I came across the below editorial that was published in HK Headline newspaper today and felt it was really worthy of sharing because it describes the current ‘sad state’ of the HK music industry perfectly!
As a long-time follower of the HK music industry, I’m personally very disappointed and saddened at how badly the industry has deteriorated over the past 12-13 years. As I’ve been saying for the past decade or so, the ‘direction’ of the HK music industry seems to have shifted over the years – instead of being focused on making good music, everyone is focused on making money, becoming popular, and getting awards.
Sure, one can argue that part of the problem is that today’s singers lack the distinctive talent that was a key attribute of many of the ‘superstar’ singers who came out of the 80s/early 90s (and the 70s to some extent) generations. Yes, that is true and I will be the first to agree with this ‘argument’ – BUT it’s not the ONLY reason. Of course, many of the previous generation singers had distinctive voices and singing skills / styles that set them apart from others and made them ‘easily recognizable’ as soon as they opened their mouths to sing (who here isn’t able to recognize the voices of Roman Tam, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, etc) – but that doesn’t mean these artists didn’t put effort into their singing...just because they had the benefit of being endowed with awesome talent and great voices doesn’t mean that they could just ‘cut corners’ and let their talent alone bring them ‘fame and fortune’. In addition to sharing good work ethics, one thing that many of the previous generation’s artists shared is a true passion for making good music – basically “ making music for music’s sake” (as opposed to today’s mantra of “making music for money’s sake”).
In the current era where ‘shortcuts’ such as lip-syncing and using technology to ‘enhance’ album recordings (so that singers sound ‘perfect’ when recording a CD) are so prevalent (to the point of being ‘commonplace’), true singers who have the ability / skill to sing LIVE and still sound ‘perfect’ are extremely hard to come by – in fact, I honestly feel that these types of TRUE SINGERS are already reaching the point of ‘extinction’!
Ok, before I really start offending people, I should probably get off my soapbox and just leave my commentary as is….but before I do that, just one last comment I wanted to make about the lesson learned from the last paragraph in the below editorial: instead of placing all the blame for the HK music industry’s downfall on illegal pirating of music, the industry (including not just singers and songwriters, but also the record companies and multi-media outlets such as radio and TV stations as well) should really look internally first and understand where the problems truly lie….if there is to be any hope for the future of the HK music industry, everyone needs to be going in the same direction and sincerely working for the ‘greater good’ of the industry. If the current HK music industry could display even 80% of the UNITY and SINCERITY that the industry was known for back in the 70s/80s/early 90s, then perhaps the industry can turn things around and ‘flourish’ again....(holding out hope that this can happen in my lifetime!)
HK Headline Editorial – ‘Brought to the point of tears’ [opinion piece on RTHK Top Ten Gold Song Awards]
Source: HKHeadline News
What is a ‘Gold Song 35th Anniversary Honorary Award’? What is the difference [between that award] and the ‘Golden Needle’ award? A few nights ago, Jacky Cheung (張學友) just received the former [Honorary Award] -- 12 years ago, he already received the latter [Golden Needle award]. Actually, what award he gets doesn’t matter -- because being able to hear Jacky sing live is already a blessing.
Thinking back to the HK music industry of the 80s and 90s, there were tons of great Cantonese songs – the competition at the music awards got to the point where it was too difficult to just pick 10 songs because there were just too many, too many, too many. Back then, despite having more award-worthy songs than awards, the organizers of the awards shows refused to budge on their ‘only choose 10’ methodology.
Nowadays, trying to pick 10 sings to reward at the yearly award ceremonies is an even more difficult feat because, well, there just aren’t enough ‘good songs’ worthy of choosing. Ironically though, this year, RTHK ‘insisted’ that due to the ‘fierce competition’, they had ‘no choice’ but to expand the awards from ‘Top 10’ to ‘Top 12’. Other than responding to this ‘news’ with “Oh…”, I really can’t think of anything else to say.
The [RTHK award show] night pretty much consisted of a bunch of singers ‘hea’ singing [TN: meaning ‘singing badly/lazily’]: Eason Chan’s (陳奕迅) performance of ‘Heavy Taste’ (重口味) was horrible to listen to – it was pretty much Eason’s worst ‘live’ performance! Oh and Raymond Lam (林峰) – may I ask what he was doing jumping around back and forth on the stage? And that ‘Nice’ phrase is really starting to make people feel uneasy.
Fortunately, Hong Kong still has Jacky Cheung. His near flawless performance brought those who listened [to him sing] to the point of tears.
Please stop saying that all the illegal downloading of music on the internet caused the HK music industry to ‘deteriorate’ to its current state! If the quality of today’s singers and songs could reach even 80% of the level back then [80s and 90s], I’m sure you and I would readily go out and spend money buying albums.