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Wowkie Zhang
singer from China

Wowkie Zhang

Wowkie Zhang
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro singer from China
Is Singer
From China
Field Music
Gender male
Birth 31 August 1983
Age 38 years
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Wowkie Zhang (Chinese: 大张伟; pinyin: Dà Zhāngwěi), also known as Da Zhang Wei or the Chinese Redfoo, is a Chinese singer-songwriter.

Early life and career

1983 – 1998

Zhang Wei was born into a working-class family in Beijing in 1983. Despite family financial struggle, his parents worked two jobs to support his musical talent.

He studied in primary school in Chongwen District in Beijing. He went to Children's Cultural Palace to practice singing, where his musical talent was fully nurtured. At the age of 10, he won the first prize in the Chongwen District singing competition, and the Beijing Middle School and Primary School Students Singing Competition.

In Fourth Grade, Zhang Wei and his fellow singers in the Children’ Cultural Palace attended the Children's Choir competition in Russia and won the Second Prize. In the Fifth Grade, Zhang Wei passed the audition and became a member of Central China TV station (CCTV) Yinhe Teenage Art Troupe, a birthplace of many superstars in contemporary Chinese pop world, including Faye Wong(link), Cai Guoqing, WANG Xuechun, Liu Chunyan.[1]

1998 – 2009

In February 1998, when Zhang Wei and his friends performed in a pub, they got to know artist agent Hong Feng. That is when the bank the Flowers (Link) was established. In June, he was chosen as the Six Most Talented Teenagers of China. As Zhang Wei is a rather common name in the Chinese language, he was then better known by his stage name Da Zhang Wei (the big Zhang Wei, 大张伟).  

The Flowers was China's first teenage band. This band was credited for helping to give Chinese youths a voice, as many of them felt that the band's lyrics reflected their own life experiences.

In January 1999, the Flowers were singed to a small Beijing-based Chinese independent label, New Bees Music and released their first album, On the Other Side of Happiness. The album turned out to be a success with many hit songs like Stillness, Disillusion and the School's Out.  

In December 2001, they released their second album the Strawberry Statement.

In 2002, they won the Media Award in the 2nd Chinese Pop Music

In 2004, they won the Most Popular Band in the 4th Global Mandarin Pop Chart and the Chinese Music Pioneer Chart. The same year, the band was signed with EMI. In June, they released You Are My Romeo.

From 2004 to 2005, the band experimented with various musical styles including hip hop and techno. In 2005, the band released "Xi Shua Shua"(嘻唰唰).[2] This is a milestone in Zhang Wei's career as the song make him a household name. Xi Shua Shua became an instant hit in the mainland China and it is still a must-have in parties, square dancing (广场舞) and karaoke up till today. The song made Zhang Wei a permanent place in Mandarin Pop history. This popular song is even used in parties in other countries, such as Malaysia. [3]

Xi Shua Shua was included on the band's fourth studio album, Hua Ji Wang Chao, or Blooming Dynasty, released in July 2005. The album won numerous awards around China and sold some 200,000 copies in the forty days after its release and was considered a great success in the country's pop music scene.

2009 to now

The Flowers was disbanded in 2009 because band members had different personal goal. Da Zhang Wei embarked on his solo career. Since 2009, he released 5 albums and over 13 singles, achieving a record sales of over 5 million copies.

Last decade was a time when China's variety shows (综艺节目) became a popular form of entertainment. China's entertainment industry purchased many foreign reality show franchise, such as the Voice or the Masked Singers. Da Zhang Wei's career also experienced diversification as he made appearances on TV and internet shows.

He is increasingly popular with his humour and eloquence that he became known to younger audience as a host and TV personality. In 2016, Da Zhang Wei became a co-host for China's top talk show Day Day Up

After he went solo, he continued his humorous, fun-loving, crazy party rock style and made singles that are both critically and commercially acclaimed. Many songs are top trending on videos sharing websites, such as Tik Tok and Bilibili. The happy melody, straightforward lyrics and healthy, motivating content made his music Chinese people's favourite at parties and festivals.

In 2014, he released Beier Shuang, meaning Super Euphoric. He performed the song in China Central TV's Spring Festival Gala, a show viewed by hundreds of millions of Chinese audiences at home and abroad since 1988. The song became an instant national sensation. It is the most popular song for square dance ladies for its exciting beats and straightforward lyrics. Even the internet sensation Psy used Beier Shuang when he performed with Chinese girl band SNH48 in China.[4] music video of this song has been viewed over 2 million times on YouTube, even though Chinese internet users do not have access to YouTube.

