19 years ago on July 16, it may be one of the most glorious moments in the Chinese music scene.
More than 50 radio stations across Asia simultaneously premiered a song, and more than 800 million people listened to it at the same time. In 2003, when the iPhone was only 4 years away, this figure may be more exaggerated than that of Douyin, Kuaishou, QQ Music and Netease Cloud at the same time.
The name of the song is "In the Name of the Father". The 24-year-old boy who likes to wear a peaked cap, has slightly curly hair and can't speak clearly has begun to become a symbol of the times. On July 16, it was designated as "Jay Chou Day" by fans. ".
After 19 years, Jay Chou also deliberately chose to release his 15th album "The Greatest Work" on July 15. Similar to the premiere of "Ye Huimei" on the radio before its release, Jay Chou also premiered the new songs of the album at noon today on multiple platforms.
After the millennium, Jay Chou's songs blew through the youth of the post-80s and post-90s like a tornado, and became a flavorful landscape in memory.
Even if you don't understand the lyrics, you can be attracted by the melody and play it hundreds of times in MP3.
On the campus radio, xx from a certain class in a certain year ordered a song of Jay Chou's "Sunny Day", another young boy who couldn't speak.
In a boring history class, the "Plains of Mesopotamia" and "Code of Hammurabi" on the books unconsciously turned into cuneiform words in my mind.
If the video number re-screened the "Magic Tianlun" tour a few weeks ago, it gave Jie fans an intracranial climax pretending to "go back to the past". This time Jay Chou is really trying to keep the story going.
The last time Jay Chou released a new album was six years ago. When he sang "The Crazy of Generations/The King of Music/Everything Surrenders to Me" in the new song, no one could refute it. Everyone was expecting him to make the Chinese music scene again. "great".
"The Greatest Work" Rhapsody
Midnight in Paris, any miracle can happen.
The riverside of the Seine is soft and rippling, Samaritan is resplendent, Jay Chou took off his security uniform and sat in front of a piano, the familiar gorgeous notes sounded, and the feeling of "The Secret That Can't Be Said" came.
Play a piano and become a time traveler.
Jay Chou instantly returned to the past of Paris and met the great artists and their works in history.
"Children of Men" by Margaret.
Salvador Dali, "Eternal Memory" and "Lobster Phone."
Sanyu's "Nude Girl with Curved Legs" and "Ju Rui Ying Xiang".
Monet's "Water Lilies" and "Impression of Sunrise".
Munch's The Scream.
There are also Van Gogh's "Starry Sky", Xu Zhimo's "Farewell to Cambridge" and "A Night in Emerald Green"…
Finally, there is Lang Lang's piano.
The "greatest work" is the rhapsody of a whole great artist.
Between 1925 and 1927, the artists in the MV were also in Paris during this time period. Magritte moved to Paris in 1927, Dali went to Paris in 1926; Sanyu stayed in Paris after 1920, and Monet stayed in Paris. In Paris, Xu Zhimo hid in Europe in 1925 after being threatened with his friend Wang Geng's wife.
Reminiscent of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris", the hero also met one artist after another at a celebrity party.
When you think "the greatest works", it turns out to be the works of these masters, and then he sings:
The madman of the generation, the king of music, all things surrender to my movement.
The road is still blazing, I am still creating, and the melody at my fingertips is longing.
The madman of the generation, the king of music, I don't think I need a frame.
It can't be framed, the speed of the keys, my notes, it's all futuristic art.
It's still Jay Chou's diverse genre: classical, hip-hop, rap, and pop, all subtly integrated into one song.
It is still Jay Chou's crazy imagination: the contemporary artistic expressions of painting, literature, music, and video are intertwined in a MV.
Whether it is from the song itself or the MV, it can be seen that Jay Chou is still delivering a gesture in this digital age – we still use solid works to speak.
However, judging from the MV plot, Jay Chou sneaked into the 1920s through the sound of the piano at the beginning, perhaps to visit the great masters of the past for inspiration, and accidentally met Lang Lang in the middle of the 1920s where he was. Lang Lang should be the second A magician who can also travel through music. At MV 4:24, the last piano has not yet been "checked in", and finally returned to the real venue, I found that Lang Lang has also returned to reality, only to understand that the greatest works are now, and there is also a kind of great works along the way. The significance of historical inheritance is probably Jay Chou's hope.
