Mui-interview of those days

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Beware of Anita Mui - Big Sister last battle in HK

(Music World of Today) 1995

 

Last year, Big Sister Anita Mui announced that she would come back to the stage.   The fist biggest movement was her concert in Canton.  But this was a charity concert for fund raising for handicapped people.  On Jan 20th, the night before her concert at Fushan, our reporter interviewed this famous lady who is so popular in HK show biz.

[Why no cover story?]

When Ah Mui saw the magazine "Music world of today", the first thing Ah Mui asked shocked the reporter.   After the reporter explained, she smiled and said: [Never mind, just joking, just joking!]

Ah Mui young and pretty, voice light.

Reporter:  How many times you have performed in China?

Mui:  I was here eight years ago, but only been to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, a few cities.  Haven't been to cities in the north.  Last year (Actually it was 1993, footnoted by the writer) I performed in the City Hall at Beijing.

Reporter:  Being a Big Sister of Hong Kong Music Industry, how do you feel?

Mui:  I have never felt I have a prominent status.  I only feel that my career is  the performing art.

Reporter:  But you have the status that new singers can only look at and can never get it.

Mui:  No, no.  Actually the present Hong Kong music industry is full of all kinds of singers, many different kinds of singers.  Comparing to our time, it is more difficult for them.  There are opportunities, but comparatively less.   I already feel much relieved now, because  I'm not accepting awards anymore, I don't have too much pressure.  Now I only sing for my own interest.  Also I still have a large group of fans.  Even though I haven't sung for 2 years, they haven't given me up, forgot about me.  In contrary, they are much better to me.  Also more and more people like me, so to continue to sing is part of my responsibilities too.  That is why I hope I can record some really good songs, my real style, not only for commercial purpose.

Reporter:  You have raised and developed my new singers, such as grasshoppers, Andy Hui, Patrick Tam and etc.  What  do you think new people  should do in order to be successful?

Mui:  Actually it is lucky to be a new person, but also can be considered as unlucky.  In the past when I was a new person, I had to do many things myself, such as image, make up, design, so I could learn many things.  But now things are different.  New singers once they are exposed, they are followed by a whole group of people.  The staff of record company will arrange everything for them, image, make-up, they don't have to think too much.  But I like the way of the past.  I feel the new singers of today tend to be comparatively arrogant, maybe they get everything too easily, so they don't know how to treasure.  Therefore if there is opportunity, they should grab it, and then should not get too proud of themselves, and then work hard.  Some new people are too anxious, hoping to succeed in a very short period.  This is impossible.  Even succeeded, but it would not last long.

The most important thing for a singer is to sing good songs, image is secondary.  The priority of a singer is song, promotion is second, and getting award is third.  This is what I feel.

Reporter:  You are well known being "ever changing", in the album "Where does love belong?", you appeared in black and white only; then in the album "Caution,   Anita Mui" you appeared as a soldier, with helmet and rifle.  Do you have to think about your image every time?

Mui:  I feel image is to be designed with the songs.  Songs in the album "Where does love belong?" are about sentiments.  "Sentiment" can be expressed in different ways, in this album it is expressed  by a mature lady.  That is why image is to be in black and white, it reflects a woman from beginning to the mature attitude, there is not too many colors in her life, only black and white, only hoping stability.  Such kind of feeling is real.  I feel  too many colors are not necessarily good to a person, in contrary, simplicity can be the happiness.

The image designed for the theme song "Release yourself" for the album "Caution,   Anita Mui" is aiming to achieve a strong character.  I performed this song with singing method of black people.  I don't you if people can accept this.  This is a try, no matter if it is good or no good, I can make change in next album, I only hope to bring new feelings.

Reporter:  You just mentioned that mature woman longing for stability, then can you tell us something about your love life?

Mui:  Frankly speaking, up till now, almost more than 3 years, I haven't found a boy friend who is good,  who can be trusted or who will give me security.  Actually in 3 years I haven't been in love, on the other hand I realize that we not only live for this "little, narrow" love, there is a "bigger and wider" love waiting for us.  But a girl when approaching an age suitable for marriage should look for a boy friend, but this is not an enforced matter, I can own love from many friends.  Of course, this is a  bit regretful, if I can find a boy friend whom I can depend on, it is much better.

