Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai proud to avoid being 'museum specimen'

Taiwanese musician likes to take on trails that few dare to attempt

Even after 25 years in show business, music veteran Wu Bai (left) is still very much in demand and often performs with his band China Blue in concerts around the region.
Even after 25 years in show business, music veteran Wu Bai (above) is still very much in demand and often performs with his band China Blue in concerts around the region.PHOTO: BIZ TRENDS

Taiwanese rocker Wu Bai is not afraid to poke fun at his age.

As he marks 25 years in show business this year, he says his greatest achievement is "not becoming a specimen in the museum".

"I'm still around. Most of the artists who debuted during my time are no longer active," says Wu, 49, who released his first album, Loving Others Is A Happy Thing, in 1992.

The veteran is still very much in demand, often performing with his band China Blue in concerts around the region, including a stop here next month.

His concert calendar was so packed that he was unable to attend this year's Golden Melody Awards, where his latest album Ding Zi Hua was nominated for six awards.

He was rocking it out onstage in China when it was announced in June that Ding Zi Hua won Best Taiwanese album. Over the telephone from Taipei, he tells The Straits Times: "I was singing when fans in the first row suddenly jumped up and started screaming. It was then that I realised I had won the award."


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The musician is also pretty lucky when it comes to his sideline as an actor. "It's pretty miraculous. I wanted to play a killer, then I was cast as one. Then I wanted to try out a doctor role and my wish came true," says Wu. "Ask me what role I want to play next. Maybe if I say it out loud, it will come true again."

Wu - who plays an affluent doctor in the action movie Mrs K, which opens in cinemas tomorrow, and a formidable killer in director Tsui Hark's action flick Time And Tide (2000) - says he next wants to play "a highly skilled skier".

An avid skier for decades, he makes several trips each year to ski on the snowy mountains of Japan and the United States.

He says proudly: "I'm really good at skiing. I will take on the most advanced trails, the ones marked with a skull warning and that no one dares to attempt."

He also says he has been to ice-skating rinks in Singapore, "but a lot of people don't really know how to skate, so they either bump into me or I bump into them".

When he is in the mood for less strenuous recreational activities, he can be found at the cinema. While he is here next month for the concert, he would like to watch a Singaporean film.

"I like to watch movies, even better if there is a made-in-Singapore film. I enjoy the feeling of watching a film in the country it is made in, alongside local people," he says.

Wu, who has been in show business long enough to be recognised by Mandopop fans, has his way of staying low-profile in public.

He says: "I do get recognised. When I sense that people recognise me, I walk away quickly. If anyone approaches me to ask me if I am Wu Bai, I will deny it."

•Mrs K opens in Singapore cinemas tomorrow. See review.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2017, with the headline 'Rocker Wu Bai a daredevil skier'. Subscribe