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.
Some of these are from the Chinese TV show, 天籁之战 The Next. Hua Chenyu was a contestant in Season 2 (2016). Each contestant has to arrange a song in only 24 hours and their opponent chooses the song for them. These are my favourite arrangements.
1. 我的滑板鞋2016 (My Skateboard Shoes 2016)
This is from The Next. This is Hua Hua’s most watched video on YouTube. The reason is probably because the original is… uh-
That’s a big difference, right? Hua Hua kept the lyrics the same but changed everything else. He doesn’t sleep when he arranges songs because he is committed to his work. This arrangement is the song that introduced me to Hua Hua!
2. 齐天大圣 (Journey to the West 1986 opening)
This is from The Next. Hua Hua’s opponent chose the Journey to the West opening and it’s an old song from 1986. There are actually no lyrics so Hua Hua changed the song completely with rap.
Journey to the West (also known as Monkey King or Monkey) dates back to 1592! It inspired Dragonball and a lot of other early anime titles. I think Hua Hua’s version is a great way to get younger audiences interested in these older stories.
3. 爸，我回來了 (Dad, I’m Home)
This is from the Next and I chose this video with English subtitles (instead of the original channel) because Hua Hua takes the song and tells a story with it. Jay Chou raps and sings in the original, but Hua Hua does something different here. It’s extremely emotional. Hua Hua’s relationship with his father is good, but this is the song that his opponent chose for him.
4. 双节棍 (Nunchucks)
This is from Singer 2018 and I blogged about this song before. The original singer is Jay Chou but I like Hua Hua’s version better. He adds Chinese opera and makes a lot of changes to the song.
I chose these arrangements because they are very different from the original songs. I love all of Hua Hua’s arrangements and if you compare his versions with the originals, I’m sure you will agree that he is talented at everything he does. 24 hours is a very short time to arrange a song! Don’t you agree?
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.
Hua Chenyu 华晨宇 is a famous Chinese singer. Most of the information online about him are in Chinese, so I decided to write a post in English for non-Chinese speakers (and for everybody to know about him). He is currently my favourite singer.
Nickname: Hua Hua 花花 (means ‘flower’)
Fans’ name: Huo Xing Ren 火星人 (Martian)
After he posted photos with the monkey on his Weibo, the toy ran out of stock.
I first learned about him through a Facebook video that was shared on my homepage. It was him performing the song, My Skateboard Shoes 我的滑板鞋. I thought his rapping was impressive. Afterwards I decided to find more music by him and found the song, Ashes from Firework 烟火里的尘埃. He has a very powerful voice, especially when he performs live.
I like that his music is comprised of different genres, such as pop, alternative rock, folk and classical music. The fact that he is capable of singing to this wide range of music shows that he is talented.
My favourite song by him is Quasimodo’s Gift 卡西莫多的礼物. Quasimodo is a fictional character from the novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Everyone calls Quasimodo “hideous” because of his deformities, and as a result he experiences deep loneliness. In the song, Hua Chenyu sings “Quasimodo’s gift is to enjoy the loneliness” 卡西莫多的礼物 享受孤独. This is my favourite part because he helped me realize that loneliness is not necessarily a bad thing. Often times, we associate ‘lonely’ with negative feelings but to be able to enjoy it is actually quite nice. I can relate to aloneness very well from my personal life, and the moment you begin to enjoy is really an eye-opening experience. Practicing self-love, and finding your own interests and passions are just a couple of reasons why this is important.
Hua Chenyu is someone I consider authentic. Authenticity is something I look for because a lot of artists create content for the sake of being more popular. Hua Chenyu does not care about that (he even has a song called, I Don’t Care 我管你).
Despite being famous, he is an introvert and that’s why his first album was dedicated to the topic of loneliness. He also has some quirks which differentiates him from other celebrities. He does not try to hide who he really is. Hua Chenyu promotes the idea of being true to yourself, even if others do not like it.