Artistry

Musical style

Influences

Da Zhang Wei's early influence came from Green Day and Sex Pistols, [5], punk/rock guru influencing generations of new rockers. After he went solo, he turned his interest to EDM. So he and his musical partner Cheng Zhen Xin would spend hours on YouTube, learning to do EDM and looking for inspiration.

Punk/Rock

One of Da Zhang Wei's musical memories is the radio cassettes bought with his parents’ hard-earned money. His early music contained elements of rock and punk. At the age of 15, Da Zhang Wei performed in support act for the concert of popular band The Catcher in the Rye in the Busy Bee Bar in Beijing. He was immediately signed by manager Hong Feng and formed the first teenage rock band in China. His gongs were mainly about pains in adolescence life.

In July 2019, an internet variety show Summer of Band (樂隊的夏天)revive people's memory of the rocker side of Da Zhang Wei when he appeared on the show and performed with the rock bands. Once again, he made rock music a popular genre among Chinese audience.

Dance music

After Da Zhang Wei discovered rock was too rebellious for Chinese audience, he changed to a happier, lighter genre – dance music. He wrote catchy lyrics, including many fun Beijing dialect slangs. Their songs are commercially acclaimed and made him and his band a household name.

Electronic Dance music

Since 2015, Da Zhang Wei's latest music interest shifted to electronic dance music (EDM). Like his other endeavours, he is not content with following others so he created a unique EDM style with his distinct style: incorporateing Chinese ethnic music and EDM.

For example, in 2016, he created a theme song for the advertisement of AliPay's new function. Da Zhang Wei combines Beijing Opera with EDM which makes the song traditional yet incredibly fashionable. His 2018 hit song I Am a Popping Candy combines EDM with traditional Yunan ethnic style and Shangdong clapper talk, an ancient storytelling music performance dating back thousands of years ago.

To popularise EDM for Chinese audience, Da Zhang Wei uses his influence to create EDM songs in every possible opportunity.  

In 2016, he performed in Heroes of Remix (Link) as a guest performer where he demonstrated his extraordinary talent in remixing different elements and producing catchy and fun party music. For example, he remixed Beijing Opera, Beijing folk song the Beijing Chick and a 1980s rock classic—the Long March. The final result is a fun and ground-breaking New Beijing Chick (《北京小妞》) [6] . In the same show, he also remixed the theme song of 80s cartoon Hulu Brothers(《葫芦娃》), bringing back many people's childhood memory and giving this classic song new life. [7]

In this show he brought forward the concept of CDM—China Dance Music. He gave a short speech, appealing for all musicians to create music with their own ethnic style, rather than forgetting their own cultural identity by following the international trend.In 2018 Da Zhang Wei appeared as a judge in Rave Now. One of the co-stars on the show is Norwegian DJ Alan Walker, ranked 36th on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list of 2018. In the show, Da Zhang Wei scouted the winning performer—JIANG Liang. He also scouted a team of EDM musicians who were mainly performing in underground pubs and bars in China.

In the show, he and his team created many songs that remix ethnic music with EDM. For example, he created Nezha, which tells the story of a famous hero from traditional Chinese myth Nezha. In the form of EDM, young generation of music lovers can review this traditional story thus preserving China's culture.

Song writing

Unlike many other singers in mandarin pop, Da Zhang Wei writes his own songs. He has written 190 songs so far(according to Huxiu.com ) In the Flowers period, he was the writer of all songs in the band's albums. Still a teenager, his lyrics and rhythm was highly regarded by many adult singers so they have a cover of Da Zhang Wei's songs, including

Stillness ( 静止)-- Yang Naiwen / Faith Yang (杨乃文 [8]

Sodagreen (苏打绿 [9]

Jing Chang( 张芸京 [10]

Shattered (破灭) -- Karen Mok (莫文蔚 [11]

He is one of the most hard working songwriters in China. For example, when writing his hit song Xi Shua Shua, he listened to 5 gygabite of music looking for inspiration, that was almost 100 albums. He said, "I am very hard-working when it comes to learning music. For the past 20 years, I listened to over 500 songs per month to sharpen my craft." (Huxiu.com [12] )

Reality TV appearances

Da Zhang Wei became a popular guest star on reality TV shows, music talent show and game shows. His signature chatterbox image, humour and witty comments made him popular figure in these shows. A critic of Sohu.com once wrote: you cannot imagine how boring Chinese reality shows would be without Da Zhang Wei.   

