Jazzing Up With Mok Apr 14, 2013 23:19:40 GMT 7
Post by idolfan on Apr 14, 2013 23:19:40 GMT 7
The multi-talented multi- lingual singer song writer, musician, award winner, and Olympic torch bearer, Karen Mok was in town recently to launch her very first English language jazz album “Somewhere I Belong”. Eurasian Karen, who has Chinese heritage but also Welsh, Iranian and German blood is from Hong Kong by birth, in reality she’s from everywhere. In a hugely accomplished career, Karen has repeatedly proved that she’s one of the most distinguished Oriental talents of her generation and now she’s set to cross the bridge between east and west as never before with her new album.
When asked why after 20 years she decided to release this English album, Karen has this to say “Well I think this is the perfect timing now as I’m more experience in life and more experience as an artiste”. Karen shared that when she was 3 years old, she has already set her mind to become a performer when she grew up and when she was a student in University, she had this dream to become a jazz singer.
“Somewhere I Belong” is the next chapter in her incredible career which includes 15 album releases, the first female artist from Hong Kong ever to win the prestigious Golden Melody Award in Taiwan which is nothing less than the equivalent of a Grammy and Karen won it 3 times, in 2003, 2008 and 2011 and as well as starring in countless films including the 2003 Jackie Chan hit “Around the World in 80 days”.
“Somewhere I Belong” is an eclectic selection of interpretations plus two Chinese songs, one traditional Shanghai’s swinging jazz scene in the 1930s and 40s, “Shanghai Night” and one written by Karen herself, “The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships”. The broad palette of this jazz album runs all the way from Cole Porter to Portishead, from Chris Isaak to Sting and from George Gershwin to the Beatles. It also features Karen playing the guzheng, the traditional Chinese zither-like instrument she learned many years ago, notably on her imaginative cover of George Harrison’s Beatles classic “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”, giving it a fresh new feel. "I don't play the guitar but I do play the guzheng, so I thought, let me do my version of the guzheng gently weeping" Karen explains.
Karen shared that the hardest part in doing this album was choosing the songs out of millions of songs that she would love to do and getting all the musicians who are from different parts of the world together at the same time including fitting in her own busy schedule. But in the end she made it “Well I’m a fighter, once I set my mind on doing something, I’ll see it through to the end” said Karen.
Fans can look forward to seeing Karen performing here in a concert soon but it’ll be in a more intimate venue. “This time around I prefer to do the concert in a more intimate venue like concert halls and theatres rather than the big stadiums and arena, because with this new album, with jazz, it probably works better to be closer to the audience and I want to have a different take this time, maybe play around with more theatrical elements” shared Karen.
For future projects, Karen is looking forward to doing a musical and hopes to take part in creating an original musical in Chinese. She hopes to also continue acting if she can squeeze it into her busy schedule and shared that she would love to do a movie version of some musical and possible an epic Chinese martial arts movie. Fans can also look forward to her new upcoming movie “Man of Tai Chi”, directed by Keanu Reeves. Karen described the movie as an unusual project because it has a trilingual script in English, Cantonese and Mandarin with very high level action and cool fighting scenes. “Obviously Keanu Reeves is a great attraction and as a director, he really proved himself” added Karen.
Karen has become the latest to lend her celebrity voice to the global fight against malaria. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) has named her as their newest "RBM Champion" to help drive conversations on malaria and ensure the topic remains at the top of key international development agendas, particularly in her native Asia.
Sharing her life motto "Love what you do and do what you love and that's exactly what I have been doing all my life".
Mr Loan Cheong, Managing Director of Universal Music Malaysia presenting a gift to Karen Mok