Steven Ma Speaks About His New 2013 Music Album

It has been nearly ten years since Steven Ma (馬浚偉) released a full studio album. Ten new tracks will be included in his upcoming album, of which the title single, “An Understanding” <心照> was released earlier in April.

The new song showcases Steven’s crystal clear voice and may spark a bit of nostalgia to the times when Steven was a newcomer. Watching his TVB series often meant a chance to listen to Steven singing the theme songs as well.

After winning a singing competition in 1993, Steven released several albums under Warner Music Group. The company promoted him with the following tagline, “‘He is not Jacky Cheung (張學友). He is not Leon Lai (黎明). He is not Hacken Lee (李克勤). He is Steven Ma’ which offended fans and resulted in poor album sales. Steven eventually found greater fame after signing as a TVB artist, in which his passionate acting touched many fans.

It is with the same sincere approach that Steven used in working on his new music album. Steven composed and penned the lyrics for five songs in the album, which makes the compilation a highly personal project in which the main themes revolve around family love and friendship. The author of five books featuring his personal essays, as well as a culinary book, Steven enjoys creative writing and turned his focus to writing lyrics this year.

“It’s been many years since I last released a studio album, so I’m very excited,” Steven said in a recent radio interview. For the last two months, Steven has been shuttering himself away from friends as he was either composing music at home or recording at the studio. “I didn’t officially learn music theory or music arrangement. Fortunately, I had studied electronic piano so I can use this while composing music at home. After recording the tunes at home, I handed them over to the music producer as a preliminary arrangement to be refined.”

Steven found it to be a challenge to work on his new album and hopes to bring a refreshing feeling to listeners. “Each song has to have a unique style. In terms of my own singing approach, I will design a different range for each song.”  The album producer even arranged for Steven to test out different microphones to capture his mid to low tones perfectly. The sincerity put into Steven’s new album can be felt and it will surely bring satisfaction to fans who have waited a decade for his return to Cantopop.

Steven’s New Song, “An Understanding”

[vsw id=”pASEr4dB09s” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”375″ autoplay=”no”]


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  1. Genuinely excited for this! Loved all of his songs that he’s sang for his TVB dramas and I’m sure this album will be a massive hit and a great comeback to Hong Kong! Go Stevennnnn 😀

  2. Thanks, Jayne, for the write-up on Steven’s upcoming music album and the video.

    As expected, for the past few weeks Steven has been making the rounds in various radio stations. I’ve enjoyed very much listening to him happily chatting with his new and old friends on the radio. If interested in details, search “2013 music album” on or on youtube playlist – sm 2013 music album.

    For an indepth look at Steven’s early singing career do check out his autobiographical column that he wrote for a Guangzhou daily newspaper in 2002

    1. Clamine,
      Steven’s song brought back good memories of how singers from the 90s used to sing, with clarity in their voices. The lyrics are quite meaningful too. Look forward to Steven’s sincere effort in his upcoming album.

  3. What truly impressed me of Steven’s accomplishments is how he is able to incorporate his passions/interests including acting, badminton, books, cooking, music, photography, singing, writing, Cantonese Opera, Chinese culture and history into his career – how many of us can do that?

    He loves singing so he joined many singing competitions until he became the champion in a HK singing competition.
    He loves music and singer so became a singer.

    He loves acting so he made it his career.

    He loves Cantonese opera so he took lessons on it, and performed on stage as special guest in Joyce Koi’s concerts.

    He loves cooking so he hosted 2-season culinary shows and incorporated photography as theme in the first season.

    He is interested in Chinese history so he took an online 2-year course on Chinese history and classics as self-cultivation.

    He loves words so he hosted the Book of Words variety show.

    He loves books and writing so he set up his own publishing company to publish books of interest to him at the same time benefit readers.

    He loves stage plays so he acted in “Hamlet”.

    He loves playing badminton so he was the TVB sport commentator for the 2009 HK East Asian Games on badminton. He also joined HK Badminton Club so that he can play with the professionals and be able to participate in badminton tournaments, which he did last year in the 19th Red Bull Global Chinese Badminton Tournament held in Nanjing. He was inspired to write the friendship song 心照 for all his friends, but especially for his group of badminton partners. (radio quote) Steven has lots of admiration and appreciation for the national and HK badminton players for their discipline, stamina, determination and most of all, their indomitable competitive spirit – their ability to handle wins and losses.

    He wanted to rid himself of his Achilles’ heel in dancing, so he did Steps, and fell in love with dancing after that.

    He wants to attempt scriptwriting, he did last year.

    He wants to attempt directing a show or a drama; he just finished directing three of his mvs for the album, and is right now doing the editing.

    But, of all his interests, he loves music the most, his constant muse throughout his life, always there for him, and so he returns to his first love – music. Before this new album, Steven has had written lyrics for several songs in early singing career, so songwriting is not new to him but composing melody is.

    On an aside, I recall a recent heated debate on the different status of education seen from different povs.
    Steven doesn’t have a high formal schooling but in the late James Wong’s written words on him in 2002: We talked about books; he was very knowledgeable on them. [..] nothing pleases me more than well-read young people.[..] His poise and social comportment [..] this kind of knowledge provided by the university of society, he had not only learned it well but applied it well, too. (Steven worked with Jim shu in 1994-(?) TVB variety show.

