If you key in the name Li Luzheng at the search engines Baidu or Google, there may come out 6,030 and 4,220 webpages respectively, all concerning him. There are also 266 posts about him on Baidu.
Who is Li Luzheng? He is one of millions of rural laborers who have migrated to the cities. He is a farmer who became famous overnight by composing and singing his own songs.
Actually, it was like a dream to sing on television, said him. In the CCTV evening program of the Lantern Festival in February 2007, Li Luzheng, a laborer from Chengde, Hebei Province, sang a song named Waving Hands, which was composed by himself. The song tells about the lives of millions of rural laborers. Satural and sentimental, Li's song soon became popular among the farmer migrants. Li, himself, is an example of how rural workers can change their lives through hard work. He chose music for his success.
Li Luzheng came from a farmer family in a small mountain village in Longhua County, Chengde, about 300 kilometers north of Beijing. When he was young, his family was too poor to let him continue schooling, so he had to quit from junior middle school. He then wanted to work in a big city.
Believing that Beijing was the heaven for laborers. He left home with a dozen yuan, and took a train with his former classmates to Beijing. His parents knew nothing about his whereabouts. His first job was to work on a construction site in Liuliqiao of Fengtai District. Since he was too young and unskilled, he could only do some simple work like mixing lime and moving bricks. He only earned 6.5 yuan a day. However, he was happy about his job. He and his schoolmates chatted a lot about their dreams to wear leather shoes and walk around like city dwellers. However, their dreams were smashed by an accident on a May evening. Their foreman asked Li and his fellow laborers to work overtime to dig sand, but Li went away because his elder sister had come to see him. Early the following morning, a truck driver came to tell him that two of his schoolmates were buried alive under the sand piles.
Why did they die so young, after they left their parents only two months ago? cried Li Luzheng. Even after many years whenever he mentioned his two friends, he still cannot help shedding tears. Depressed, he went back home and helped his parents on the farm. He was shocked by the accident, and also learned that such tragedies happened very often. He later wrote this into his songs.
He went back to Beijing to work in 1997, 2000 and 2002, becoming more familiar with the city. He and his fellow workers lived a poor life. Listening to the radio was their only entertainment everyday to pass monotonous time. There was only one radio, sometimes two, in a dormitory for over a hundred workers, and they often enjoyed pop songs from the radio.
Li Luzheng liked music very much. He first followed the songs broadcast on the radio, then gradually he felt unsatisfied with the songs written by others since there were no songs specially for rural workers. He had an impulse idea -why not compose his own songs.
One evening, Li Luzheng and his friends had a dinner party to welcome the father of one of his fellow workers who came to visit his son. The father tried to persuade his son to return home. This moving scene reminded Li of his own parents, and he suddenly had a desire to compose a song for the rural workers.
Li began his creation immediately. He first wrote what he thought and felt. Since he had only received limited education and had no training in music, he tried but failed - the lyrics he wrote did not rhyme at all.
During the Dragon Boat Festival in 2006, he had a sick leave after he had injured his eye. Lying in bed, he missed his home and his aged parents. He then began to revise his lyrics by imitating the format of pop songs. A month later, he finished the song which he was rather satisfied with, because he thought the song perfectly expressed his feelings. His fellow workers helped him think of a proper title for the song, but their suggestions did not work. One day he saw a mother waving to her child from a crowded bus, and a title for the song came into his mind: Waving Hands.
Now Li Luzheng needed to write music for his song. He had no idea about music notes. However, he tried to create by himself according to the rhythm of the lyrics. He recorded his own singing on his mobile phone, but it sounded so different every time he sang the song. He realized that it might be necessary to find somebody to write down the music notes for him.