Carter Wong Writes Football Songs
Hong Kong may have just tied with China in the most recent World Cup qualifiers, but that doesn’t stop this lyricist from setting words to the game.
How long have you been writing lyrics? Since SARS in early 2003. The social atmosphere wasn’t good those days. I wrote a series of satirical songs with my partner to make fun of the current situation, and calm the anger of the public. I reached more than a million downloads in three months: It was crazy. Since then I’ve been writing football songs. Most of the comments are quite positive: Some football fans have told me that when they hear my songs in the stadium, they’ll sing along loudly. Also, some will sing the songs at karaoke.
Why are you so into football songs? I love to watch football, and I want to attract more potential fans to come to the stadium to support our local teams. A few years ago, I went to watch a Kitchee match. They have many fans but a lack of marketing, so not many fans went to the stadium. I got in touch with Kitchee and a composer, and wrote the song “We are Kitchee!” Some Kitchee fans suggested that I should write a song for the Hong Kong Team. I contacted the Hong Kong Football Association, and finally we wrote the song “Come on Hong Kong.”
How do you write songs? I don’t need any inspiration to write about lyrics. Inspiration is so unreliable. It’s like Christmas—it only comes once a year. Before I write songs, I usually take a nap. Also, I write songs really quickly. Once I tried to finish a song within half an hour. It should take as long as a quick meal, or taking a bus from the New Territories to Central.
Do you actually play football? I quit playing sports some time ago. When I was a kid I used to play football for fun, but I used to shout to my teammates: “Don’t pass me the ball!” Maybe I wasn’t really into it, I just wanted to have fun. Anyway, I don’t play anymore.
What’s the greatest experience you’ve ever had? I am very lucky. I am the first lyricist who has had two football songs played in the Hong Kong Stadium. I still remember the day Kitchee played Arsenal—it was the first broadcast of my song, too. There were 40,000 people sitting and watching the music video—the feeling was just amazing. While listening to my song, I really wish that the Hong Kong team can win.
Do you write love songs as well? Do chicks dig it? I do write love songs, but they’re miserable songs. Miserable songs will only make people cry, but it didn’t help me to attract any girls. Sometimes they attract boys. There are so many rumors in society: Please don’t believe that lyricists can attract girls. It’s just a beautiful misunderstanding.
This article appeared in the November 20, 2015 issue of HK Magazine as Street Talk.