Singer Wei Li-an, recharged by London stint, here for Oct 28 concert

Also known as Weibird or William, singer-songwriter Wei Li-an turned 30 this year and that has given him a new sense of focus.
Also known as Weibird or William, singer-songwriter Wei Li-an turned 30 this year and that has given him a new sense of focus.PHOTO: BIZ TRENDS PUBLISHING

Singer Wei Li-an plans to take his diverse music to a deeper level

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Wei Li-an has been christened "rain god" for his uncanny ability to bring wet weather with him wherever he goes.

His first major concert at the Taipei International Convention Center in 2010 coincided with the assault of Typhoon Fanapi. When he performed at Shanghai Dolly in Singapore last November, the heavens opened up during the rehearsal.

But the man himself, also known as Weibird or William, had remained sceptical of his prowess - until now.

Speaking over the telephone from Taipei, he says of his recent sojourn in London: "Whenever I had a break and wanted to venture out, it would immediately start to rain. It was cold and blustery and I felt so dejected."

He was in London for two months to take classes on music production and recording and managed to catch several musicals, including period epic Les Miserables and fantasy Wicked.

The refreshed singer will be in Singapore on Oct 28 for a concert at Resorts World Theatre.

Wei first came to attention as the champion of the inaugural season of the reality television singing competition, Happy Sunday, in 2007. He was just 19 or 20 then and the wave of comments and criticisms overwhelmed him.

  • BOOK IT / WEI BIRD 2017 CONCERT

  • WHERE: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

    WHEN: Oct 28, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $68 to $168 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

He did not specify the critcisms, but it was just getting every aspect of being a performer nitpicked by this large audience.

"Singing should be a happy thing, but suddenly, it became this huge burden and I got a little lost. But I got over the hump and rediscovered my love for music."

The Golden Melody Award winner for Best New Artist in 2011 later made his name with wistful and sensitive ballads such as Have Or Have Not and Slowly Wait.

Things then took a very different turn as his third album, Journey Into The Night (2014), ventured into rock and electronica on tracks such as Wolves, which won him the Golden Melody Award for Best Composer.

His next offering, It All Started With An Intro (2016), departed even further from guitar-driven balladry with unusual arrangements such as on the opener, Intro, which goes from a ballad to electronica-tinged dance pop.

He says: "The third and fourth albums were about trying to make a breakthrough and how to move forward. Now that I've broken out of my comfort zone, I want to bring together the things I've tried before in a deeper manner.

"I don't want to do new things for the sake of doing something new."

The songwriter also pens lyrics and composes music for others, including top vocalists such as Jia Jia, Jolin Tsai and Aska Yang.

Asked if he has ever regretted giving up a song for someone else to sing and he says: "Even if I write for someone else, I can take it back to sing. But I'm happy when another artist sings my composition, there's still a sense of achievement."

The youthful-looking singer turned 30 in March this year and that has given him a new sense of focus.

He says: "I feel that time is passing really quickly and I want to use it well and do the things I want to do. It's why I went to England. I'd been thinking of taking courses for a while and I should just do it and not wait anymore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2017, with the headline 'Going deep'. Print Edition | Subscribe