Songs from the heart

Compiled by Emily Shih

After years of study, an up-and-coming Canto-pop duo are having their first taste of wider success with a second album of sentimental songs and a series of YouTube music videos

Compiled by Emily Shih |

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(From left) Junior reporter Janet Tam, singers Kendy Suen and Robynn Yip, and junior reporters Samantha Lau and Jack Sze
Alexander Graham Bell, credited with inventing the telephone, once said: "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."

Robynn Yip and Kendy Suen know all about that. The Canto-pop duo known as Robynn & Kendy have been preparing for years, are now experiencing increasing popularity with the imminent release of their second album. They live and breathe music. Last month, our junior reporters talked to them about their experiences. Here's what they learned:

Robynn & Kendy did not specialise in music-related studies, but since their school days the two young women have seized every chance to get out and perform.

Robynn Yip graduated with a psychology degree from a US university, but she has been playing music from an early age. Her first contact with a cappella singing fired her interest in music. She began buying CDs to learn everything she could from them. She also began to write songs for her high school's a cappella group, which was a big success. She decided to devote herself more to music. She began experimenting with different genres and even performed in Taiwan and Singapore.

Kendy Suen did not study music, either. But while she was studying in Britain, Kendy wanted to try something new that she could not do in Hong Kong. So she started busking in London Underground stations. She didn't do it for the money; rather, she wanted to feel the satisfaction of being appreciated for her performances by passers-by. "I had no reason to be scared or nervous," she recalled. "The experience helped me to see a new side of life."

Samantha Lau

Robynn & Kendy are preparing to release their second album, Dear Diary. "We hope our listeners can learn about feelings from deep within our hearts," said Kendy. On their previous album, Robynn & Kendy, the songs are lighter and more relaxed - like something you may want to listen to while you are curled up with a fine novel on a Saturday afternoon in a cosy coffee shop.

On their new album, the songs are more personal and sentimental. Of the 10 songs, five are original compositions, while the rest are classic Canto-pop songs with the duo's brand-new take on them.

"We want to pay tribute to some Hong Kong greats [by singing classic songs]," they said. "We also want to give young people more exposure to Canto-pop from the 1980s and '90s."

Janet Tam

Kendy Suen (right) tells Janet about the album's salute to Canto-pop

YouTube has been the main platform for Robynn & Kendy to reach out to their fans, as they have earned a large following through their music videos. This year, the duo would like to expose themselves more widely through some new media. They want to find a larger audience for their music by making it more accessible to people from different age groups.

Their cover of a song by the late Canto-pop diva Anita Mui on YouTube garnered more than 100,000 views within a week after they had posted it. By now it has been viewed 130,000 times. In the video, Robynn & Kendy play guitars and sing in the style of folklore artists.

The duo will release new video versions of themselves covering classic Cantonese songs every Monday. You can subscribe to their channel at

Jack Sze