Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Past, Present & Future of Joey Yung


Source: Mingpao

Translations credits to Rsung at

2009 was Joey’s 10th year in the music industry, and 2010 is an important year because it marks a new start in her career. Today is the 4th day in the Year of the Tiger, and apart from wishing everyone will have a prosperous New Year, Joey also wishes that everyone will have good luck. Finally, she also teaches us how to make a windmill so we will receive good luck.


After completing her perfect golden 10 years, Joey definitely sees 2010 as a new start. From being an unknown singer in 1999 to becoming today’s pop queen, Joey really has changed a lot, and she has also grown up and matured.

“10 years ago, I was still a silly girl who had just entered the music industry, and everything filled me with curiosity. At that time, I didn’t have much of an opinion about my work, so I usually just listened to my company and they set my direction. In the beginning, all I sang were love songs like ‘Painful Love’, but after ‘Solemn on Stage’, I slowly added some fast dancing songs. As time passed and I developed, I became more familiar with my working environment, and I understood what my needs were. I also knew my strong and weak points, so I began to express my own opinions. I remember in the beginning, my co-workers thought my opinions were jokes, but now, everyone respects my thinking and they will coordinate with my musical needs. This is why that during my later songs, such as ‘Big Yellow Door’, ‘Be True’ and ‘Always Able To See Angels’, you can hear my inner thoughts and feelings in the lyrics of the songs.”


When an artiste achieves success, they will gain fame and fortune, but they may lose their freedom and never be able to live a normal life again. To Joey, fame and fortune is something that she doesn’t have much desire for and after 10 years, the thing that makes her most happy is gaining the selfless support from a bunch of friends in the industry and her fans.

“I’m most happy about getting to know this bunch of friends. I am a person that will protect myself, so there was one occasion that I observed a person for a long time before I decided whether I would open my heart to them. Another thing that makes me most happy is getting the support from my fans. When I examine myself, I reach the conclusion that I’m not a person who has contributed a lot, and all I have done is turn what I am interested in doing into a profession and singing some good songs to entertain people. For everyone to be willing to make an effort to support me and discover my good points, it is extremely hard to come by!”


“In these 10 years, I leave the house early every morning and return late at night. Each year, I only have 8-10 days holiday. I am lucky that I am still living with my mum, so we get to see each other at least once a day. If I was to really talk about sacrifice, I would think of not being able to walk the streets of Mongkok or browse the boutiques in small shopping malls!”



After 10 years, there have been many changes. Currently, Joey Yung is already the ‘no.1 sister’ of EEG and is a queen of pop. The success she has achieved in her career has made her more mature, and it has given her the courage to show her real self to people.

“To a certain degree, the present me is brave enough to take a step forward and walk along my own path, but I still require the protection, support and opinion from my company, and I am still a little flower in my company’s greenhouse. I am practical person, so when people started liking me, many years ago, and I became more and more popular, this did not lead to me getting a ‘floating in the air’ feeling. On the contrary, it made me a bit scared because I was worried that this support wouldn’t last, and during the early years, I did receive some negative news in the media. This is why each thing I said or do had to be done very carefully, and sometimes I was maybe too careful, which caused me to live uneasily and not be myself. The current me is more relaxed, and I’m no longer scared of saying the wrong thing. Everyone has seen me grow up, so they know what kind of person I am.”


Another thing that Joey is more relaxed about is how she views music awards.

“I still want to win awards, but I have understood that they are only a commendation and they will not affect how everyone will view me. However, what awards will affect is my behaviour. If I were to win an award which I don’t deserve to win, everyone will feel that I am not worthy, so that is why the most important way to start is to sing as well as you can and try hard to improve your music. A few years ago, I deliberately tried to change myself, but now, what I actually think is most important is to do my best in terms of my music and not change just for the sake of changing. As you gradually grow up, even if it is the same song, the feeling, charm and the method of expression changes.”

As the no.1 sister of the company, she has seen the arrival of Twins, Vincy, Sherman, William and others, over the years, and if Joey is able to, she will help them out.

“All I am is a sister who has a little bit more experience than they do! I do not firmly believe that my way of doing things is the best way, and I do not force them to do it my way, since each artiste is independent and unique.” When discussing about Sherman Chung, who became very popular due to her song ‘Letter For Myself’, Joey praised her for having a unique style. Joey also feels that it is rare to be able to sing a good song, so Sherman deserves everyone’s attention.


On June this year, Joey will become 30 years old, so she will be 40 years old in 10 years time.

“In 10 years time, I want the future me to want to seek happiness even more, and maybe my life at that time will be a complete turnaround to how it is right now. I want to be able to live a more ordinary life, to buy a piece of land to do some farming, to visit other countries to see how others live, and to learn more foreign languages. Basically, I want to be able to put aside more time for myself and my family.”


“I don’t want to stop singing! From very early on, I viewed singing as a lifelong career, but in 10 years time, I will probably reduce my music output. I am not good at speaking, so singing is my best way of conveying my feelings. As well as this, singing also lets me communicate with my fans. Also, I can release a new album any time I like, so there are many good points! I will not announce I won’t accept awards any more, and I won’t say I won’t sing any more. Announcing these kinds of things does me no good.”


After 10 years in the industry, the only love affair that everyone knows about which involves Joey is the one with Meter Chen, which happened in another country. Unfortunately, it ended with them breaking up.

