Good mix: Jin Chen Zheng Ren’s debut solo album, Wei Shen Me?(Why?), comprises Mandarin and English songs, and karaoke and instrumental numbers.
Singer Jin Chen Zheng Ren has many talents, including penning lyrics and composing music.
Jin Chen Zheng Ren once gave up playing the piano because he was concerned that it would make him appear niang (sissy). He much preferred the guitar then, which he considered a more “macho” instrument to play.
Touted as the 2006 Shang Hai Ya Zhou Xin Ren Wang (literally the King of Shanghai’s Asian Newcomers), JiN represented Malaysia at the Shanghai Asian New Artistes singing competition last year and took home the Most Promising New Artiste award.
Having begun composing songs since he was barely 12, JiN won the competition with his own composition, Why?.
JiN said: “I had entered the star search show at the very last minute and was actually told that I was too late to compete. But I managed to convince the judges to let me in. I told them that I really loved singing. I pleaded with them to give me a chance.”
Happily, he won over the judges of the annual star search, who thought his voice was very special.
The multi-talented artiste has credentials listing him as singer, composer, lyricist, music video director and music producer.
JiN studied directing and editing in Australia, his favourite country. He is driven by a burning passion for music and filmmaking.
Incidentally, JiN is English-educated. However, that is no obstacle to the resourceful Libran who has been penning his lyrics in pinyin (romanised Chinese).
The 23-year-old recently started learning to read and write Chinese. So why did he choose to record in Mandarin?
“I was in Form 2 when I heard Wang Lee Hom’s song on the radio and I instantly fell in love with it. My love affair with Mandarin songs continues till today and Lee Hom remains my favourite musician although there are many others whom I have come to love, too.”
When asked which movie he liked best, the budding filmmaker responded, “There are so many, I don’t know which. All I can think of now is the Matrix trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong and all the movies that Stephen Chow Sing Chi has acted in.”
JiN, who hails from Sitiawan, Perak, professed a love for seafood and football, although he does not play the game.
Launching his debut solo album Wei Shen Me (Why?) in the cosy setting of a karaoke box allowed him to introduce some of his music videos, Ai Ni Feel So Good (Loving You) and Gan Jue Ai (Love Love Love). Then, singing Jie Fang (Release), he showed how his slightly raspy voice had that edgy rock quality that suited his pop rock compositions.
Wei Shen Me contains four music videos and 12 audio tracks, of which six are Mandarin songs and one English, while the rest are instrumental or karaoke tracks.
In this album, he also duets with European pop idol Jacqueline Blouin (known as the Swiss Kelly Clarkson) on Hui Dao Wei Yi Shi Ai (Return to What We Had), singing in English and Mandarin.
Blouin, a pretty blonde 21-year-old singer-songwriter currently based in Switzerland, wrote the lyrics for the song. German-born Blouin was keen on venturing into the Asian music market so, given a list of singers to choose from, she decided to collaborate with JiN as she found his voice suitable.