【Cover Story】Lala Hsu Loves Music and Knows The Meaning of Life/ 愛是回饋與承擔 徐佳瑩的音樂之路
It is not an easy task to hold a concert at the Taipei Arena, but Lala Hsu's fourth attempt at the Taipei Arena has become a testament to her musical prowess. She is no longer the singer who worried about whether people would come to the concert, but she is worried about whether she can provide the audience with an award-winning standard performance.
Hsu said "I think it is very lucky to have a stage all the time, especially to be able to perform on such a big one. I am still looking forward to giving them some heartfelt feelings. I think I should try to do as much as possible. The better things I give, in addition to singing, I also hope that the audience will feel that this time is different from previous performances."
Not to Please for The Sake of Pleasing
Since her debut in 2008, Lala Hsu has been highly praised for her cheerful personality; before this interview, I conducted a small social experiment and silently mentioned the name "Lala Hsu" every time I met a friend. As expected, she received a very positive response almost every time, but rather than saying it was positive, it would be better to say that she was really loved by everyone. "Then I'm so happy! Thank you!" she said with a smile.
Lala Hsu jokingly said that because she is the third child in the family, it is her instinct to please others in order to survive. Although she said this, for a girl who dances when she gets Yakult from the market, it seems the word ‘dislike’ is not relevant to her. After becoming an artist, she took her nickname Lala, which more naturally pleased people, but she didn't do it just to please.
"This is especially true for artists! But that doesn't mean that I have to make the audience laugh, but that I want to be noticed. That is, I hope that people who listen to my songs will like my work and my performance, at least won't be disliked!" She continued "It would be a luxury if I could have a day without having to please others. This may sound negative, or it may cause me a lot of stress, but in fact, it’s not. If I can be completely free today, I can really do whatever I want without caring about anyone else's opinions. That is a very luxurious state for an adult. Because no matter what occupation, as long as you are an adult, it is difficult to really not care about other people's opinions. "
A Performance That Does Not Disappoint The Audience
Lala Hsu's Sometimes, Less is More concert was sold out. For her, this time the performance is no longer like when she first debuted, not worrying about whether anyone would come to watch, but whether she will disappoint the audience. "Whether the audience will think it's worth the price is what I worry about. What I’m worring about is different. In the past, I worried about whether someone would come to see me. Now I worry about 'I know someone is watching me, but what if I can’t satisfy everyone?’ I hope this performance can really make the audience feel, you didn’t let us down, this time!”
For Lala Hsu, every audience is like a mirror, always reflecting their reaction to her performance on stage. "I often feel like they are me! What I want to see is complete belief. They believe that the experience they came in today will definitely get them what they need, no matter what they have gotten from her music in the past. For example, they came in with expectations because they once listened to my songs and felt very touched, or they once listened to my songs and felt crazy. Their expression told me, they believe they can get the same feeling today.’ That means to me It’s a very positive encouragement.”
Free and Objective Music
Lala said that she found that although she was full of unknowns about many things when she was young, the only thing she was sure she liked was music. "I like singing, and I like to understand everything through music. The feeling that music brings to me surpasses the feelings that all other things give me. Although my life now can no longer allocate so much to music as before. But my world used to be all about music. For example, if someone asked me today, "Are you happy today? How are you feeling now?" I might not be able to answer for a while, but if you just play a song, I will automatically feel happy when I hear it, and I will clearly know if I am happy or not."
It is not difficult to understand why Hsu is a consistent winner of the Golden Melody Awards, because for her, music can help her get a clearer feeling from it. I think this is why her songs are always classics. "I would say music is really pure! Just listening to music, all my feelings can be resonated from it. I think it is clearer, freer and more objective than language."
Lala Hsu, who has released six studio albums, said that each album is what she wants to say at that moment. She smiled and said, "Each album is the way I am at the moment. Like my latest one, it's like I'm playing! It's just trying out many different genres. It's a reflection of me! Because during this period, I actually embraced big changes that have taken place in my life, including getting married and having children. These are all responsibilities. When I return to music, I don’t want to take any responsibilities. I want to write songs, play music, and then share it with everyone. Share the process of venting and feeling free."
Take Responsibility for The Things You Love
Technology is advancing rapidly, and now everyone can create their own playlist on their own streaming media; the order of the album carefully designed by the singer no longer seems to be important. Faced with such changes, will Hsu have different ideas when releasing another album? "I will still do it based on the logic of making an album, that is, what is the best way to listen to an album. My starting point remains the same as before." She continued, "But the standards of each song must be raised. To put it simply, every song must be a hit. For every song in the album, I have to make sure that even if it is a hit, it is still good enough and has something to say."
From the conversation, I can feel how much Lala Hsu loves music, but when I asked her what is Labour of Love? Her answer was beyond my expectation. "I accepted an invitation from World Vision Taiwan to go to Africa a while ago. During those eight days, I was always in a very full state. Because I had to absorb everything in a short period of time and then translate it into my words. Bring it back and share it with everyone. Although this process took a lot more effort and labour than my previous work, I feel that the starting point is really based on love. In addition to pure love for people, I also I feel that my job makes me very lucky to have the opportunity to travel to such a faraway place, get to know such a different world, and then come back to exert my influence.”
Looking at the Labour of Love, Lala Hsu also has different opinions. "Put the words labour and love together. These two things are antonyms, but when they are balanced together, that wonderful chemical effect will be something that grows in our hearts. It is very interesting to me, and what I mean is, "This is how real life is. For something you love very much, you have to bear something." The love you get because of your hard work will be very solid and practical."
"Because 'love is giving back', love means 'when I do this, it can satisfy my need for love'."
GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ @zenyunzon
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT/ @essecrystalpurple