Sunday, January 15, 2012

HK Artist Spotlight: Eric Suen

Born on January 3, 1973 and entering the music industry in 1993, in the blink of an eye Eric Suen has been making music for nearly 20 years.

Eric attended Hong Kong's Chinese University majoring in computer engineering and minor in French. At the college, he participated in a songwriting competition and won the grand prize. With his talent and stage presence, he attracted the attention of record executives and entered the music industry in 1993 at just 20 years old.

He was propelled to stardom in 1994 with his first single and album, both titled "爱的故事上集" (Love Story, Part 1), which was a huge hit.  He focused his career on Taiwan and gained experience in Japan and Korea as well.  Eric went on to become a popular singer and idol of the 1990s.

In 2000, he took a break from his music career to develop a television career in Mainland China.  He starred in the popular series "Huai Yu Gong Zhu" and several other dramas.  He starred in the TVB series "Pages of Treasure" in 2008 opposite Hong Kong actors Wayne Lai, Sonija Kwok, Shirley Yeung, etc.

Under Universal Music Group, Eric returned to the music scene in 2006.  His first single with his new record label was a duet with Stephanie Che titled "再見亦是戀人" (roughly translated to Goodbye is Also a Lover), which did moderately well.

He officially returned to the music scene in 2007 with the extremely successful song "思前戀後" (roughly translated to "Love the Thought Before").  The song went on to become a "Three Champion Song", reaching #1 on the RTHK, TVB, and 997 stations.  His comeback album was "So Far So...Close", which contained both new works and classics.  His comeback garnered him the silver award for "Most Popular Singer" at the JSG Awards that year.

Following his return to music under Universal, he released the albums "In the Name of...Love", "Only Want to Be With You", "Man in the Mirror", and "Never Say Goodbye", which all did moderately well.  "Man in the Mirror" allowed him to be more creative and he has songwriting credits on several of the songs.  The album garnered him several awards.  "Never Say Goodbye", his most recent album, was his first Mandarin album in over 9 years.

Many singers come and go or lose their former quality of music, but Eric Suen is one of the few who have retained their youth as well as consistently release wonderful music.

Eric Suen is and has been my favorite C-Pop singer since getting into C-Pop about three years ago.  He has a soothing voice with great range and the emotion he puts into his music seem effortless.  What I love about his music is that his sound is neither too young (like today's newcomers or "idols") or too old.  It is mature, well-produced and polished, yet pleasing and enjoyable.

Although his comeback has given him moderate success, he is no longer anywhere as popular as he was in the 90s.  Perhaps it's because he's been in the industry for nearly 20 years or because he's overshadowed by Universal's other singers like Hacken, Eason, and Kay, but his popularity has faded.

Nevertheless, I much prefer his music after his return and still consider him my favorite.  He is no longer an idol that girls fawn over, but a true singer.  Since his comeback, he has gained a lot more creative control of his music, making it feel more personal and memorable.

Eric has a couple upbeat songs that are great, but his slower songs are still his specialty.  They show his voice, emotion, and are overall more well-produced.

Song Recommendations

"爱的故事上集" (Love Story, Part 1)
His first song as well as the song that shot him to popularity.  The MV is poor quality and makes it evident how old it is, but the song itself is still a memorable classic with a great melody.

"再見亦是戀人" (Goodbye is Also a Lover) (Ft. Stephanie Che)
Eric's first single following signing a record deal with Universal.  The song boosts great vocals from both Eric and Stephanie (a very underrated singer with a beautiful voice) and uses rounds, creating a lovely and extremely well-produced song that is very hard to sing.

"思前戀後" (Love the Thought Before)
His "Three Champion Song".  An example of one of his memorable slow songs that shows great vocals, emotion, and melody.  Note: The video is property of Universal and will tell you to watch on YouTube, simply click the link to watch.

Apologies for the inconvenience, but a majority of Eric's MV's are uploaded by Universal, who have disabled the embed option to their videos.  For consistency sake, I've posted the links.  Please just click on the links to watch on YouTube.

Eric Suen is one of the most experienced and talented singers that is still a part of the Hong Kong music scene today.  He is my favorite singer for his great voice and music. 


Author's Note: Since Eric is my favorite singer, there was a lot more to say and share about him.  Apologies if you think it's too long and hope you enjoy his music as much as I do! :)

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