Rocker Wang ready for new national tour

Updated 2017-06-16 15:30:00 China Daily
Wang Feng announces in Beijing that he will start The Times Tour in September. Zou Hong / China Daily

Wang Feng announces in Beijing that he will start The Times Tour in September. Zou Hong / China Daily

Wang Feng strides quickly toward a posh hotel ballroom with six bodyguards in tow.

As the doormen pull open the white door handles, Wang steps into the limelight.

The 45-year-old singer-songwriter has enjoyed his fame as one of the most influential rock stars in China for more than two decades, thanks to upbeat songs such as Flying Higher, Brave Heart and Blooming Life.

Wrapped in a black suit, Wang adjusts his trademark black-framed glasses and starts talking.

He quickly gets on a roll talking about his upcoming national tour, titled The Times Tour, and a new album that will be released this year.

He will kick off the tour from the iconic National Stadium in Beijing on Sept 9 and will visit 30 cities across the Chinese mainland throughout 2017 and 2018.

"I'll give the audience everything - and more than they can enjoy from CDs," he says.

"I will release two or more new songs online before the tour as a warmup," he adds. "This new album is about many great moments in my life during the past three years."

The singer-songwriter, who says he writes new material every day, has the habit of writing songs regardless of demand.

He says songwriting is as natural as breathing, and whenever he feels happy or sad, he expresses his emotions through songwriting.

Wang had his last national tour three years ago and he rocked a crowd of more than 60,000 fans with his concert Storming at the National Stadium in August 2014.

The Times Tour, which Wang started mapping out after the last tour, will combine futuristic elements, which offer audiences a walk between the virtual world and reality.

According to Xue Liping, CEO of Compass Culture Co, which has been running Wang's concerts for four years, ticket sales for the upcoming Beijing concert have totaled more than 10 million yuan (.47 million).

In 2014, the singer-songwriter became the first in China to broadcast his concert at the National Stadium online.

According to the Chinese video and movie streaming site, which exclusively streamed the concert, more than 75,000 users watched Wang's performance online within two days, each paying 30 yuan.

Gong Yu, founder and CEO of China's online video giant iQiyi, announced that his company will stream Wang's two concerts this year - the Beijing concert in September and the Xiamen concert on Dec 16.

Gong also says that a documentary, which was made by a team from the United Kingdom and centered on Wang's national tour in 2014, will also be broadcast on iQiyi.

Besides music, the documentary also captures Wang's private life, including interactions with his actress wife, Zhang Ziyi.

"I didn't want to expose my family life to the public but my team encouraged me to add this part because it's my real life, which inspires my music," says Wang.

He and Zhang celebrated the birth of a daughter in 2015.

It's Wang's third marriage and Zhang's first. Wang adds that his wife, who is known for her roles in The Road Home and the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, will come to his concert in Beijing.

In 2013, Wang became one of the four judges of the popular singing competition TV show Voice of China. He won't return for the upcoming season, however, to make time for the national tour, the new album and his family.

The Beijing native was introduced to music by his musician father, who put him through violin lessons at 5.

Although he didn't like the instrument at first, he studied and graduated from the Central Conservatory of Beijing.

At 17, he started to listen to songs by Michael Jackson, the Beatles, and Chinese rocker Cui Jian. In 1994, he formed a rock band, No 43 Baojia Street, along with his classical music-majoring friends, and moved on to a solo career in 2000.

"I am touched to find that people listen to my songs over and over again and they explore my music as they experience their own lives over years," he says.

"I am progressing and my music tells stories that can be shared by people of different ages. I can still do rock 'n' roll when I am 60."

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