As an avid supporter of the Occupy Central political protest that took place in Hong Kong, Denise Ho (何韻詩) lost all opportunities of advancing her singing career in Mainland China. However, the 38-year-old singer confidently exclaimed she does not need to live off the Mainland Chinese music industry, and that protecting Hong Kong’s unique culture is extremely valuable.
In order to connect Hong Kong citizens to her music, Denise plans to hold 18 concerts around the city in unique and unpredictable places. Her “18 Types of Hong Kong” will be held in old factory buildings, rural farmlands, and inside small street stores. Denise expressed, “I’ve seen things happen in different districts of Hong Kong. Whether it was the young or old generation, they all worked hard to preserve our unique culture. There was a young man who quit his job to participate in Occupy Central. Many ideas don’t immediately lead to change, but I believe change will occur as more people try!”
Denise’s goal is to allow her audience to feel as if they are a part of her concerts’ performers. She exclaimed, “It’s not just going to be about me entertaining you guys. I want to convey a message!” Denise admitted that many people, including her former self, had lost confidence in Hong Kong’s music industry. She expressed, “The Hong Kong market has been decreasing in size over the past decade. Everyone, including me, branched into Mainland China. But now that I’ve lost my chance in the Mainland market, I was thinking if that means I would die? It doesn’t seem so, because I want to explore Hong Kong’s space.”
Despite many claims that there is no room left for development within the Hong Kong music industry, Denise disagreed and exclaimed, “Local singers continued to thrive without the Mainland market back in the 80s, so why can’t we do that now? Before things happened, it was indeed easy to make a living there. We didn’t have to use our brains, and money came easily as long as you had three songs. But in the end, we sacrificed our basic values. We sacrificed music content and quality, because in Mainland China, your content had to match certain themes. It’s the same with their films; everything is similar. To have an industry turn into something like that is boring!”
Recalling the intense evening of the Occupy Central movement on September 28, 2014, Denise has no regrets in supporting the protestors although it meant sacrificing a part of her career. She expressed, “It’s rare that Hong Kongers broke out such a will. I couldn’t just stand aside and do nothing. Some people claimed I was being ridiculous and irresponsible, but their logic makes no sense.” However, she admitted the movement was quite scary and that certain people lost their rationality. “Black turned into white, and white turned into black. Those who saw one couldn’t see the other. I can’t explain its absurdity and extremity with words.”
This article is written by Shirley for JayneStars.com.