Thursday, November 18, 2010


Late bloomer

Three years after he shot to fame on the ‘Happy Sunday’ TV talent show, WeiBird has finally released an album and is preparing for his first stadium shows

By Andrew C.C. Huang
CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Taipei Times, Fri, Sep 10, 2010


PERFORMANCE NOTES

WHAT: Escape of the Two-Legged Bookshelf WeiBird concert (兩腳書櫥的逃亡—韋禮安演唱會)

WHERE: Taipei International Convention Center (台北國際會議中心), 1, Xinyi Rd Sec 5, Taipei City (台北市信義路五段1號)

WHEN: Sept. 18 at 7:45pm

WHERE: Chung Hsing University Huisun Auditorium

(台中中興大學惠蓀堂), 250 Kuokuang Rd, Taichung City

(台中市國光路250號)

WHEN: Sept. 25 at 7:45pm

ADMISSION: NT$800 to NT$2,600, available through

7-Eleven ibon kiosks or at www.tickets.com.tw

ON THE NET: www.weibird.com

Fans of the now-defunct TV talent show Happy Sunday (快樂星期天) had to wait three years for the arrival of their messiah. But it was worth it.

The show’s champion, William Wei Li-an (韋禮安) aka WeiBird, made a splash this June with the release of his Wei Li-an Debut Eponymous Original Album (韋禮安首張同名全創作專輯).

Wei — who performs his first stadium shows next weekend in Taipei and the following weekend in Taichung — possesses an impressive pedigree (he graduated from National Taiwan University), matinee idol looks and talent to spare as a singer and songwriter. He wows his fans with a smoldering charm reminiscent of Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), his down-to-earth persona and the fact that he writes his own songs, all of which help him stand out in a Mando-pop landscape populated by overly polished, self-promoting idol singers with suave dance moves.

“I’m a singer, not an entertainer,” Wei said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “People usually don’t recognize me on the street. It’s good that my career and life are separate.”

Much of Wei’s charm derives from the fact that he is a bashful, self-effacing star who is quick to flash an awkward smile.

“The most unforgettable thing in life is that I suffered from an acne problem for six years and didn’t dare to go out of the door,” he laughed. “I channeled my energy into singing and found comfort in music.”

“I’m pretty shy and don’t usually approach people. I don’t even go to out too much unless friends ask me,” he said.

But he’s propelled by an impeccable melodic drive. For his debut album, Wei crafted a pop opus by waxing poetic about love and the meaning of life. The album’s lead single, Yes or No (有沒有), is an irresistibly catchy tale of unrequited love.

“I wrote this song in college when I realized my love for a girl was not reciprocated. This song is about unspoken feelings,” Wei said. “[It] simply flew out of me in a few days.”

Wei isn’t considered a vocal powerhouse, but he’s a better singer at live performances than he is on his recordings, as he showed when he delivered a ravishing rendition of Blue Eyes (藍眼睛) at label partner Angela Chang’s (張紹涵) concert last month.

Wei performs at the Taipei International Convention Center (台北國際會議中心) next Saturday and at Taichung’s Chung Hsing University Huisun Auditorium (台中中興大學惠蓀堂) on Sept. 25. The set list will include covers of songs by Mando-pop/R ’n’ B star Khalil Fong (方大同) and veteran crooner Fei Yu-ching (費玉清).



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