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I’m a lousy singer says Brit who wowed China with Communist songs [Telegraph] #RisingChina #ChinasGotTalent


Welsh educator makes headlines singing with a touch of cross-cultural humor!

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I’m a lousy singer says Brit who wowed China with Communist songs
When British-born Iain Inglis auditioned for China’s Got Talent he thought he wouldn’t get anywhere. Little did he know that he would end up as a household name.
By Elizabeth Roberts5:05PM BST 08 Apr 2013m
Source – Telegraph, published April 8, 2013

The British expat who became a TV sensation in China after belting out Communist songs on a show watched by millions says he succeeded despite being “one of the world’s worst singers”.

In his first extended interview, Iain Inglis said he was “bemused” by the global attention he received after dressing in military uniform and performing a medley on China’s Got Talent.

“I thought I would get knocked out and be home in time for tea,” he admitted.

Instead, he won the hearts of the nation, reached the semi final and made headlines around the world.

Please click here to read the rest of the article at its source.

Inglis, 34, was born in Southampton and raised in Cardiff. He moved to China eight years ago after meeting his Chinese wife, Yu Yanling, while teaching English in Japan.

“Before I moved to China I had never done any singing before and I am probably one of the world’s worst singers,” he explained.

He took part in a local TV show two months after he arrived, where he sang “an old ditty” and won a prize for being the most popular performer.

“The seed was sown, and in 2009 I appeared on a different TV show singing,” he explained.

“It was just a small competition in the town where I lived, and someone said ‘Why don’t you apply for the national competition for singing these red songs?’ They thought I would do well. I had never heard of it, but I applied and ended up coming fifth in China.

“After that I was invited to be a guest performer on other TV shows and one day I got a call from China’s Got Talent inviting me to audition. I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere.”

However, it turned out China loved him. He made it through three local heats to the quarter- and semi-finals in Shanghai.

Inglis dressed in layers of clothing including a hat, duffle coat and Chinese military uniform for his performances.

Every time he began a new song in the medley – which included I Love Reading Chairman Mao’s Books Most – he stripped off a layer.

He was upset by criticism from some commentators in Britain who, he said, accused him of glorifying the Communist regime.

“I was singing the Chinese equivalent of the British songs Roll out the Barrel and Knees Up Mother Brown,” he said. “They are ideological songs about the Communist Party but they do have to be seen in their historical context. China has moved on so much since they were written that they are nostalgic, like how I feel when I hear an 80s classic song.”

He added that reports he was banned by the authorities from reaching the final of the show, due to them taking exception to a foreigner performing such material, are untrue.

“Why would they not want me to do it? I sang Communist songs through three heats to the semis. Why would they suddenly say they didn’t want a foreigner singing them?” he said.

“I just got knocked out. It was disappointing, but the show is watched by hundreds of millions of people and they have got to get it right.”

Life has changed dramatically for Inglis since appearing on the hit series, which is part of media mogul Simon Cowell’s global Got Talent franchise.

“After I left the show I was recognised everywhere,” he explained.

He ended up quitting his job in middle management at a hotel in Sanya, southern China, to sing full time.

“People were calling me left right and centre and I appeared on prime-time TV shows, at concerts and at cultural events,” he said.

“I have to be honest; I was baffled and bemused by all the attention, especially as the British press has only just taken an interest when news about the show was in the Chinese press a year ago. I’m glad though, and want to thank everyone very much for their interest. The number of people recognising me is tapering off now, as I tend to disguise myself with a beard and I have changed my hair.”

Inglis, who studied Russian and German at Bristol and Bath Universities, speaks fluent Chinese in addition to a little Czech, Japanese and French.

He is looking to languages, rather than singing, as the next step for his career.

“I am hopefully going to open up an English training centre here in Sanya. There’s a big demand for it,” he explained.


Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Entertainment, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, People, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Telegraph UK, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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