Reporter:  You are born with a very special voice, when you are performing during the concert, how do you express your sentiment?

Mui:  I feel singing is a method of communication between people.  I might have a song in my mind, I want to tell someone.  If you want me to tell him in face, it might be difficult for me; but if by singing, it is very easy for me to express my sentiment.   Skill of course is quite important, but, personally I think if a song can be accepted by people and it can stir up same echo, mainly is because sentiment has been immersed in it.

After the interview, Ah Mui showed the great interest in "The Mouth Crocodile" (That is the logo of the magazine "The Music World of Today",)  she also appreciated the congratulation words.  Ah Mui originally planned to offer a charity concert at HK Stadium in April, but had to cancel due to the noise regulation.  Now they are applying to have the concert in HK Coliseum.  But it is rather in a rush, Ah Mui hopes everything will be well cooperated and aims it to be the best concert.  Under this competitive environment, to a singer, the most shock is the change of the top management level.  Capital Artists, to which Ah Mui belongs, has great shift in personnel, many staff at promotion department have left the company.  CA has already lost its glory that  will never be regained.

Right now, Ah Mui is doing recording for the last album for CA.  She doesn't like further changes at this moment.  So she requested the company to hire those few staff who have already resigned to promote her last album.  Regarding the new contract, Ah Mui said without hesitation: [I have never urged myself to leave so quickly just like now.  But I have to see the result of the new album before I decide if I will stay or leave.  The chance is 50-50.

Ah Mui's character has never changed through the storms of these years.  So straight forward, never pretends.  She said she would come back, so she did, without reasons and without explanation.

 

《當代歌壇》1995年

小心梅艷芳 ── 香江大姐最後一戰

 

 大姐梅艷芳去年宣佈重返舞臺後,第一個大舉動竟是先在廣東開演唱會。不過此次她的演唱會都是慈善演出,是爲殘疾人基金會捐款。120日,梅艷芳佛山演唱會前夕,本刊記者採訪了這位縱橫香江歌壇的風雲女人。  

怎麽沒有我的封面?」

        阿梅在看到《當代歌壇》雜誌後第一句話把記者問了個大愣神,梅大姐果然厲害。待記者向他解釋原因後,她笑著說:「沒關係,開個玩笑,開個玩笑!

        阿梅年輕漂亮,聲音如霜霧凝成的碎片飄落下來。

記:這是第幾次來中國演出?

梅:八年前我曾經來過,但只是局限在廣州和深圳幾個地方,北邊一點的地方就沒有去過。去年 ( 實際上是1993年,作者注。) 曾在北京人民大會堂表演過。

記:作爲香港歌壇大姐級人物,有何感覺?

梅:我從未覺得自己有很高地位。我覺得自己只是一個從事藝術表演的人而已……

記:但你卻擁有許多新人可望而不可及的地位。

梅:不會不會。其實現在香港歌壇是百花齊放,很多不同歌手都出來了,比我們那個時候多,所以他們比較辛苦,機會當然也比我們小一些。我現在已經輕鬆好多,因爲已經不參加領獎,對我沒有造成太大壓力。現在唱歌完全是因爲興趣。還有就是因爲我還擁有一大群歌迷,雖然我退出兩年沒唱歌,但是他們也沒有放棄過我、忘記我,相反,他們對我越來越好,人數還越來越多,所以繼續唱歌應該也是我的責任之一。所以我希望錄一些好的歌,真正是我自己的風格,不完全是爲了商業目的。  

記:你曾經培養過不少新人,像草蜢、許志安、譚耀文等人,那麽你認爲一個新人如何做才能成功呢?