In the leading documentary of this new album, Jay Chou went to Paris in 2019 to shoot the new album specially, but it was only released this year. One can think of the polishing and ingenuity behind the work.
And the lyricist Huang Junlang said that most of the words will correspond to a painting, a prose, a poem, or an allusion. The title of the song is "The Greatest Work", and it has many meanings. He has been painting for so many years, and he thinks the most amazing thing about art is that it can make "self-negative emotions" and "extreme and persistent thoughts" in life. You, who may be difficult for others to accept, have become the most positive and greatest existence that is admired and appreciated through creation.
Only art can transform those thoughts that are not recognized by the people around, willful words and deeds, absurd life, destitute and lonely, into the most beautiful and reverie existence.
Just like the reason why the world can be so lively is only because of "loneliness".
When all the new albums are released on July 15 , Jay Chou's record may be broken again by himself.
Subversive of the Chinese music scene
Jay Chou once said that he rarely listens to other people's songs because the songs he wrote 16 years ago are still popular today.
Needless to say. Back in time 16 years ago – or even a little earlier – in 2000, Jay Chou debuted, the peak of the Chinese music scene .
▲ Early photos of Jay Chou
His debut album "Jay" won three awards for Taiwan's best pop music singing album, best producer and best composer that year. Faye Wong, Na Ying, Stefanie Sun, and Karen Mok were "beaten" in the same year.
Before Jay Chou became a symbol of the times, I believe you have heard some of his stories:
In 1997, he participated in "Super Rookie King" as a piano accompaniment for his friends. Jay Chou's classmates sang and did not win. Instead, he was noticed by the host Wu Zongxian because he wrote a strange "Cookbook Song", and the whole story began. .
However, after Jay Chou was arranged by Wu Zongxian into the record company, it was not smooth.
His creation of "Tears Knows" was rejected by Andy Lau, and his creation of "Nunchuan" for Zhang Huimei was rejected again. In 1999, Jiang Hui's "Sound of Falling Rain" finally became Jay Chou's first sold song. Although this song has not been popular all over the Jiangnan and the North, but this is the first time he has cooperated with Fang Wenshan, and everything seems to be paved by fate in secret.
▲ Jay Chou and Fang Wenshan
If others can't sing, it's better to do it yourself – After listening to "Lovely Woman" , Yang Junrong, general manager of Alfa Records, recommended Jay Chou to Wu Zongxian. Wu Zongxian asked him to write 50 songs within a week. If he could, he would choose from it 10 songs for Jay Chou's new album.
Of course Jay Chou did it.
At present, it is the last golden age of Chinese music. Before 2000, Teresa Teng established the basic model of Chinese pop songs, Luo Dayou broadened the connotation of pop music , Jacky Cheung, Ren Xianqi, Zhang Huimei and others drove the spread of pop music. Love, love and love, you are still the mainstream of popular music.
Jay Chou's new album, the Chinese music scene has changed.
Wang Xiaofeng, a well-known music critic, believed in "Only the Public, No Culture" that Jay Chou's destructiveness and freedom of Chinese music made him enough to become a leader in the hearts of young people at that time.
When you heard Jay Chou for the first time, you were probably at a loss – what was he singing and chirping inarticulately?
If you were one of the most trendy young people at the time, you should know that black music also entered China around 2000. When hip-hop gradually became a trend, the Chinese music scene lacked a pioneer.
Jay Chou found that when African-American music was combined with Chinese music , there was an irreconcilable contradiction between the four tones of Chinese and the rising and falling tones of English. That is, singing hip-hop in Chinese was no different from Allegro. The rhythm is gone.
So he subverted the traditional Chinese way of singing – simply turning singing into an instrument, ignoring the flatness and rhythm of the written words, treating the ending like a black man, blurring the words, at the expense of pronunciation, to find out That rhythm of black music.
Gao Xiaosong commented:
Jay Chou's songs are divided into two categories, slow songs are very traditional and oriental, fast songs use his unique sense of rhythm, I have counted his beats, they are neither R&B nor Hip-hop, they don't even have a source, they all belong to him own rhythm.
Yes, completely Jay Chou-style "hip-hop". But it may be a singing method that even the most advanced level of Chinese cannot hear.
