【Cover Story】Ben Wu, A Maverick Without a Cause/ 非傳統思維 吳思賢是與時俱進的創作者
I have never had the opportunity to sit down and have a good chat with Ben Wu. Each time I could only meet him briefly at fashion brand events, so my impression of this performer was still limited. I didn’t expect that he would show a completely different aspect during this interview. However, Ben Wu is not only a singer and actor, but also a designer and an adventurer who loves exploring the world.
"I haven't really counted how many countries I've been to, but I've certainly been to quite a few places. If you ask me, 'Where is your favourite place?' It's hard for me to answer, because I feel like the things everyone feels don't match the way I feel. For example, I used to go to L.A. very often. It’s very chill there. I also like sports and basketball, so I like the culture of this place very much. I’m also very impressed by the scenery in Iceland. Also, due to having to wrote songs, I went to Northern Europe like Norway and Finland to meet friends, so each one actually gave me a different impression. If I really have to answer the question of what impressed me the most and what I liked the most, I can’t answer that.”
With The Right Mentality, Everything Is Right
Ben Wu has been in the entertainment industry for more than ten years; for him, this industry has many possibilities. No matter what your purpose is, as long as you have passion and like what you do, nothing is absolutely good or bad. "I think the entertainment industry is a place where you have to be really passionate, like what you are doing, and have a strong mentality. Because I think times are different now. Social Media is very common and everyone is in a very state of freedom; you will definitely encounter all kinds of comments, both positive and negative; the better your grades are, the more people will like you, and conversely, the more people will naturally hate you. I think this is a very normal situation." He continued, "I think being an artist or a celebrity is not about just liking anything. For example, to be a singer, you can't just like music or singing, and to be an actor, you can't just like acting. Because of this job there are still a lot of things you have to bear, and I think this is what people in the entertainment industry or those who want to enter the industry need to know and pay attention to most."
During the conversation, Ben Wu seemed to reveal why he has been able to maintain his high popularity after debuting for more than ten years and continue to release new works; because he knows where to go in the future.
0.001 is Wu's latest music work; he said that this song is the song about his experienced whether in relationships, career, or life, and will eventually return to his original intention. Regarding such a song that represents a change in his mentality, Wu said, "It's like a change in mentality. To take a more social example, I believe everyone must have heard the saying, 'People who make a lot of money, they may not feel happy." But I think the point is not about whether you have money or not. It should be "A rich person can also be very happy!" As long as his mentality is right. And as long as his mentality is right, people without money can also be very happy. The important thing is whether you are satisfied. As long as you are satisfied in your heart, that is the best state."
Business Operations That Keep Pace with The Times
Ben Wu, like everyone in their thirties, has stepped from an era without the Internet into the digital era of information explosion. People of this generation are either very adaptable to the Internet, or they want to escape from it. Faced with the ever-changing technology, Ben Wu not only did not fall behind, but also changed his music release plan in advance to adapt to the changing of the times. "To be honest, the return value of releasing an album is not that high now, because in fact, in the digital era, as long as you continue to release works, you will perform better than if you release an album once every two years."
So, you don't plan to release an album now? Wu said, "There is no such plan, because there are a lot of tricky things in it. For example, when the streaming platform promotes your songs, no matter how big a celebrity you are on an album, it will only give you one shot. The algorithm is fixed; the rules of the game are like this. If you only release a single today, it will give you the same promotion, so if you calculate it like this, releasing an album will definitely not be as good as releasing a single. Because you may have made 15 songs, but only one of your songs can really be promoted; but if you release each song one by one, you can still be promoted every time."
At this point, Ben Wu has shown the magnanimity of a successor in the new era. He not only breaks away from the traditional singer's thinking of releasing records, but also uses algorithms to optimise his business model. "Every song is my work, and I don't necessarily have to make it a complete album. Just like I won't make an album of my previous 12 consecutive songs. My original concept was that every song represents various aspects of my life at that time, but it does not mean that these 12 songs together are a complete concept." He continued, "If I want to make another album, I will definitely use it as a complete concept, and use brand new songs to complete it. Maybe it will be released on vinyl, because I think it’s cool and I can collect it myself.”
Face Everything with Enthusiasm
LOVERs is Ben Wu's nickname for his fans; carefully observing Ben's social media, we found that he capitalises his words every time. I asked him curiously if he had any special intention? Wu said with a smile, "I think it looks better this way, just the layout is beautiful!" Ben Wu said that he thinks his fans should have a positive personality, because his own personality is the same.
From the love of fans to the love of life, we are also very curious about how Ben Wu will explain the Labour of Love. "Actually, many of us in this industry were like this at the beginning. When we first entered the industry, we didn't have much money, and all we wanted was an opportunity. So, for me, Labour of Love is passion. Because without passion, it is impossible to be willing to work with people, accept this and do things. After all, you are not sure what will happen in the future. Previously, I talked about “looking for a chance"; asking for a chance does not mean that you are guaranteed to be what you want in the future. So, I think no matter what, everything requires passion and a foundation, you have to be very passionate about this matter, and you will be willing to accept it even if you fail."
GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ @zenyunzon
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT/ @essecrystalpurple