Necessaries in Popular Music ?!

21 Aug

Jonathan Lee once described popular music as the developmental history of society, the experience of life, but also an existence of a generation proof.

Well, I almost agree with Jonathan, but I can’t help myself but think that today’s music has been put is part of some bland, mechanized product rather than the artist having a pure love of producing it.

Like watching a movie with your popcorn (which is fine) and cameo roles always die within 5 minutes at the beginning of Hollywood movies, today’s popular music is often produced with:

  •  An extremely good looking singer
  •  A sexy image attached to MTV
  •  Irrelevant gossip news
  • Ability to guide (wired) fashion taste
  • Unbelievable and almost super powered paparazzo

This is the typical model to produce a “successful” album or single. 

  • If today’s visual power and gossip plays a more important role to promote music than music itself
  • If Lady Gaga has to act weird to be recognized as Gaga,
  • If music can’t live without the visual image,
  • If only music is not good enough to let people know it’s music

Should we call all the elements attached to music as a smart evolution or sad devolution of developing today’s music industry?

Well, whether you believe it or not, I miss the day when I could listen to Zhou Hui’s music, so simple, gentle, but still with that magic to draw my heart even after years

 In her MTV, you can often find a girl like this


That is her and it’s her decision to use a concise, cartoon-girl to represent her without pounds of makeup, exaggerated visual appearance and gossips. All the “compulsory” elements to make popular music in today’s society seem abandoned. Here, you can purely focus on the golden voice of Zhou Hui with your imagination to explore love, the family and the meaning of life simply.

She keeps a very low profile in her daily life and she is the singer that doesn’t brand herself too much to distract people from her music.


  Promise (Lyrics)
  Take your hand under the eaves on a rainy day
  Listening to the bells ringing from faraway
  I wish the wedding in the church
  Would fill us with God’s grace
  Travelling the thorny path to paradise
  We’re used to seeking courage in each other’s eyes
  Whenever I’m too tired to muster strength, I wanna give you a kiss
  It always relieves me of love’s woes
  Let’s promise
  To forget all our sad memories
  And to free each other from worries
  We should both be happy
  And take care of ourselves
  Even in the days without each other’s company
  Let’s promise
  To end any quarrel immediately
  And to be open to each other without secrets
  I’ll love you truly and blindly
  Not caring about fairness


I don’t know what the exact measurement to define a successful song is. But I remember a famous line said by Rancho in the movie 3 Idiots, ‘Pursue excellence and success will follow.’

Zhou is using her unique style to let people purely concentrate on her music and enter the colourful spiritual world she created. Her insistence to purely pursue the excellence of music makes me think she has succeeded. The best evidence is me as an audience still falling in love with her promise, even if it has been 12 years since the song was published.


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