At that time, some people also questioned whether it would become a disaster for Chinese pop music if the Chinese sang like this in the future?
The result is that Jay Chou is launching a revolution in the Chinese music scene-his music shows an unexpected, bold, diverse and imaginative possibility, the tune is gentle and complex, the style of music is unique and changeable, and the lyrics are amazing and profound. His own coolness, self-confidence, and ambition make him even more madly sought after by young people.
Since then, Jay Chou has successively released 6 albums of "Fantasy", "Octave Space", "Ye Huimei", "Qilixiang", "Chopin in November" and "Still Fantasy" with a high frequency of one a year. Pop music is turning upside down, records are selling well, and awards are coming.
He was like a spring thunder, which blew up the calm lake in the Chinese music scene, and then wave after wave, the waves continued.
"Fantasy" is an album that established him as a leader in the Chinese music scene . This album won Jay Chou the "Best Composer Award", "Best Album Producer Award" and "Best Pop Music Award" at the 13th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan. "Singing Album Award" and other five awards are the most brilliant records in the history of the Golden Melody Awards, and this day is also Jay Chou's "God Conferred Day".
In July 2003, the title song "In the Name of the Father" of the fourth solo album "Ye Huimei" premiered, and 800 million people around the world waited outside the radio-later, more than 50 radio stations across Asia set July 16 for the broadcast. "Jay Chou Day" to commemorate the grand occasion of that day.
In the same year, "Dongfeng Break" was released. This song skillfully balances Chinese culture and Western music structure, and became a milestone in "Asian pop music Chinese style". Jay Chou became the first Chinese to appear on the cover of the Asian edition of "Time" magazine in the United States. Male singer, dubbed the "King of Asian Pop" by him.
Jay Chou also decided his next subversive move – every album after that, there must be a Chinese style song.
He created the popular genre of "Chinese style". Since then, the era of Chinese style songs with "three ancients and three new" (ancient ci and fu, ancient culture, ancient melody, new singing method, new arrangement, and new concept) has come.
When the trend of Japan and South Korea swept through the channel of pop music , Jay Chou, who won 3 annual awards at the Baidu Boiling Point Festival in December 2012, said:
This has also invisibly accelerated the progress of the entire Chinese music scene, as well as the confidence of Chinese music under the global pop music.
Although Jay Chou's album release time gradually changed to every two years, but each album such as "Magic Block", "Cross-Era" and "Exclamation Mark" still won the award. Jay Chou balanced popular popular and advanced techniques. music is heard by more people.
▲ Picture from: JayCn, JayChou Chinese website
When the music carrier began to be digitized, in December 2014, Jay Chou also kept pace with the times and released "Ouch, Not Bad" for the first time in the form of a digital album, but Jay Chou has not released a new album since 2016.
However, whether it is the single "Say Good Don't Cry" in 2019 or the single "Mojito" in 2020, it still achieved a sales miracle of nearly 10 million copies.
Public opinion about Jay Chou's talent has continued, but he still stands at the top of the Chinese music scene. People have regarded him as the collective memory of an era and the youth of generations.
However, Jay Chou once responded to fans in an interview:
I sometimes hear that when you are my youth, I will feel a lot, and I will feel that time flies so fast, I hope it is not just your youth, I hope I am your life. I hope you are still listening to my songs when you grow old.
In the Divine Comedy Era, there is no more Jay Chou
At the end of last year, when people saw that the domestic annual hit song was "slaughtered" by the Douyin Divine Comedy, both musicians and ordinary users were shouting that "the Chinese music scene is about to end".
At the same time, in the TOP100 list in mainland China announced by Apple Music, Jay Chou's songs occupy half of the country, and the top three are "Qilixiang", "Sunny Day" and "Nocturne", which were born in 2004, 2003 and 2005 respectively.
What's the matter, is there no other song worth listening to except Jay Chou?
In terms of playback volume, Jay Chou's songs may not be as good as the Douyin Divine Comedy, which can easily break one billion. But today, it seems that there are few songs that can be remembered and repeatedly touched, which is probably one of the reasons why the audience mourns for the Chinese music scene.
