image image


Amid K-pop wave in Hong Kong, is all hope lost for Cantonese music?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2018, 9:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 5:44pm

Korean pop music has become wildly popular in Hong Kong. Many Hongkongers claim Korean music is amazing. The main reason is probably the celebrities’ appearance. Many people find the K-pop stars in the music videos attractive. This drives a lot of youngsters to listen to Korean pop and emulate the stars.

Amid this “hallyu” wave, Cantonese music is gradually fading. People always say Hong Kong’s music industry is dying and criticise Hong Kong music for being stuck in a rut and not moving forward.

Mama Awards: Hong Kong rolls out red carpet for K-pop royalty at Asia’s biggest music awards

This is sad, as Cantonese song lyrics are one of the treasures of the musical culture of Hong Kong. I do appreciate the lyrics written by our renowned composers, such as Wyman Wong and Lin Xi. They are agents of socialisation who transmit their values and views on daily issues. One can learn from their life experiences through the lyrics, which are able to inspire and touch others. More importantly, they resonate with and arouse sympathy from listeners.

If the Hong Kong music industry is in a rut, can we seek to revive it? Can we re-energise it and rekindle our love for this valuable music culture?

It is better to preserve this culture by cherishing Cantonese lyrics, rather than blaming the Hong Kong music industry for perishing. Local music, this intangible cultural heritage, should be venerated. As Hongkongers, we should take action to preserve it.

Matthew Lin, Tai Po