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Malaysian Chinese Singer Ah Niu
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After two years of absence from the music scene, popular Malaysian singer Ah Niu has again taken the Southeast Asian music world by storm with a comeback album this year entitled Peach Blossoms Are Blooming. Music fans across Southeast Asia and the Chinese Mainland are opening their arms wide to embrace Ah Niu's new album, which is mostly a continuation of his lovely and simple music style.

The title track Peach Blossoms Are Blooming is a track that has been suggested as one to be enjoyed by all. Simple but joyous-sounding, the song is reminiscent of traditional Chinese celebration tunes.

The inspiration for the song came from one of Ah Niu's visits to the Chinese Mainland. Ah Niu saw a large area of blossoming peach trees. He suddenly thought of how numerous people were working in other cities, away from their homes. They will return to their family at the Lunar New Year Festival time, which falls in the spring. So Ah Niu wrote this song to describe how when a person returns home, all his beloved ones are waiting earnestly for his return under the peach blossom tree. Truly, the festive mood and the warm, simple and genuine happiness expressed in the music make it an ideal song for the traditional Chinese Spring Festival celebration. Now let's enjoy this track.

Ah Niu's original name was Chen Qingxiang. Before 1997, he was very popular in Malaysia and Singapore only. After his song was sung by Taiwan pop singer and actor Richie Ren, Ah Niu quickly became recognized by the public and generated a large following in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. His most unforgettable previous hits include Girl In Front, Look At Me, Love Me Forever and Hug the Little Koala. In addition, he also composed a few hits for famous Taiwan and Hong Kong pop singers like Rene Liu and Karen Mok.

In 2003, A Niu temporarily hid away from public view, because, as he said, he was overwhelmed by too many things that life had granted him and he needed time to digest them.

Now, the album Peach Blossoms Are Blooming is made up of ten new compositions, all of which were composed and produced within less than three months.

Say I Love You with the Passion of Malaysian Weather was adapted from a traditional Malaysian folk tune. The title seemed a little confusing at first sight. But Ah Niu explained that it is because Malaysia has only two seasons, the dry season and the Monsoon season. So the title means I love you with a passion that matches the extreme hot weather or the fervor of the heavy rain in Malaysia. This meaning is also expressed in its lyrics. The intertwining traditional folk ballads give the song a tropical flavor. Let's hear it.

Ah Niu's music style is very down to earth. As such the style is often easy approachable, like the singer himself. The following track entitled Say Sorry is a funny rendition of the scene of a couple bickering over trivial family issues. The husband comes back from work and lazily stretches out on the sofa to watch TV. The wife asks him how was his day? But he doesn't care to answer her, telling her he wants to watch TV and asks her to bring him a coffee. Feeling hurt, the wife then complains that the man leaves all family duties to her and gets angry at her even for things like the toothpaste getting used up. Realizing his fault, the man guiltily apologizes to his wife. Now let's hear this humorous piece.

Before we conclude on Ah Niu's new album, we have one more track for you. I Want To Sing A Song For You is a work composed for Ah Niu's little daughter who is still in the stage of enjoying bossing her father about. The melody is comforting and the lyrics are sweet and full of emotion. But Ah Niu says his daughter may not understand what he's singing about until she grows up, or maybe after he's handed her over to the arm of another man. Now let's see what feeling this track leaves us.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)

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