Chan takes control

Chan takes control

Canto-pop artist Jason Chan Pak-yue tells Chris Lau about his career

Whether it's deciding to move to Hong Kong from Toronto, Canada, or joining the local showbiz scene here, Canto-pop singer Jason Chan Pak-yue goes by one motto - "make no plans".

"I don't really plan ahead, so my music style depends on whichever producer or composer I run into," says Chan, who will be giving his first-ever solo concert, Jason Chan Tales Live 2013, at Kitec on November 29.

Rather than just sing or, worse, lip-sync, the singer will also be picking up his guitar to show off his deft finger-work. Playing music himself is a reflection of his desire to get more involved in producing his music in the future.

As the name of his concert suggests, the show tells the story of Chan's eight-year career, and how his experiences changed him and helped him grow.

The singer, who grew up in Canada, was affectionately nicknamed the Prince of Ballads after releasing his debut album, First Experience, in 2007. The name echoes the sentimental songs that tug at the heartstrings, such as the break-up tracks like Car Keys and Terminate Our Contact.

But the Prince of Ballads says his music is about to change - for the better. "The biggest difference between my old songs and my new songs is that some of them come from my heart, while some do not," he says. "The old ones weren't very 'me', because I used to perform songs written by others. It doesn't really echo my thoughts when every song is about love and romance."

In his latest album, The Next Moment, Chan has written at least six songs himself, and has contributed lyrics for a few more. He says he wants his music to reflect his views on the world, as well as his attitude to life.

Chan credits his success in diversifying skills to his patience. Bit by bit, he has pushed his way in to being involved in the production side.

"You need to have experience before you can convince others to let you participate in the production," he says.

So far so good, though. The singer's more active involvement in the production has shown no signs of clashing with that of the producers.

His recent single, Contradiction, a song addressing social issues, is written by veteran producers, Jun Kung and Kelvin Avon. But Chan says it's a song he would probably have written himself sooner or later.

"It's not a political song, but it's about [domination] and bullying. It's a dark song that explores power," he says.

Right now, Chan is concentrating on preparing for his upcoming debut concert.

"The first concert is always the hardest because you need to have faith [in yourself] and believe that people will come to see you," he says.

Any worries Chan might have stem largely from his determination to get everything right.

"For example, I don't know how many songs I will need and how often I should hit the gym," says Chan. "Everything keeps changing [even up until the very last minute], and the variables can be quite scary."

As for what the audience can expect of the show, Chan says he will mostly play songs from his first album, as well as a few new ones from his latest two. And despite his new focus, the Prince of Ballads reassures old fans that "there will still be love songs".

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