Bridging a great divide : American-born Chinese all-round entertainer Wang Leehom 王力宏 at the Oxford Union on Chinese soft power deficit in pop culture, identity and the East/West cross-pollinaton that is nowhere near potential.
Also – Check out Wang Lee-Hom’s homage to his ethnic heritage with a cover of 龙的传人 (Descendants of the Dragon).
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Drawing on the lessons of his experience growing up in the US and then migrating East, Wang Leehom talks about Chinese pop music and the ability of music and pop culture to strengthen the relationship between the East and West.
Filmed on Sunday 21st April 2013
ABOUT WANG LEEHOM: The first Chinese pop star and actor to be invited speak at the Oxford Union, Wang Leehom is the perfect ambassador for Chinese pop music and commentator on the emergence of “World Pop,” not only because he has sold millions of albums and consistently been one of the hottest names in Chinese music since his debut in 1995, but also because of the unique journey he has taken from his childhood home of Rochester, New York, to concert stages and movie sets around the world.
Formally trained at Williams College and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Leehom has written and recorded songs in a large variety of styles, including pop, rap, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, and is also known for his pioneering infusion of traditional Chinese elements and instrumentation into contemporary music. In addition to his successful solo concert tours, the latest of which will bring him to The O2 in London on April 15, Leehom’s diverse musical talents have seen him perform onstage with everyone from Usher to Kenny G to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with which he appeared as as a guest conductor and violin soloist.
Additionally, Leehom is an acclaimed actor who has starred in the Golden Lion Award-winning “Lust, Caution” from Ang Lee, “Little Big Soldier” opposite Jackie Chan and the self-written and directed “Love in Disguise”. He is also well known for his philanthropic work and environmental advocacy, which were cited as reasons he was the only Chinese recording artist selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With over 33 million followers, Leehom is among the most followed personalities on Weibo (a Chinese analogue to Twitter). Source – Oxford Union, 2013