of our nature is to lick our own wounds – which relates back to the earlier lyric of humans being alone in this world.
This part talks about humans pretending to be different from animals by acting noble and elegant. My interpretation of this is that the singer believes that we are no different than animals. Humans could even be worse than other animals, because of the fake acts we do in order to appear that we are the “better evolved” species.
This part is about human desire and that our animal instinct is undeniable. My interpretation – even if we try to pass off as elegant, our natural instincts are still “animal-like.”
This is about our dreams, and how we are willing to pay any price for our own greed. Some people would resort to killing or robbing other people for their desires.
This part is saying that we drive expensive cars and add layers to our nests. In certain bird species, the female bird chooses her mate depending on how “good” the nest looks. The male bird with the most beautiful nest will mate with the highest number of females. Then the lyrics say that in the end, we will end up naked. I think this refers to sex. We do these things to attract potential mates and the outcome is sex.
This part says that we are all alone.
I want to make it clear that my interpretations of the song don’t necessarily reflect how I personally feel. I’m just giving my thoughts on what I think the song is supposed to mean. I could be wrong, and you may have a different interpretation of it. Although Joker Xue wrote the lyrics to his song, it is unclear what his perspective is.
My thoughts? I think the song sounds great. I really like Joker Xue’s voice. The music video has intimate scenes, which goes back to the theme of sex and reproduction. I think the lyrics are definitely thought-provoking, but they are so cynical. To be honest, I feel very dejected after analyzing the song.
I don’t think I agree with everything the singer says. A flaw is that the song kind of lumps every person on the planet together and sees them as a single entity that has the same goals and motivations. However, that’s just how the singer (not necessarily Joker Xue) views things. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion. It was interesting to hear this kind of perspective, especially the parts on superficiality.
Song meaning: The lyrics are about a failing relationship. The singer notices that his partner is putting on an act by telling lies and acting sad (in a superficial manner) because she wants to end the relationship. He pretends not to notice her bad acting and acts oblivious to it. He wonders how he should act to go with her “play.” He also notices that his partner is reluctant to break up. He thinks it’s better to break up than to drag on the relationship. This song is about acting and the title 演員 means ‘Actor’ so in the Final Act, the singer acts heartless to finally end the relationship.
Thoughts: I think the lyrics are really poetic. I think that the singer feels a lot of pain by being in the position of realizing everything going on, while acting oblivious to it all. In the end when he acts heartless, he does it because he is aware that his partner wants to break up. He does it because he loves her, no matter how painful it feels.
Singer 2018 is an incredibly popular show in China. It is always ranked in first or second place on TV in China and it’s watched worldwide. It is a singing competition and the competitors are well-established, famous singers. Obviously I am rooting for Hua Hua (as you can tell by the title and nature of this post). A competitor you may be familiar with is Jessie J from the UK.
I blogged about Hua Chenyu (everyone calls him Hua Hua). You can read it here. I wrote that post in 2017. He gained a lot of fans because of Singer 2018. ^^ He is my number one favourite singer for multiple reasons. I talked about that in that blog post. Hua Hua is truly so talented. These are his performances in each episode, starting from episode 4 (he did not sing in the first three episodes). The show is not done airing and Hua Hua has reached the finals. ^^
Episode 4 – 齐天 Qi Tian
This is Hua Hua’s song, not a cover. It’s the theme song for the film, 悟空传 Wu Kong (Remember I wanted to read a novel called Monkey? Wu Kong is the name of that monkey)
He won first place
He’s amazing at holding long notes
He raps in the middle
After I watched this video a few weeks ago, I wore all black clothes and pink eyeshadow that day LOL
Episode 5 – 孩子 Child
The original singer of the song is 西樓
He’s wearing white clothes and sings at a slower pace. It contrasts from the previous episode
This is not one of my favourite performances of his
Episode 6 – 双节棍 Nunchucks
The original singer is one of my favourite singers, 周杰伦 Jay Chou
Hua Hua made huge changes to the song. I actually prefer this a lot more than the original (I didn’t like Jay Chou’s Nunchucks)
It’s rap heavy
Hua Hua incorporated Chinese opera – This made the performance one of my favourites from this season
Hua Hua’s stage presence is phenomenal. When he is not performing, he is a little shy and introverted (but so adorable). When he is performing, he is full of confidence. It’s a big change. I love how dynamic he is
He came in first place
Episode 7 – 我管你 I Don’t Care
This is one of Hua Hua’s songs. Everyone in the audience knows this, which is why he invites them to join him in some parts
It’s one of my favourite songs of his because of the lyrics. It’s about being true to yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and not giving a f*k about others’ opinions. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I value being true to myself, even if it means being a little different. If I cared so much about fitting in, then I would not be wearing fruit hair ties or cosplaying as male characters. ^^
Back to Hua Hua – It’s clear that he stands by his own lyrics
He placed in first place
Episode 8 – 易燃易爆炸 Super Explosive
He is dressed in black because the lyric composer suddenly passed away. He was going to sing a different song but changed it to this at the last minute. It’s his way of mourning her death
Episode 9 – 山海 Mountain and Sea
The original is by 草東沒有派對 No Party For Cao Dong
The lyrics are quite deep and sad
He ranked in fifth place, but I think the performance was wonderful. Up to now, he has always placed in the top three
Episode 10 – 假行僧 Fake Monk
This performance is absolutely HAUNTING! It’s one of my favourites
He does a crazy/creepy laugh and I love it!
We get to see how versatile he is as a singer. For example, he can sing really high-pitched and we see that here
It is a little different, but that makes him unique, special, and it makes him stand out. I understand that some people are not able to get used to this sort of performance
Episode 11 – 平凡之路 Ordinary Path
The original is sung by Lion
He re-arranged the song. When he arranges music, he does not eat or sleep for two days. It is concerning, but Hua Hua says that he feels joy in doing this. This shows how dedicated he is to his work, and how important music is to him. It’s no wonder that he never fails to deliver amazing performances
Episode 12 – 我 I Am What I Am
The original is by 张国荣 Leslie Cheung
This is one of my favourite performances of his
He came in first place
I love the lyrics. “I am what I am… I like who I am…” – This is a theme in so many of Hua Hua’s songs. Common themes he sings about are enjoying loneliness, being true to yourself, and liking yourself. My values line up with his values very well
The first thing I noticed was his clothing choice. It looks like he is wearing a bathrobe but I think this choice of fashion goes well with the song’s meaning about being yourself and liking who you are
After watching the performance, it is clear that he has experienced a lot of pain. Hua Hua opens up to us through his music. In his childhood, he spent a lot of time alone because his father was always working. Music was what he turned to, similar to what anime did for me
It’s a very emotional song. He is almost in tears and the audience is in tears. I almost cried too LOL
I almost cried because I was lonely when I was a kid too. I didn’t fit in with the other children at school but I never tried to change myself. At a young age I valued being true to myself. It’s not that I didn’t want friends – I wanted friends who would accept me for who I was. To add onto this – just knowing that he felt pain and loneliness is very sad for me because he is my favourite singer
Final thoughts: The song choices were very deliberately chosen. I know that a lot of non-Chinese listeners like his vocals, but I think it would be great if you could also read English translations of the song lyrics. Then the gaps in understanding will be filled and we can fully appreciate everything he does.