“Two people need to take their steps together, or else they should not waste their time. After breaking up with Meter, I have not dated anyone else. However, this is not because I have not met someone who I have feelings for, but it is because I did not develop the relationship further. Emotions involve both persons in the relationship, and it requires both persons to be certain about their feelings, which isn’t easy. Even if I wanted to develop a relationship further, my working hours prevent me from doing so. However, I believe I will be a person who will achieve happiness, and whether this is true will depend on fate.”

Don’t think that because she is the queen of pop she will not make the first move. Joey said that as long as she meets a person she has fallen in love with, she will not mind making the first move, and she will give everything into the relationship.

“I am a person who doesn’t know how to hide their feelings. It is just that at present, there is not a person that has made me want to express my feelings. Even though working in this industry has made it difficult to make new friends, I’m not in a hurry to start dating, and I will quietly wait for my fate to arrive. The person I’ll fall for in the future might even be a plumber who will be coming to unblock my drains!”


To be appreciated by Joey, it is not difficult. All you need to be is talented, mature, attentive and be able to chat with Joey on the phone.

“It can be any type of talent. As long as they have invested a lot of time and effort into their job, I will admire them. If the person is a plumber who has achieved a lot in unblocking drains, I will still like them! I’m most scared of people who don’t have a direction and don’t achieve anything! Handsome guys? They are hard to find, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As long as the person is someone you love, you can still see the good in them, even if the person is ugly.”


After starting her singing career in 1999, problems started developing with Joey’s vocal chords in 2001. This forced her to stop working for half a year so she could recover. After her recovery, her career has been plain sailing. Due to this, each time one of her singer friends encounters a similar problem, they will ask Joey for tips on how to maintain their voice.

“It is like I have become a spokesperson for the voice. When someone has a problem with their voice, they will come to see me. Maybe everyone thinks I have lots of secret formulas for maintaining the voice! In actual fact, the tonics I drink to maintain my voice includes sek hup (石合) & siraitia grosvenori (羅漢果) water, apple & Chinese pear water, fig & white fungus soup and other drinks. All the tonics are made every day by my mum, so I drink them like water.”


During this New Year, Joey followed the advice of a wise person by not travelling abroad, so she stayed in Hong Kong to accompany her mum during the Chinese New Year period.

“My wish for this New Year is for my work to go smoothly, and spend each day being happy. Actually, it’s been 7 or 8 years since I was in Hong Kong during Chinese New Year, so I’m especially excited this year. I will also get together with some friends to have a celebration party. My mum has already decorated the house and put up some New Year scrolls. In addition, some orchids and daffodils have been put on display, and I have put out a New Year candy case.” When talking about the New Year traditions that occur in the Yung household, Joey laughed and said: “On the first day of the New Year, we’re not allowed to wash our hair, but I ignore this every year and nothing bad has happened, so no problem! Also, each year on the same day, I will wear new underwear because it means that there will be a new start in the New Year.”

Joey usually spends her New Year outside of Hong Kong, and her most memorable New Year event also happened abroad. She remembered that there was one year in which she had just completed her concert, so she decided to spend a few days in Japan for a vacation. However, as soon as she arrived in Japan, she became ill, which may have been due to her over-exerting herself during the concert. Joey said: “At that time, I was so ill that I had no strength in my body and I had lost my voice. I was living in a small Japanese village so I couldn’t find a doctor. I then thought that I shouldn’t waste the vacation, so I didn’t care about my illness and I forced myself to go out to enjoy myself every day. In the end, I got better without having to take any medication, and I didn’t need to see a doctor when I arrived back in Hong Kong.”


I like Joey a little bit more in recent years, but I’m not talking about her songs or her performances on stage; I’m actually talking about her as a person. As she mentioned, the Joey from the past is a person who was careful on what she said in public, but the current Joey is more relaxed, and has become more real.

Ivy: Nice article here. Somehow I can relate myself to Joey on the part of being too secure of myself. I understand what she means when she's being too careful before talking and revealing something to people around her. I am that type of person too, which leads to people saying that I don't talk much! However, in actual fact, once I talk, I can't stop...hahaha...I guess most of this part of me is witnessed by my school classmates and people who have the same interests with me. Guess gotta learn to be less careful, HAHA, although I think it is still important to have a degree of discretion.

As to the part where Joey said she will not announce that she will not sing, I think she did test or probably learned that it really won't do any good to her if she were to announce retirement. Because I remember last year she did mention that she plans to only sing for 5 more years then retire from the industry which lead fans and the media on an emotional streak from her twitter, forum, entertainment news etc that she had to reply back on her Twitter, "Don't have such a big reaction, we still don't know where the future would lead to, wait till the time comes." I personally would respect her decisions. Its not easy to be in the industry and Joey deserves some rest. Maybe her current decision to take it easy like how Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, Sandy Lam etc is doing is a good idea.

Talking back about me, I have to go back to KL this Friday!!! Feel like crying!! Why does time flies in super speed for me!!!??? I felt like its just a blink of an eye! Didn't really done anything this holiday and suddenly it has ended! And I just viewed my timetable, not liking it much...I have a 5 hour break in between on Tuesdays!! Well, probably could dedicate it to update blog every week..hahaha. However, I am looking forward for April to come^^ Hope it will be an eventful one!

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