    Chung Hui-Ling – a HK Regeneration Society member (a non-profit org for chronic patients, of which Steven is an ambassador of since publishing his book on chronic patients) wrote this foreword in the said book: “Steven’s life wisdom today is arduously gained and sharpened from all the hard knocks experiences learned from the university of society.”

    Steven is nothing if not tenacious, always put in his all to excel in what he does and always seeking for self-cultivation and self-growth as a person and an artist. Steven’s motto: “Self-confidence may not necessarily ensure a win but without it, you will surely lose. 有信心未必會贏,無信心一定會輸.”

    1. Wow Clamine, seems like you’re a real fan. Lots of interesting facts and I thank you for that. New found respect for Steven after I read this. I’ve enjoyed most of his works at TVB and he certainly can sing.

      Having said that, I’m half hearted about the track. There are parts that I think is great, but a portion of it sound a bit cheesy, too try hard kind of rendition. I think he did much better it his TV series theme songs.

      Kudos to him though for venturing beyond his comfort song. A good effor for first time composer!

      1. @Puff: How did you guess? lol! That I am – Steven’s fan.

        In the album, besides the friendship song he also composed a love song, (for gf?) and a familial song for his late mother. Half an hour ago, he posted this mv screencap with this words: 希望,您能聽到! (Hope you can hear it!)

        How lucky is he that he can publicly express his feelings in a song to his loved ones? Personally, I’m most looking forward to his love song, presumably for his gf.

        Aside: Forgot to add another art form that Steven enjoys– it is drawing and sketching. Reportedly, after high school he was deem good enough to be awarded a scholarship to enter a local designing school (? not sure what kind)but he rejected it and opted for an outside job to help out with his familial financial situation.

      2. What I find absolutely fascinating about Steven is his tolerant and forgiving nature towards other people,(him being in the entertainment industry too) for e.g. Dai Wan Wei (戴蕴慧), eldest daughter of the late HK renowned music teacher, Dai Si Chung (戴思聪).

        2003 News Report: When asked if still will be friends with [..] and Dai Wan Wai (戴蘊慧) Steven answered sternly: “Dai Wan Wai – that’s all water under the bridge now, these days we still talk on the phone now and then.”

        In Ms. Dai Wan Wei’s (戴蕴慧) 2000 book, “真心话”, she obliquely apologized to Steven for using him as a bridge to cover up the truth about her attempted suicide over her break-up with her ex Taiwanese boyfriend. At the time, she falsely blamed Steven for leaking news of her attempted suicide to the media when she very well knew he didn’t. She denied her suicide to the press and blamed Steven for making it up, so that he became the scapegoat to take the heat off her from media speculations. When her book absolved Steven of wrongdoing, the media contacted Steven for his reaction, all Steven said was: “Thank you to you all for clearing my name.”

        Below is a quote from Ms. Dai’s book as an apology to Steven for willfully causing him undue pain caused by her egregious lie.

        “But in the end, to protect another who doesn’t even care about me anymore, I willfully hurt him publicly. Put myself in his shoes, if our roles were exchanged, it’s him who hurt me I would definitely feel very sad…”

        Despite that incident, this day Steven still remains friends with her as evinced by the below news report excerpt.

        2010: Dai Wan Wai thanked numerous friends for helping her with her father’s funeral preparation including Cally Kwong and Steven Ma. “Ma Jai knows a lot more people than I so he gave lots of advice.”

    2. Whoa, thanks for sharing this, clamine. I love how driven and proactive Steven is.

  4. I always enjoyed his TVB theme songs and felt his voice was perfect for them.
    Not digging the sample track though. If that is indicative of the rest of the CD, I think I’ll stick to just enjoying his theme songs lol.
    It’s also cool that he is writing his own stuff instead of singing what everyone else writes for him. Shows he has more skill than most other singers. Whether I like the style or not, he has my respect and admiration.

  5. just hope tvb treats him best this time which means giving him a tv king title no matter what.. and based on tvb actors these days steven ma acting skills is far beyond a tv king actor level

  6. If all goes well, Steven will hold a mini concert tour in 5 cities (including HK)between July and August. So stay tune.

      1. I wish, but he did not say which 5 cities other than Hong Kong in July. But I bet it’s most likely in San Fran or LA rather than in NYC, like last year.

      2. Clamine,
        There is still time to plan a short summer getaway once the US concert locations are finalized. Who knows when the next opportunity will be?

  7. Just in time for Mother’s Day, Steven’s new song with mv is out.

    snippet from mingpao:
    [For Mother: ‘Weary’]《给妈妈的倦》is Steven’s new song dedicated to his late mother, whereby he unreservedly expressed his love for her. “My mother when alive loved this song, ‘Weary’ (倦) by Deanie Ip. Even when she lost her hearing, she still played this song repeatedly.”

    “The night I wrote the song, I played ‘Weary’ on a loop for inspiration. Reminiscing, I cried as I wrote the words.” Steven invited Roy Chiao’s (商乔宏) wife, “Siu Gam Zi” (小金子) to record a voice-over for the mvs. Voiceover: “I want to soothe those whose mothers have passed away, if your hearts still miss her, no matter via which channel, she will know.”

    new song for mother =

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