WeiBird, a 35-year-old Taiwanese Mandopop and folk-rock singer-songwriter, rose to prominence in 2007 after taking first place in a singing competition sponsored by the television show ‘Happy Sunday’. The Golden Melody Award winner then wrote and recorded a song titled, ‘如果可’, more popularly known as ‘Red Scarf’, which has amassed more than 75 million views on YouTube.
The song was used last year as the theme song for the Taiwanese film ‘Till We Meet Again’ Since then, the song has achieved the top spot on numerous charts (rightfully so). We recently had the chance to speak with the musician directly about the making of the popular song and his future plans:
1. As a movie’s theme song, is there anything unforgettable about the creative process of “Red Scarf”? And did you ever imagine for the song to be so popular?
I co-wrote the song with a friend, and at first it was much lower pitched than I could sing it, but he told me “go higher! You can sing at a higher level!” The song was different because we sung it at a higher pitch, which made it more harder to sing.
Everything in music and songs is a matter of chance and fate. You can only hope that your song will go viral, and you can’t predict how well a song might possibly perform. But I just had a feeling that this song was going to be great. I also understood that I needed to do everything i could to allow it to develop to its fullest potential.
2. The song “Red Scarf” has a few language cover versions, which language is your favourite?
Actually, choosing just one language is difficult for me. For instance, I prefer the Korean version of the chorus. I enjoy how the Korean language feels in my mouth. I also enjoy singing the Japanese version of the bridge. The Chinese vocals for some of the songs are also extremely great. So it’s challenging to pick a single language to cover as a favourite.
3. What surprises can fans expect during this concert?
I think the surprise would just be to show up again after 2 years like HEY! I’m bringing more powerful and mature guitar performances.
4. You have held many concerts. Are there any fun or embarrassing fan reactions that happened which you can’t forget?
There will be a wide range of reactions from followers around the world on various levels. Some of them will come from fans in the front row. It’s really moving, when I sing “有沒有 (Have You Ever)”, – during the “你有沒有愛過我 (have you ever loved me)” part and they’ll scream back “I have”! However, the audience reactions varies depending on the location most of the time.
5. What preparations do you do before the concert? Any fitness routine?
It’s not really about fitness, but more about the energy and lung capacity of one’s body, regardless of how fit you may be. Like my brother, his hands are shaped like an athlete. Regardless of the numerous scenarios on and off the stage, he needs a strong body to handle the demands of the job.
6. What is your favourite food in Malaysia?
My favourite Malaysian food would have to be nasi lemak, pisang goreng, roti canai, roti pisang, char koay teow, ham dan sotong. It’s been awhile since I had them, just thinking about it is making me drool. Haha.
7. You used to be in the Department of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University and then released an English album last year. Is there any difference between what you express in English compared to your usual Chinese albums?
The two spoken languages here are utterly distinct. I believe that there are more options in the English setting, and dark issues like drinking can be explored in far more daring ways. It is challenging to communicate so directly and effectively in the Chinese context.
I believe that English is used because it can occasionally be more direct in song content or lyrics. Nonetheless, the beauty of Chinese is that it may be more euphemistic, delicate, and whimsical. In a way, a much deeper or hidden meaning exists.
8. During the pandemic, as a singer, did you encounter many challenges? What have you learned during that period?
I became aware that I needed to hone a variety of skills throughout the pandemic. I don’t really know how to talk about it, but when various challenging situations arise, I have to figure out how to deal with them or learn how to deal with them. Another difficulty would be that even while I can still make music, I am still unable to perform it live. Throughout the pandemic, I was merely impatient and ready to return to the stage.
9. Could you share your goals and dreams when it comes to your musical career?
I believe that making music is my ultimate aim and aspiration for my musical career. It does not necessary imply that I must sing, perform on stage, and become famous. I mean, I also wish that my songwriting will never end. I’m hoping to pass it down and keep it throughout my life. I just want to keep making music without worrying about how I’m going to make a living.
10. What’s coming next? What are your plans for the future?
Besides performing around Asia, I’m going have new songs coming out soon!