Regular Appearance in TV/Online Shows

Time Program Name and Chinese Name TV/Website Role
05-07-2019 to Now Summer of Band

《乐队的夏天》

05-01-2019 to Now My Daughter

《我家那闺女》

Hunan Television Commentator of videos of private life of celebrity daughters
06-10-2018-10-06 to 22-12-2018 Happy Do Re Mi

《快乐哆来咪》

Hunan Television Guest performer and commentator
07-07-2018 to 22-09-2018 My Son

《我家那小子》

Hunan Television Commentator of videos of the private life of celebrity sons
2018-03-31 to 2018-06-16 Who's The Keyman

《我是大侦探》

Hunan Television Crime game player
17-12-2017 to 11-03-2018 Three Courtyard

《三个院子 》

iQiyi.com Lived in a traditional Beijing courtyard with his mother and shared his everyday life with audience
09-06-2017 to 07-07-2017 Rule of Games

《挑战的法则》

Shanghai Dragon Television Regular contestant at this popular reality game show
2017-05-31至2017-08-09 Brainstorming

《脑大洞开》

Youku.com Regular contestant at this weekly quiz show.
05-05-2017, 19-05,09-06, 16-06 72 Floors

《七十二层奇楼》

Hunan Television Participant in the adventure reality show
03-03-2017 to 04-07-2017 Twenty-Four Hours Season II

《二十四小时第二季》

Zhejiang Television Regular celebrity contestant at this popular reality game show
26-06-2016 to 18-09-2016 Back To High School Season Ⅱ

《我去上学啦第二季》

Zhejiang Television A reality show where stars went back to high school and lived the life as a high school student.
29-04-2016 to 15-07-2016 Run For Time Season Ⅱ《全员加速中第二季》 Hunan Television Participant in the reality game show
24-04-2016,12-06 19-06,07-10 Fresh Sunday

《透鲜滴星期天》

Mango TV (Online Platform of Hunan Television) Regular guest of this cook Show
13-11-2015 to 01-01-2016 Run For Time Season Ⅱ

《全员加速中第一季》

Hunan Television Participant in the reality game show
16-10-2015 to 08-01-2016 Survivor Games

《跟着贝尔去冒险》

自然探索类纪实真人秀 A reality game show produced by Discovery. Da Zhang Wei and other stars followed Bear Grylls on an adventure in a mountain in China
13-04-2015 to 03-07-2015 The Exploration of The World

《前往世界的尽头》

Jiangsu Television Participant of this travel show
Season 1 to Season 4 Your Face Sounds Familiar

《百变大咖秀》

Hunan Television A reality TV show where celebrity contestants impersonate other celebrities. Da Zhang Wei's humor and talent is well recognised.
22-06-2012 to 31-08, 28-12-2012,

09-08-2013, 19-04-2014

Generation Show

《年代秀》

Shenzhen Television Contestant of the quiz show about old films and music.

Hosting

Da Zhang Wei's surprising eloquence spurred a career diversification. In 2016, he became a permanent a co-host in China's top talk show Day Day Up, an 11-year-old talk show viewed by millions each week.

Public image

Rocker onstage vs cute boy offstageWhen he first rose to fame at the age of 15, Da Zhang Wei was famous for his good-boy-next door image amongst his contemporaries. Polite, cute, sweet, Da Zhang Wei was their seniors’ favourite. Famous singer songwriter Han Hong even wanted to be his godmother, a gesture of love in Chinese culture.

Contrary to his offstage image, his stage persona was more fierce. The band released rock songs give Chinese youths a voice. At this stage, Ca Zhang Wei mainly wrote about the anger, trouble and happiness unique to Chinese young people. Some even jokingly said they wanted to adopt him.

