Feature Artist of the Week: G.E.M.Tang

G.E.M. Tang

G.E.M. Tang

Stage Name: G.E.M. Tang

Birth Name/Age: 鄧紫棋/17

Genre: Hong Kong Ballad, R&B, Pop

This young talent is truly a diamond in the rough. Debuting in 2008, this young Chinese singer-songwriter captured the hearts of her audience, winning 9 major awards including the “Gold Most Popular New Female Artist” Jade Solid Top 10 Award. Even if she had not won those awards, her voice truly speaks for itself: she has a powerful voice that will be unrivaled in the Chinese music industry.

In recent years, Hong Kong has put out nothing but mediocre and face artists: artists who do not truly have the musical power to back up their star status. But G.E.M. turns it all around. Even though she is young, she has proven her hand at songwriting and as a strong R&B singer, nailing embellishments with artistic skill.

I first heard her sing in the 2008 Jade Solid Top 10 awards (aired in January 2009) while I was in Hong Kong visiting family, and her stage performance blew me away. Her stage presence is not that of a new debut teenager but that of a seasoned professional. Disagree with me if you would like, but I personally feel that she was the best performer that night: She may not have danced like William Chan or had the same charisma as Joey Yeung, but she was definitely the star musical performer.

Even with my raving reviews of this girl, like every other artist there is out there, she has places where she could improve. First of all, even if she is a great singer and has great control, there is always ways to mature the voice and to refine it to be even more beautiful. Secondly, Hong Kong is a single city, and with her talent, it’s not big enough to allow her to reach her full potential, but to branch out to China, Taiwan and other places, she needs to strengthen her Mandarin and English skills. I have heard her personally recorded English covers of the songs from her debut single and her English is only somewhat acceptable. She has the same potential as Janice and Jill Vidal, who are both slated to debut in Korea (due to their Korean heritage), and I believe that G.E.M. can make it abroad if she strengthens her language skills, but that only comes with time.

Another thing she should definitely work on is expanding the styles of music she works with. Hong Kong is known to be entrenched in love ballads and does not really dabble in mainstream hip hop, but, again, if she wants to go the full potential that her strong voice will allow her to go, she needs to pick up other skills to help support her conquest.

Strengthening her stage presence and public image will also help her in the future. Right now, she is not exactly very known. Unlike the Korean entertainment industry, in Hong Kong, while many actor-turned-singers receive a lot of publicity, singers take a bit more time to achieve the charismatic public image that draws fans and support. While she is slated to appear in a couple episodes of certain shows on TV, working on a stronger image in speech will definitely give her a big boost to conquer Hong Kong.

But, honestly, some of these things are more far reaching than I think she is currently looking for. Right now, she is an admirably budding songwriter with an amazing voice that everyone should envy. I would not be surprised if she ends up performing in Hong Kong stadium in the near future. But here’s to her, the new Cantonese 17 year old prodigy. Look out for her in the future!

~ by opusnothirteen on April 27, 2009.

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