Hong Kong superstar Karen Mok was in town recently for her “Somewhere I Belong” album promo tour. Lucky us, we got to speak to the lovely artiste shortly after her fanmeeting held here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Hi, Karen! So good to finally see you. You haven’t been back in Malaysia for a really, really long time. What were you most looking forward to prior to coming back?
“Durian! (laughs) Seriously. I never liked durian before but the first time I came to Malaysia someone was like, you must try it, it’s great! And then one bite and I was hooked. I haven’t had any yet because we just got in yesterday and we were busy all day but..I’d definitely have some before I leave.”
How does it feel meeting your Malaysian fans again after so long?
“It was really cool. I love that fan session just now – it’s not something I do often. I don’t remember ever having such an intimate fan gathering in Malaysia before. And my fans are great. They’re all really sweet.”
Pray tell, Karen, what took you so long to finally release “Somewhere I Belong”, your first English and jazz album?
“I became a pop singer! Unintentionally, of course, but it was great fun. Everything worked out really well. So I was doing that and I was focusing on that. I still had my dream for jazz locked up in my heart and then now, the opportunity arises for me to do this. It’s never too late and it’s the perfect time to do this.”
Let’s talk about “Somewhere I Belong” a little bit more. Which has been your favourite song off the album?
“It’s very difficult to pick because obviously I love them all. It kinda changes time to time but recently it has been ‘Wicked Game’ – probably also because a lot of people tell me that they love that song. Also we just did a music video for the song, which I really like!”
So, you’ve done Cantopop, a little bit of alternative somewhat, and now you’re doing jazz. Are there any other genres of music that you’re planning on dabbling with in the near future?
“Well, even within the genre of jazz, there’s quite a bit of variety so hopefully I get to try a few different things in jazz. The other big love of mine is musical so, if I do ever get a chance to work on a musical, that’d be really great. I haven’t got anyone in mind that I specifically want to work with yet but that doesn’t really matter. I mean, there are actually a lot of young singer-songwriters and composers that are really good so it’s just nice to be able to work with different people and create a sort of fusion.”
You’ve achieved so much in your career – you were the face of ZA, you’ve been in movies, you’ve won awards, you’ve released so many albums, and now “Somewhere I Belong” is another Karen Mok dream come true right there. What’s the next Karen Mok dream that you’d really love to achieve?
“Musicals (laughs). That’s my other big passion in music. There are quite a few things I’d like to do as far as musicals are concerned. That is..to be able to play in a show on Broadway or in the West End. I’m sure that would be like, a complete different experience. Also, to be able to create a whole new original musical, possibly in Chinese, I would think. I’d love to see the day that a big country like China would have her own West End.”
Last one for the road! What is Karen Mok’s guilty listening pleasure? Something your fans will be shocked to know if they knew that you were listening to him/her/them.
“Okay so, I was dragged to a concert the other day. It was BIGBANG – they were in town. I’m quite happy that I went along because of course, BIGBANG is a huge sensation. I do admit that I’m not really into K-Pop so I wasn’t familiar with their music until I went. I also checked out their music videos prior to going for their concert and I must say that it’s all really very nicely done. They totally deserve the attention and everything that they’re getting. Well done, BIGBANG.”
Special thanks to Universal Music Malaysia for organizing the interview session. Also, don’t forget to check out our review of Karen’s “Somewhere I Belong”, her first ever English album!