They may have been around since 1996, and worn the same “indie band” label for just as long, but that didn’t stop the group New Pants winning China’s popular televised music contest series The Big Band earlier this month. Peng Lei, lead singer of the punk-rock outfit, suddenly found himself thrust into the limelight at the age of 42, with hordes of new fans wanting to learn more about him. It turns out there’s a lot to discover. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the frontman of one of China’s now best-known indie bands. Peng is an animator Influenced by his father Peng Guoliang – a famous Chinese painter of children’s comic strips in the 1980s – Peng applied to study animation at the Beijing Film Academy the same year he formed New Pants. He actually produced an animated music video for the punk number Love Tear Gas in the band’s self-titled debut album in 1998. Featuring well-known comic strip and cartoon characters such as Garfield, Snow White, Ultraman and Doraemon, the video might look crude by today’s standards, but it marked China’s first animated MV and was awarded the Best Music Video award by Phoenix Television in 1999. Peng also started working at China Central Television in 2000 as a side job. He helped produce a number of well-known animation series including A War with Millennium Bug , Kekekexin’s Family and Mo’s Mischief . Peng is a film director Peng has directed six feature-length and short films since making his debut Peking Monster in 2006, including The Panda Candy (2007), Equal Love (2008) and A Room with the Cat (2010). None attracted much public attention until Follow Follow in 2011. Revolving around a young girl’s rock dream, the film helped Peng win best director (in the Asian New Talent Award category) at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival. His documentary Peking New Wave premiered during a retrospective exhibition to celebrate New Pants’ 20th anniversary in 2017. Peng is a contemporary artist Over the last decade or so, Peng has held individual exhibitions in Beijing to showcase his pop-style oil paintings and installation artworks. His art was first exhibited at the capital’s 9-Art Park. Many of his art features Mimi and Gaga – two characters from Love Tear Gas – whom Peng refers to as his friends and, sometimes, represent his “dark and secular side, [and] ordinary and unbearable experiences”. Peng is into Chinese vintage Remember Peng and keyboard player Pang Kuan wearing Chinese vintage sportswear in the first episode of The Big Band ? That was not a random choice of outfits. The cover of their 2006 album Dragon Tiger Panacea , which features the pair dressed in vintage sportswear and retro sneakers, had already put them at the forefront of vintage chic in the country. The band has also been spotted wearing clothes with a 1970s and ’80s vibe, with styles including Hong Kong disco and kung fu legend Bruce Lee. Peng is a loving father Peng became a father at 37 to his daughter Peng Lingsi. “The crying eggplant”, as he once described her, turned his life upside down and he admitted that the transition from a rebellious rocker to a parent was difficult. “It was the first time I heard a baby crying at midnight,” Peng recalled during an interview with Xinshixiang, a WeChat account known for its arts and culture coverage. “I was overwhelmed by the fear and thought my life was over.” He gradually got used to his new role. “I have the most beautiful wife in the world, and now have a daughter who is as pretty as her,” Peng once wrote in an online post.