Glam rock on stage vs comedian offstageIn the 2000s, Da Zhang Wei believed China's social reality is not suitable for rock music. So he terminated the contract with New Bees Music and signed with EMI in 2004. His focus was more on commercial success and public popularity. The album You are my Romeo was an album with completely different style from the previous ones. The band ‘s image was not the angry teenage boy next door, but rather a mixture of punk, and Japanese street style – with unusual hair styles, striking hair colour, flamboyant costumes, similar to Japanese Visual Kei, or Western glam rock Japanese street fashion.

Despite his fierce looks, Da Zhang Wei’s music was not fierce, but rather very entertaining. His songs were mainly about happy themes with energetic beats and catch lyrics. Da Zhang Wei was determined to reestablish himself as an entertainer rather than a rocker.

In the late 2000s, China’s entertainment industry experience a drastic change where talk shows, talent shows, variety shows gained increasing popularity. At the same time, Da Zhang Wei became a solo artist. To maintain his profile, he attended many TV shows of differing categories.

Attending the Chinese version of Your Face Sound Familiar was a milestone in this solo career as his talent was discovered. The show invited celebrities to impersonate famous people in China pop, western world or in history. Da Zhang Wei’s impression was so good he was a regular to the show.

Youthful looks vs an old soul Da Zhang Wei stick to his signature party rock fashion style both on stage and off stage, which makes him the one-an-only Da Zhang Wei that no one can replace. Even in his mid-thirties, he still feels like a young boy. He remains youthful in his looks, and pure in his heart, with bright smile and clear eyes. Age did not wear him down, but increases his wit. He offers unique insights into many problems in life, which became his famous quotes widely cited by Chinese people. His remarks are funny, but worth pondering over. The internet called him “Teacher Da” because of his witty remarks.

Famous quotes [13]

人生就是个裤衩,什么屁都得兜着

(Life is like underpants, it gotta hold all the shit.)

青春就像卫生纸,看着挺多的,用着用着就不够了

Youth is like toilet roll: looks like there is a lot, but runs out before you know it.  

我们不怜悯悲伤,我们带着悲伤一块儿玩儿

We don't pity sadness. We play with sadness.

大家总是愿意去挖掘真相,但是没有人愿意相信真相

People like to dig the truth, but few like to believe the truth.

Discography

Albums:

Year Album Name
2010 Crazy Flowers

《霹雳狂花》

2011 Fanfare

《大张旗鼓》

2012 Welcoming the Spring

大摇大摆迎春来

2014 New Year's Eve

大年三十

2018 Human Elite

人间精品

Singles Released in Solo Career

Time Name Type of Work
28-12-2018 I am a Popping Candy

《我是一颗跳跳糖》

Single, Released Online
29-07-2018 Why am I So Cute

《我怎么这么好看》

Youth Mango Festival Theme Song

One of the most popular songs on Tik Tok and has used over 13 million times as background video music.

16-04-2018 Sunshine Rainbow Unicorn

《阳光彩虹小白马》

Popular single. One of the most popular songs on Tik Tok, used over 2 million times
14-04-2018 God of War

《战神》

Theme song of movie God of War
21-06-2017 Brainstorming

《脑洞大》

Theme song of the show Brainstorming
05-03-2017 Cool to be Invincible

《无敌就是爽》

Theme song for mobile phone game Invincible OL
19-12-2016 Shopping and Eating

《逛吃逛吃》

Theme song for Kung Fu star Jackie Chan's movie Railroad Tiger
07-01-2016 Xiu Xiu

《咻一咻》

Advertisement theme song for AliPay's new function: Xiu Xiu Money Transfer
29-10-2015 Never Give Up

《永不放弃》

Theme song for reality game show Survivor Games
30-10-2014 My Princess

《葫芦葫芦瓢》

Theme song for comedy Meet Miss Anxiety
16-07-2014 Let's Love Theme song for charity foundation Smile Angel Foundation
21-05-2014 Ever Changing

《百变摇》

Theme Song for the reality show Your Face Sounds Familiar
20-06-2008 Shake and Shake

《摇摆摆》

Chinese theme song for Disney's High School Musical 2
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 21 Aug 2019. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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References
http://www.baidu.com/
https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%A4%A7%E5%BC%A0%E4%BC%9F
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW047XUVeKI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIDeDGg5gs8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1VAVPrCBqQ
https://www.huxiu.com/article/280908.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf26u_2sARk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiYWaTrFayw
http://www.jammyfm.com/p/106929.html
https://kknews.cc/zh-sg/entertainment/ez9ogm4.html
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5694791/
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