After searching through YouTube and Google looking for an interesting Chinese popular culture topic, I came across the term C-Pop. C-Pop is a genre of Chinese/Taiwanese music. It comes from the term Cantopop which refers to Cantonese pop music. While perusing YouTube for a C-Pop band, I finally came across F.I.R., which stands for the band members initials, or Fairyland In Reality is made up of three members, Faye, Ian, and Real. Faye is the lead singer while Ian and Real play keyboard and guitar respectively. Their first single, called Lydia debuted in July of 2004 and since then they have continued to release music. Below is a link to the Lydia video on their YouTube channel.
F.I.R. has a smaller, yet loyal fan base in the United States, however they are most popular in China and other Asian countries. In 2004 they were awarded such titles as Best New Artist and Most Popular Group in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Produce, Ian Chan started the band and after realizing its potential recruited the other two members. The single, Lydia was actually debuted originally as the theme song for a television series called, “The Outsiders,” fans of the show were immediately attracted to the song and thus, it took off.
As their popularity throughout Asia has continued to rise, F.I.R. has made it into the news and many Chinese popular culture blogs. For instance, in 2008, The China Post wrote about the bands appearance in and Airport in Singapore where they gave away giant autographed posters to their fans. Furthermore, their loyalty to their fans has been shown through their attention to detail. When first asked to preform a live concert, the group decided it was best to write some new songs to better prepare themselves for the occasion first. This type of loyalty is common within Chinese popular culture due to the extreme sincerity of many of they cultures fans.
F.I.R. is also know for their unique attention to lyrics. Not only is it important to the members that they master the musical aspect, they also are sure to incorporate meaningful, well-thought-out lyrics in their songs. However, there have been complaints about the English translations of these lyrics, apparently a lot of the artistic beauty is lost. Therefore, fans say it is best to keep the lyrics in their original Mandarine Chinese form and appreciate the melody if you do not understand the language.
After reading about this, I decided to put this to the test. Therefore, I decided to enter the lyrics for Lydia in Chinese into Google Translate in order to see what I cam up with. It was clear that there were obvious themes of nature in the lyrics as well as sadness, likely surrounding Lydia’s feelings. However, it was difficult to decipher what was really being said. Here is an example of one of the lines I got from the translation, “sing you will see for whom the clouds to see the sun fog earth repeat the sad memorial he is gone cannot take away your heaven will stay dry.” While this sentence does not make sense syntactically in English, it is clear even through this make-shift translation that F.I.R. has deeper meanings behind their songs despite their pop culture image. F.I.R. is definitely and interesting example of Chinese popular culture.