Karen Mok (莫文蔚) fulfilled her dream to release an English album with Somewhere I Belong. Released on January 14, the 10-track jazz album blends musical cultures from the East and West with the use of classical Chinese instruments.
With 15 successful albums behind her, 3 Golden Melody Awards, the lead role of Mimi in the 10th Anniversary Asian tour of the Broadway smash Rent, and acting as a torch bearer at the Beijing 2008 Olympic games, Karen Mok’s list of achievements have long crossed beyond film and music.
It has always been Karen’s lifelong dream to release an English album. Being a fan of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald since young, it is of little wonder that Karen would choose the jazz genre for her first English album.
A Marriage of Jazz and Chinese Music
Somewhere I Belong is recorded in Shanghai in 2012, covering an eclectic mix of songs, from Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale” to George Gershwin’s “The Man to Love”. Believing that jazz can be improvised into contemporary rock music, Karen injected jazz into Sting’s “Cross Over Bourbon Street” and Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games”. She recreates English band, Portishead’s “Sour Times” with a dose of Jazz peppered with Chinese music influence.
Somewhere I Belong also features Karen playing the guzheng, the traditional Chinese instrument she learned many years ago, in her cover of the Beatles classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Not forgetting her Chinese roots, the album also consists of two Chinese songs, including one from the heyday of Shanghai’s swinging jazz scene in the 1930s and 1940s.
In Somewhere I Belong, Karen manages to cross cultural barriers to create a unique jazz album that integrates different genres of music across different times and continents, demonstrating Karen’s versatility and musical talents.
“The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships” <傾國傾城>
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“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
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This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.