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My Story, My Song   Mark Lui

我的故事我的歌 雷頌德

As the Barcadi We are the Legacy singer-writer content enters the finals stage, Malt and Spirits has invited its judge, Mark Lui, to share his career in songwriting and singing.

 

In the internet age, Sing-writing ecosystem is a lot different from it used to be, but what remains the same is the passion of the young singer-writer. “I was fond of pop music since my early days. Back then information was that easily available, it took a great deal of time to look for the music I loved. After listening for many times, I wanted to play them on my own, and then I wanted to create my own music. 

Unlike now when YouTube is your easy way to publicise a song and reach thousands, it was much more difficult for Mark. “At first I can only play my new songs to my good friends, and you can only hear praises. At university I met a group of people who were passionate about music as well. We worked hard by ourselves, then debut our music at University variety shows.” Back in Hong Kong from Britain, Mark took part in many competitions, “but never get pass the qualifying rounds,” he laughed. But with a persistence to knock the doors of record companies, he gradually got his music known.

 

Art is a way to express oneself, and the same is true for songwriting. So would Mark tell his own stories in his music? “There may be some in my earliest works, which were basically unpublished and frankly not good enough. But the later songs were written for other singers. When I listen back, I felt I couldn’t write those songs anymore because my thinking is different as with time.” It’s a pity those songs have little commercial value. For him, the initial motivation to write songs is to push himself to be a professional songwriter, “there had been times I doubt myself quite seriously: is it because the songs aren’t commercial enough, or simply not good enough? I tried every direction in terms of song writing in order to turn my passion into a vocation. And when I became successful, I have more freedom in writing.”

 

Of course, taking part in a competition is definitely a shortcut to becoming a songwriter, and Mark has some advice for young writers who are eager to be in the profession: “You not only have to express yourself in a competition, you also have to win it. Remember, a song is written for an audience. As well as having personal characteristics, it has to sound pleasing. Finally you have to treat every song as your masterpiece, while you have little grip about the future reception of any given song, before everything you have a have a good song.” Although not every participant of Barcadi We are the Legacy can win a prize, they should earn much valuable experience.

隨著Barcadi we are the legacy傳奇唱作人大賽進入決賽階段,《Malt and Spirits》也邀得評判雷頌德分享其多年來的唱作路。

 

在互聯網的流行之下,現的唱作生態和從前很不一樣,不過年輕人對唱作都懷有同一份熱誠。「我一早開始熱愛流行音樂,當時資訊不發達,要花很多時間找自己喜愛的音樂,例如可能要花很長時間排隊才能買得心愛的唱片。聽多了自然想自己彈出來,然後再進一步想擁有自己的歌。」

 

相比起現在想要發表的話只需要將自己的作品放上Youtube,便可以接觸到很多人,在Mark的年代發表的難度就高很多,「一開始寫歌的時候,都只會給好朋友聽,大家當然只有好評。到了大學,認識一班同樣喜歡音樂的人,大家各自埋頭苦幹,然後在大學的Variety Show上發表。」後來Mark畢業後自英國回港,也曾多次參加比賽,但他笑說當時「無次入圍」,但他仍不斷向唱片監製敲門,自薦作品,最後才漸漸有曙光。

 

藝術是用來表達自己的,作曲也一樣。那麼在Mark的意樂裡,是否有他自己的故事呢?「在最開頭、沒有面世的作品裡,其實也不太夠好的作品裡,可能有這些元素。但後來發表的歌都是為歌手而寫的。現在聽回當時的歌,也會覺得年紀不同了,心境不同了,再也寫不出來。那些也是值得紀念的。」可惜那些歌沒有商業價值,對他來說,當初不斷作曲的動力是為了成為職業創作人,「也曾有一段時間很懷疑自己,問很多點解,是歌曲不夠商業化,還是不夠好?為了能將興趣轉成職業,當時甚麼都試(作曲方向)。直到成功後,就可以有更多自主度。」

 

當然,參加比賽是成為職業創作人的捷徑,Mark也有些貼士提供給有意投身專業的年輕朋友,「參加比賽不單要表達自己,目標是要贏,所以寫法要有點不一樣。另外要記住歌是給別人聽的,客觀來說要悅耳,當然個人特色也很重要。還有就是要當每首歌都是master piece,歌之後的際遇難以制,但最重要先有好歌。」相信所有Barcadi we are the legacy的參賽者即使贏不到獎項,也能贏到寶貴的經驗!

Text : Iris Chow
Design : Inti Kong

Photos : Hong Leung