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Foreign musicians make overtures to China

  • Author:Linki
  • Source:https://www.chinadaily.com.cn
  • Release on:2019-12-26
Foreign musicians make overtures to China

Fans welcome Galen Crew, 29, at airports and hotels where he stays, his concerts sell out fast and his followers sing along to the lyrics he writes.

The singer-songwriter-who was born in Ocean City, New Jersey, United States, grew up in Tennessee and now lives in Nashville, the state capital-has accumulated a large fan base in China, as have some of his peers from other countries.

From Nov 28 to Dec 7, Crew played a seven-city Chinese tour, including concerts in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, Sichuan province.

He updated his schedule on his Sina Weibo account, where he interacts with his Chinese fans, who have given him a nickname, chuan zhang, which translates as "captain".

"I have been to all of the cities at least twice now-but this is actually my third time in Guangzhou (Guangdong province), Beijing and Shanghai," Crew said. "The most exciting thing is appearing in city after city and seeing that fans know the words to my songs. When they sing along with me, it is exhilarating."

His interest in music started at an early age, and he wrote his first composition at 11. He has played with various bands since high school, performing on a range of instruments, including acoustic guitar, ukulele, bass guitar and piano. He also produces music for other artists.

Crew describes his music-a combination of pop, electronic and some folk elements-as "dreamy", as he draws a lot of inspiration from stories, both fantasy and real-life.

On Dec 5, one fan, named Rongyan, posted on Crew's music page on NetEase Cloud Music, one of the main online music platforms in China: "It was a touching moment to watch his show in China and hear him speak Chinese. He worked hard to learn to speak Chinese for his fans."

In 2014, Crew began hearing from Chinese fans, who told him his songs were becoming popular in the country.

He said: "I wasn't even sure if it was true, but then some fans sent me a link to a Chinese music platform, where my songs were getting millions of plays. I said: 'Wow!! This is amazing!'"

He then created a profile on Sina Weibo and began communicating with his fans more regularly. Inspired to learn just how much his followers in China were enjoying his songs, he began planning a trip to the country in 2016.

Crew said: "One thing that many fans say to me is that they feel a strong sense of peace and calm when they listen to my songs. Others say that my songs make them feel as if they have suddenly stepped into a joyful dream. It really motivates me to continue writing new songs when I see the uplifting effect the music is having on them."