Chen Hsin-hung, Idolmaker

Ashin has always spent a lot of his time writing for other people, and this year is no exception. This month it’s in the news that he has written and produced the lead single off of Mainland singer Jing Boran’s new solo album.

So, being more than a little ambivalent about the idol-making television contests, I had never really heard of Mr. Jing before. A quick investigation shows that he was the winner of the mainland contest “My Hero” in 2007, then with the third place finisher, Fu Xinbo, formed a two man group called “Bobo,” which pulled a shared sound from each of their names. Like all manufactured singing groups, they seemed to have been marketed more on the basis of their friendship (which this gossip piece linked at Wikipedia questions) than their singing, though they must be able to carry a tune to get as far as they did in the contest (not to win the contest, as Li Yuchun reminds us, but certainly to get this far). Anyway, they split up last year (erm, took a temporary step back, whatever) and the boys are now working solo careers. Jing Boran’s kicks off with this self-titled album.

The new song, “Supernatural (超自然),” first had Ashin thinking – laughably – that if he was writing a song for an idol-type artist he couldn’t make it too tough to sing. (I’m amused by this because I’ve been saying for years that both Ashin and Cowboy Jay write songs for themselves that they find difficult to sing, but no worries, it’s very thoughtful, Ashin.) Once he hear Jing’s talent, however, he changed his mind, explaining, “Boran isn’t just a handsome idol, he really is a very talented artist.” He added that Boran seemed rather “supernatural” to him, hence the song.

Right. Now, I find all this talk about not making the song too hard to sing a little weird, since if you look at the credits at the beginning of the video, it looks like the lead singer of 831 Band wrote the music, and Ashin wrote the lyrics. Wouldn’t that make it more A-pu’s problem if it was hard to sing?

Anyway, Boran says all the right things about how relieved he is to have Ashin’s support, and the album hits the Taiwan market (through Seed Music) June 13.

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