Extending his range
Name: Jason Chan Pak-yu
Born: Hong Kong
Zodiac sign: Cancer
Chinese zodiac: Pig
Albums: First Experience (2007), First Experience: Collector's Edition (2007), Change (2008), Close Up (EP) (2009), Can't Be Half (2009), Put On (2010)
I moved to Canada ... at the age of seven. I stayed there for about 15 years then came back to Hong Kong. For the last few years I sort of went back and forth between Canada and Hong Kong. But right now I'm based in Hong Kong.
All my songs are in Chinese ... except for one called Moonlight Express [on Change]. It's from a movie also called Moonlight Express. When they [Sony] asked me to find a cover song, that was the song I had in mind, even though I didn't know the name of the song at the time - I just knew the melody.
I came back to Hong Kong ... because I love it here. I wanted to live on my own and explore before I had any real responsibilities.
My big break came when ... a friend of mine from Canada sent some of my demos to record companies. At first he pretended to be me and contacted them through e-mail until one of them said they wanted to interview me in person. Then he called me and told me. It was a surprise.
By nature ... I'm very active, and I like to have fun. I'm not the type that's an angel. But I guess when you first start out in the industry you need to act a certain way that makes people more accepting of you.
A few years ago ... I had problems with my voice. At the time I didn't know something was wrong. I kept on practicing but I didn't improve. Then I thought, 'Oh no, what do I do if I can't improve, even after only three years in the business'. I wasn't satisfied with myself, so I went to the doctor and they said my voice had a problem: I sang too much. It was inflamed.
I listen to ... a lot of Canto-pop and Taiwanese music. I also like to listen to Western bands. I listen to a lot of different types of music, [but] I'm not really into dance or hip hop.
Put On ... is my fifth album, including an EP. So this is my fourth LP, fifth album. I wrote three songs for it, but Sony used only one, You're Not Qualified to Kiss Someone, which I co-wrote with Tse Kwok-wai. We didn't plan on the lyrics being about love; it was supposed to be about life. But, I guess, they're more comfortable with me singing about love, and people will probably have a better connection to that kind of music.
In one of the shots for the video for Don't Fear Loss we had a bottle smashed on my head. Before we filmed it we were all really scared. I've never done it before and I didn't know what to expect, either. We were also worried that it might be too violent for viewers. But when the bottle was finally smashed on my head, it didn't hurt at all. It's like doing a header in football. It was fake and fun, too.
We chose the title Put On ... because it is like 'putting on', or adding, different elements to Jason. It was the boss' decision, though. I had zero input in the title. My expertise is not in marketing. My expertise is in singing. I figure it's best I focus on what I need to.
I think the most important thing in life is not your final goal, but more what you learn along the way. The journey is more important than the result. It's not about how famous I can be. It's more about how well I can sing.
In the future... I'd like to put out a Putonghua album and do a concert. I really want to do some acting - but my label may not want me to right now. There are a lot of things I want to do; the plan is to do what I enjoy.