Embracing the imperfect in life

Embracing the imperfect in life

Singer-songwriter Pakho Chau knows the limits of Canto-pop music and musicians. But that doesn't mean he's not trying to overcome them the best he can

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Canto-pop singer Pakho Chau prefers songs which offer a positive message to the people.
Canto-pop singer Pakho Chau prefers songs which offer a positive message to the people.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP
Musicians are often idolised by their fans. They are seen as flawless super-beings who can do no wrong. But Canto-pop singer-songwriter Pakho Chau knows that's nonsense. And so he has named both his upcoming album and concert Imperfect.

"Our lives are imperfect, just like a concert. No matter how well you plan it to be perfect, no one can reach [perfection]," says Chau.

"The idea of being perfect really depends on the person. You might think this piece of white paper is the whitest ever but I've seen an even whiter piece of paper."

This year has been less than perfect for Chau. Although he's set to hold his second concert of the year and release a compilation album, a close friend of his was diagnosed with lung cancer. And his beloved maternal grandmother passed away. The sad events have made the 28-year-old musician rethink what he truly valued in his life. He says he has been paying more attention to what's going on around him. The three new songs that will appear in Imperfect focus on social issues, not on love.

"My grandmother's passing greatly affected me," he says. "It has also influenced my music because I realised that music should be used to do more meaningful things rather than just tell a love story. I wouldn't get too much satisfaction from just a [love] song. But if a song can encourage people, then I believe that song will have served its purpose."

Chau was particularly close to his grandmother. She raised him until he was five as his parents were busy working. He even calls her his second mother. She supported him all the way, often playing his songs out loud, and encouraging him to work hard on his career. She was his biggest fan, and he wanted to pay her back for all she'd done for him.

Despite his successes, Chau believes he still has a long way to go in the music industry. He became a singer in 2007 after working as a studio engineer for two years learning about recording and music production. Before that, he was a model. He still appears in numerous magazines and on billboards around the city.

But he prefers music to modelling. "When I see a good photo of me, I wouldn't say I'm really happy because I didn't take that photo," he explains. "But if I make a good song, I'll feel very satisfied with it - especially if I'm able to deliver a [positive] message to people."

He isn't perfect. But that doesn't mean he isn't trying to be the best he can be.

Pakho Chau will perform at Star Hall, Kitec, on December 28 and 29

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