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July 19, 2009

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Melody master serenades the summer for Coke

LEEHOM Wang (pictured right), a four-time Golden Melody winning, American-born Taiwanese musician and actor, appeared last week at Shanghai's Sheshan Moon Lake Sculpture Park for a Coca Cola summer beach party.

The drink company's celebrity spokesman, Wang, renowned for his handsome looks and singing and songwriting talents, has reached the pinnacles of success in the music industry.

His latest Chinese song for Coca Cola, "Chang Shuang Kai Huai," or "Open Happiness," topped many music charts just a few weeks after its release on June 12.

"Coca Cola has many good advertising songs, like 'Always Coca Cola' which I liked very much," he said.

"And I wanted to share the idea of discovery and happiness with everyone through my music, a wonderful medium," Leehom said.

Q: You wrote "Open Happiness" in one day. What inspired you?

A: I always consider many factors in my creation of a musical piece - like word play. But this song was easier for me.

I had already heard the bright English version, collaborated on by many famous musicians from American rock and roll, hip-hop and pop, including Patrick Stump, Brendon Urie and Janelle Monae.

But I took a different approach to composing the melody, making the song feel more relaxing.

I wanted people to enjoy the song with the feeling of summer, a season full of easy living.

Q: The song became popular in a very short time. Are you pleased with its success?

A: Of course, although it is not 100 percent my own creation as half of it comes from Coca Cola.

So I was worried that people would think it didn't represent the Leehom style but after it was released, I was happy that people still recognized "my musical character" in the song.

Q: What will be the highlight of your concert tour starting in Beijing next month?

A: I am a big fan of comics and I always imagined possessing some kind of superpower, just like King Kong, Superman, Ironman or Spiderman when I was a little boy.

So for this year's concert, of which the theme is "Music Man," I will concentrate on CosmoPlay and one of my signature "weapons" will be a dragon-shaped guitar.

After Beijing, the next stop will be Xi'an in Shaanxi Province.

Q: Is your performance in "Little Big Soldiers," a new movie in which you co-stared with kung fu icon Jackie Chen, very different to your previous movies?

A: It is a great honor to work with Jackie. People have always thought of me as being very gentle, but in "Little Big Soldiers" I played a violent general with a very bad temper.

I really appreciated such an opportunity to be challenged by playing a totally new character and working against "type."

Q: Did Jackie guide you a lot?

A: Jackie is such a legend in China, and I am always eager to pursue knowledge, so I will never give up the opportunity of learning.

Jackie is very patient and has excellent experience in many fields of the movie industry, so I was very lucky to work with him and learn.

He never used a double in the movie which is a feature of his performances, so I also declined to use a double in my scenes to try to convey realism to the audience.

Q: The death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is a great loss to the performing and fashion worlds. Did he have a big influence on you or your music?

A: Michael had a great influence on me and I felt really upset about his death. We belonged to the same record company and I knew his producer. Michael had many classic songs that influenced me so much especially the charity songs such as "We are the World."

I hope the shock of his death will help people all over the world to learn to cherish life and always be forgiving.


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