Artist Spotlight (#1): Lena Yang





If you checked out the comments on new Mandopop artist Lena Yang 楊青倩 over in the Mandarin blogosphere and social media sites, you will probably read two themes cropping up often:
  • Lena looks a little like Jolin Tsai.
  • Lena has really sexy legs.
If you then proceeded to the English counterpart sites, you will instead read this about her:

Yep, no one knows who she is over in the west, despite how she’s marginally successful over in Taiwan. Having appeared on various variety shows and already released several videos, the rising star – who slightly resembles famous pop star Jolin Tsai if she had the nose of Nan Quan Mama’s female lead singer Lara – is experiencing a bit of a lack of popularity dilemma over in the English-based blogosphere much like fellow rising star Jeremy Liu.


The situation’s a bit of a reversal though in comparison though: if Jeremy had huge talent without the personality to back it up, Lena is the complete opposite.  Lena's a really personable singer but with vocals that are more Jessie Chiang than Angela Chang.  Checking out her new album, you will realize that many of Lena’s songs either sound strangely familiar to other popular songs that came out years ago, or would fit in better in that era. Take, for example, one of Lena’s best songs “Master Says 師父說”. The song is really catchy and has an updated pop/hip-hop hybrid sound playing over ancient Chinese instrumentals.


It’s perhaps almost too nostalgic for its own good, because this kind of sound is really rare nowadays on other songs in the genre. In an era where East Asian artists (e.g., K-pop singers) are heavily dependent on overproduced beats, auto-tune crutches, and caffeinated melodies, Lena’s “Master Says” sounds oddly mellow in contrast. Almost kind of like early Jolin Tsai or debut-era Nan Quan Mama?

Whatever the case, Lena’s probably worth checking for a change of pace at a time when Mandopop charts are populated with either ballads or Show Luo songs.

Lena Yang’s “Master Says” MV:



 
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