On the surface, it is the powerful channels such as Douyin that have occupied more and more public attention. But what it changed was not just the dissemination mode of music, but also fundamentally reversed the upstream production method. The music we-media "New Music New Observation" analyzed this phenomenon with deep conviction:
The fundamental difference between the current popular songs, such as Shake × Divine Comedy, and the popular golden songs of the past, is that they are no longer aesthetically oriented, but become user behavior-oriented. Channelized traffic leads the way. ——Promoting and even customizing according to the characteristics of users of high-traffic channels, and relying on the high traffic of the channel to maximize traffic distribution.
For Jay Chou's songs, people often remember not only the climax, but the DNA of the prelude may be moved. Careful arrangements and harmonies, as well as a multitude of instrumental mixes, all enrich the listening experience.
For example, the song "Love in the BC" left 30 seconds of time for the prelude. It seems very extravagant today, but it has laid the tone for this song to travel through thousands of years. Just like the music producer Chen Jikun said, "Love" One prelude can be remembered for a lifetime.
There are many arrangements now, and when they come up, they are piled up in a pile, which seems to be quite cruel, but in the end you can't remember anything.
But it is not easy to attract users to listen to a song completely today. As long as there are 15 seconds of brainwashing clips, it may become an instant hit, and a too long prelude will affect the completion rate.
In a 2017 study by Musicae Scientiae, a peer-reviewed journal in the field of music psychology, it analyzed 303 US Top 10 singles from 1986 to 2015 and found that in the 1980s, the prelude of songs generally exceeded 20 seconds, and now it has basically been shortened to 20 seconds. within 10 seconds.
Douyin Divine Comedy already has a mature batch production line. From capturing hot spots, creating and arranging, to recording and launching, the whole process only takes one day. Point.
"Learn to Meow" can be said to be the king of the first-generation Douyin Divine Comedy. It has more than 7.3 billion views on the entire network within a year of its launch. A "Divine Comedy Producer" Xiaotu summarized the characteristics of making models of popular songs when he accepted "Mr. Made". :
The first is simplicity. Popular songs do not need singing skills, and everyone can sing along, and there is no distinction between good and bad.
The second is that the tune is easy to remember, catchy, and every sentence follows the audience's expectations. After listening to it once, it will be brainwashed and will never be forgotten.
The third is to be a little bells and whistles, and everything serves the video effect.
"Everything is for video effects", Divine Comedies are no longer independent "musical works", but are attached to the spread of video viruses, which is destined to be impossible to hope that these songs have too strong musicality, and at the same time use the original standard to judge The songs are also out of place.
Jay Chou also had an intersection with "Learn to Meow". At one of Jay Chou's concerts, someone ordered a song "Learn to Meow" in the song-ordering session. Jay Chou was stunned for a few seconds, and hummed a few lines in embarrassment. , which was later regarded by many as "the shame of Chinese music".
Although Yangchun Baixue and Xialiba people are only of different types, there is no distinction between high and low. But it is undeniable that the production mode of the Divine Comedy is difficult to give birth to Jay Chou's unrestrained creativity and ground-breaking breakthroughs.
Who would have thought that a rock and rap style song like "Nunchuck" could incorporate traditional folk music like Erhu and classical piano solo. In the national style song "Chrysanthemum Terrace", guitar, cello, violin, piano, guzheng, pipa, cucurbit flute and other musical instruments are combined with a Chinese and Western symphony orchestra.
Speaking of which, the Chinese music scene seems to be really over. In fact, there is no need to be too pessimistic. The richness of the media also gives more independent musicians the possibility to find their own audience. Songs that satisfy the aesthetics of past music are still being born, but these music are becoming more and more circled, and all platforms are broadcast. Gone are the days of one-man songs.
In this regard, Ma Shifang, a senior music critic in Taiwan, is very optimistic about this. He believes that this kind of fragmented and fragmented listening behavior is healthier than everyone being obsessed with the same person. There is also no need to distinguish between the two types of music.
Works in different media serve different objects. It’s like eating. You can go to a top Michelin restaurant if you have money and time, and you can make do with Shaxian snacks if you don’t have money and time. You don’t compare the two on the same scale, because their service targets are fundamentally different. Figure it out and you'll be fine.
It's just such an era, I'm afraid there is no discussion about where the next Jay Chou is. We may have to slowly accept the fact that new fans will find their Jay Chou, and old fans can still look forward to Jay Chou's company.
Note: This article was jointly completed by Wu Zhiqi and Li Chaofan
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