Moo-sic to the ears
By WINNIE CHUNG
THERE was hardly a dry eye in the Taipei Convention Centre last weekend when Eric Moo Chii Yuan received his prize as the most popular and best-selling artist of 1994 in Taiwan.
Moo had to break off in mid-song when his girlfriend of seven years, Jazreel Low, joined him on stage and both were overcome by tears. Before long, even the emcee and the audience were sporting puffy red eyes.
For Moo, the award comes after the best year of his 10-year career. The Malaysian-born singer-songwriter reported staggering sales of 1.4 million copies of his album Too Silly - quite a feat for a compilation.
His achievements have not been missed by Billboard magazine in the United States either, which presented him with the first Billboard Asian Artistic Excellence Award last month.
'These two awards certainly mean a lot to me because it represents recognition of what I have been doing with my music,' said Moo, whose compositions have been covered by singers such as Jacky Cheung Hok-yau and Alan Tam Wing-lun.
'But awards are not what matters most because that is not the be-all and end-all of my music career. I love music and I take a lot of joy in writing my songs and singing.' Surprisingly, although his songs have received tremendous airplay in Hong Kong, Moo has so far been largely ignored at the local awards.
'Not winning awards is not something that bothers me deeply. I only started making a concerted effort to penetrate the Hong Kong market in April 1994. In fact, this setback will help me strive even harder,' he said.
Although he is still a new kid in town, the 31-year-old has already been producing songs and albums for singers such as Andy Lau Tak-wah, Charlie Young Choi-nei and Cass Phang Ling.
'That has helped raise my profile in Hong Kong because most of the albums did quite well on the market.' Since then, singers have been queueing at his door. Unfortunately, Moo says, he cannot oblige all of them because of his other commitments.
'I finished songs for Roman Tam and Anita Mui recently but I also needed to work on my own album which is due out during the Lunar New Year season,' he said.
Besides his music career, Moo has also just finished his first movie.
'I play the lead role of a reformed triad member who eventually becomes an outstanding citizen. The role is quite expansive and gives me a lot of opportunity to act,' said Moo, who has never acted before.