Xinyao veterans raring to perform live at concert in September

The concert will be the first time homegrown artistes (from left) Jiu Jian, Pan Ying and Hong Shao Xuan perform together. PHOTO: BIZ TRENDS MEDIA

SINGAPORE - Home-grown artistes Hong Shaoxuan, Pan Ying and Jiu Jian are set to perform in what is billed as the first ticketed xinyao concert since the pandemic struck.

Besides songs by the three artistes, the event will feature two special segments paying tribute to the late popular xinyao singer Dawn Gan, who died in 2018. There will also be theme songs from old Chinese movies, including Please Come With Me from Taiwanese movie Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing (1983) and The Price Of Love from the 1970 Hong Kong film of the same name.

In recent years, there has been a steady interest in xinyao, the Mandarin folk song movement that took off here in the 1980s, and xinyao songwriting contests and concerts are regularly held.

The upcoming 'Xin' With Hearts Concert, organised by Biz Trends Entertainment, will be held on Sept 26 at 3pm and 7.30pm at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

Organisers are hoping for a full house of 250 people for both shows. Pre-event testing held on-site will be mandatory for those who have not completed their vaccination.

Interacting directly with concertgoers is something singer Pan, who turns 60 in December, is looking forward to when she performs live again.

Best known for singing Let The Night Fall Gently, she last performed live in the Grandparents' Day Xinyao Concert hosted by Our Tampines Hub in November 2019.

Though she has continued to perform in online events last year and this year, she has cut down on her work as a judge in several singing competitions since Covid-19 struck. She now spends more time at home cooking and baking, as well as going on weekly walks with a friend.

"I think many things have changed due to Covid-19. I must learn to adapt to the changes with a positive mindset so that I would not feel distressed and unhappy," she says.

Hong, another xinyao luminary who now works as a technician, says the pandemic has taught him to be adaptable and appreciative of what he has.

Hong, who last performed live in May at the closure event of Music Dreamer Live! Cafe, has recently been hand-picking songs for the concert. "I have prepared a selection of popular xinyao songs and some of my favourite pop classics to share with the audience," says the 59-year-old.

As for singer-songwriter Jiu Jian, the pandemic has had a "very positive" impact on him. For the first time, the 52-year-old had the chance to slow down and reflect on his music career of 35 years.

After his last live gig at the Singcham Shanghai Chapter National Day Dinner in Shanghai in 2019, he decided to stop performing for a year and spend time learning new things, including taking up a mindfulness practitioner course.

He started teaching mindful singing privately in the same year.

Like Pan and Hong, Jiu Jian is excited to perform live again. This will also be the first time the trio gets to be on stage together.

Says Jiu Jian: "I hope to once again heat up the music industry's live performance scene that has been quiet for so long, and to reconnect with our supporters and friends on stage."

'Xin' With Hearts Concert

Where: Esplanade Concert Hall, 1 Esplanade Drive
When: Sept 26, 3 and 7.30pm
Admission $50 to $70 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to Sistic's website)

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