The Thing About C-pop

To prove my point made in the previous post that there will be no lack of C-entertainment posts on the blog, the following is, well, a C-entertainment post.

Should I be more specific, the posts I have made on Just A Muse thus far have been C-pop (Mandopop actually, though I do listen to some Cantopop, too) ones. Do I listen to other genres/languages of music? Yes, I will listen to a little bit of K-pop and hear American pop a lot (because I live in America okay) in public. But in general I won’t/don’t really post about them because there are so many English blogs on that.

According to Cfensi there is quite a lot of news on non-Mainland Mandarin artists, too, yet that is what I still chose to blog about anyway.

To clarify:

1. I will rarely ever be posting on Mainland artistes.

Unfortunately, I sort of have a lack of interest/ perhaps even dislike toward them. In the past I thought Ronghao Li was the exception, as does come from the Mainland, but he’s based his career in Taiwan so that doesn’t really count. JJ Lin is of Fujianese (Southern China) descent, and for a while I thought he was born and raised there too before making his career in Taiwan. But it turns out he’s actually Singaporean.

Anyhow, back when 多米音乐 was working properly in the States I checked out some of the artists’ music but was rather unimpressed. So while I was sobbing for all the G.E.M. and A-Lin songs I had gotten hold of that all got deleted with the app, the damage wasn’t that large.

多米, oh, 多米
多米, oh, 多米

I think most of my dislike because of frankly how unimpressed I was with popular Mainland artistes such as TFBOYS, Jane ZhangJason Zhang (regardless of Mainland or non-Mainland, the Chinese music industry really loves their J’s), etc. Obviously it’s wrong to just judge a whole area’s music based on that, and, admittedly M.I.C.‘s “Only One” sounds pretty good (pretty please don’t get mad at me idarklight), but due to lack of convenience finding the Mainland artists on the Internet here in the States, and, as I have said earlier, lack of interest, I just figured “ewh but no”.

(Don’t take my word for it, though. I tend to end up jinxing it.)

Which brings me to my next point . . .

2. Like very few people in my circle listens to C-pop.

Nowadays when I complain my friends will all say they do listen to JJ Lin sometimes, which gets me in a happy mood, but still. I was talking with a friend and through that it was revealed that she had no idea who Jay Chou was. What even. How is that even possible. 

“But,” I tried to reason, “you’re Chinese. Clearly you know who he is.”

Instead, a lot of them listen to K-pop. An overwhelming amount of them are fans of BIGBANG (including me), EXO, even SNSD. Yet CNBLUE isn’t very popular among them (*sobs*).

This sad truth continued to haunt when I had my summer visit to China. At least Jung Yonghwa is very well-known there, but where I had YinYueTai I found out that basically aside from TFBOYS, what was popular in what was considered “Mainland Music” was Mandarin versions of Korean songs. Ughhh. (At least in the “TW/HK” category substantially better artists such as the Queen Jolin TsaiJJ LinG.E.M. TangMaydayKhalil FongBY2, etc. top the charts.)

3. C-pop just isn’t all that popular.

Aside from, say, in China (and even there you see :'(), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore (plus some artists who also enjoy popularity where the Chinese population generally is or perhaps have expanded to Japan), the genre is basically unknown. Even in those areas, K-pop and American pop dominates. Even J-pop has had its glory days. But even with some really amazing artists, C-pop just . . . hasn’t. There are people in this world who have lived a normal existence without knowing who Jay Chou is.

In the latter part of last year, I had thought that there was finally hope when Jolin’s “Play” music video supposedly went viral . . . except for the fact that JJ Lin’s “If Only” (and his “Practice Love”, and his “Never Learn”) have a ton more views on YouTube . . . and his view count has to bow down to Jay Chou’s view count, etc.

But anyhow that justifies that not enough people know about the amazingness called Chinese pop music. Therefore my blogging of the topic is then justified.

BONUS: The Popularity Paradox

If I could I might rant over C-pop a lot (not that I don’t already). But these days I’ve been musing over this thing that I’ve referred to as “the popularity paradox”.

Basically the more popular something is, the higher chance there is that one will like it — especially if one desires to fit in with others. Yet the more popular something is, the less appeal there is to bother liking or getting into the thing, because “it’s so overrated”.

However, at the same time, if something isn’t all that well known, the chances of getting to know the thing, or if one sees that not many people like it, there is less appeal, too.

I guess in the end there needs to be some sort of balance. C-pop isn’t very popular in the Western world, but some people do listen to it, and some artists have just completely wowed me. So, in the end, that is what I choose.

(Plus my bias is just so amazing that he at times just saves the genre).



One Comment Add yours

  1. Jadon says:

    Words can’t describe how much I agree with this blog post. I think Chinese music deserves more recognition. There’s just too many things wrong in the K music industry for me to vibe with it, but I feel more of a connection to Mandarin language music more than anything. If only more people opened up to it…


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