梅:其實做新人,可以說是幸福,也可以說是不幸的。以前我們做新人時,許多東西都是要自己去做的,譬如說形象啊、化妝啊、設計啊,所以能夠學的東西很多。而現在就不同了,新人一出來,後面就有好多人跟著。唱片公司的工作人員會給他們安排好多,形象、化妝,那樣他們就不用想得太多。可是我還是喜歡以前的那種感覺,我覺得現在的新人會比較容易驕傲,他們可能認爲一切得來的太容易,所以他們不太珍惜。因此有機會當然要把握好,把握好機會後不要驕傲,要好好地做,而有些新人的心態則是太急了。希望在很快很短的時間內就成功,這是沒可能的。即使你成功了,也不會長久。

       一個歌手最主要的是把歌唱好,形象是次要的。一個歌手應該把歌放在第一位,宣傳放在第二位,而能不能拿到獎則是第三位。這是我的看法。  

記:你素有「百變」之稱,而在《情歸何處》中你以純黑白造型出現;國語專輯《小心梅艷芳》中又像一個女戰士,頭戴鋼盔手執長槍,你對自己的形象每次都是怎樣考慮的?

梅:我覺得形象是要配合歌曲來想象的。《情歸何處》那張唱片內的歌曲都是圍繞感情問題的。「情」是可以用很多不同的方法來表達的,這張專輯表現的是一個成熟女人的心理。所有造型都用黑白處理,其實是反映一個女人從開始到成熟的心態,她的生活中已經沒有太多姿彩,只有黑與白,只希望穩定。這種感覺是很真實的,我覺得色彩太多對一個人來說不是太好的事情,相反做人簡單一點倒是很快樂的。

    《小心梅艷芳》的造型是爲主打歌《放開你的頭腦》設計了一個很硬的形象,這首歌我運用了很有黑人味的唱法,不曉得大家接不接受,這是一個嘗試,不論好不好,下一張都可以改變,我只希望有一點新的感覺。

記:剛才你提到成熟的女人渴求穩定,那麽能否問一下你自己的感情生活?

梅:老實說,到現在爲止,差不多有三年多,我都沒有找到一個好的、可以相信、可以有安全感的男朋友。其實三年沒有戀愛,在當中我倒發現世上不只是爲了狹小的愛而活著,還有更大更寬容的愛等著我們。但一個女孩子到了適婚的年齡一定是要找男朋友的,但這不是可以勉強的事,我可以擁有很多朋友的愛。當然這埵酗@點點遺憾,如果我能夠找到一個可以依靠的男朋友就更好了。  

記:你天生有一副很有特點的嗓音,在演唱歌曲時你怎樣表達其中的感情呢?

梅:我覺得歌是人與人之間表達的方式。我心堨i能有一個故事,我想說給一個人聽,如果讓我面對面說出來,我會很難開口;如果用歌表達的話,就很容易溶入自己的感情。技巧當然也是蠻重要的,不過,我自己的看法是一首歌能夠讓人接受並産生共同的感受,主要還是感情投入。

              

        採訪結束後,阿梅對「大嘴鱷魚」( 注:《當代歌壇》雜誌的標誌 ) 産生了濃厚的興趣,拿在手堻萲w得不得了。而且還欣然爲本刊題寫了賀詞。4月份,阿梅原定在香港大球場開慈善演唱會,但因噪音問題而被迫取消。現已申請紅館的4月演出,由於時間倉促,阿梅希望各方面能配合好,做到最好。在競爭激烈的環境堙A對於歌手來說,最大的震動莫過於公司的高層人員變動了。阿梅所在的華星公司在近幾年間,人事變動頻繁,今年許多宣傳人員更是紛紛離開,華星的光輝已一去不返。

      阿梅現在正爲華星灌錄最後一張唱片,她不希望在這個時候,公司再出變動,因此她向公司提議聘請已離職的幾位宣傳人員,爲她宣傳最後一張唱片。談到簽約問題,阿梅毫不諱言:「從沒像這樣催促自己快走。但我要看新唱片的成績再決定去或留。機會是一半一半啦。」

 阿梅的性格在多年的風風雨雨中並沒有多大改變,直來直去,毫不故作姿態。說復出便復出,沒有理由沒有解釋。