Juztin Lan sings track written by Umbrella Revolution writer PAN
It took six years for Juztin Lan to come out with his second mini album titled Mou Mou (Someone). Six years is a long time; and at one point, Lan even thought that he had missed the boat.
After winning first runner-up at the 2009 Astro Star Quest singing competition when he was only 19, he was appointed the brand ambassador of a camera brand and even released a mini album titled Loving You.
Then, in the following years, he released a couple of singles and helmed a few TV shows on Astro Zhi Zun. But things had slowed down considerably, to the extent that he was pondering whether to go or to stay.
“I’ve thought of giving up; but every time, there’ll be some reasons encouraging me to go on. Maybe I was just not ready to let go, so I always seemed to find an excuse to carry on. But I believe that my biggest motivation to stay came from my family, my friends, and my ever-supportive fans who have been there for me from the start,” said Lan, 26, who hails from Ipoh, Perak.
Fortunately for the boyish Lan, his hard work did not go unnoticed. Last year, he was cast in a local festive flick and was offered an opportunity to cut an album with independent record company Just Good Entertainment.
You had a starring role in local Chinese New Year flick Huat The Fish, playing one of four fisherman who get into all sorts of scrapes while they try to help a friend settle a major debt. Do share your thoughts about the project.
I am very thankful to Jack Lim for giving me the opportunity to work in a major film production. I even got to do my own stunts in the movie. It was a very enriching experience as I got to learn a lot about filmmaking.
You were expecting to release Mou Mou in early 2015, but it was rescheduled to the end of the year. What actually happened?
We couldn’t find a suitable song, even after listening to more than 60 demo songs. I was very nervous at that time. The feeling was like getting hold of a ticket to a concert that I have been greatly anticipating, only to discover upon my arrival to the venue that the stage and audience were nowhere to be seen.
The title track Mou Mou was composed by PAN, who is best known for composing Umbrella Revolution for Hong Kong’s revolutionary movement. Hong Kong singers Leo Ku and Denise Ho and Taiwanese singers Richie Ren and Aska Yang have all sung his songs. How do you feel about having him write a song for you?
Since I was a kid, I’ve loved listening to Cantonese songs from Hong Kong. So, I really appreciate the opportunity to perform a Hong Kong songwriter’s composition. I fell in love with this tune the very first time I listened to the demo. I knew right away that this was it. And I’ve had it playing on repeat ever since.
Mou Mou comprises four tracks, three in Cantonese and one in Mandarin. Tell us about recording your first Mandarin song Xing Fu De Ci Wei, which is the Mandarin version of your earlier song Hau Bei.
All this while, I’ve only been singing Cantonese songs, so I guess there will be some comparison. This is my first attempt; and I hope I’ve presented something new. After all, there is a great difference between expressing one’s feelings in Mandarin as compared to Cantonese.
You sing mostly in Cantonese. Are you planning to further your career in the Hong Kong music scene?
Naturally, that has been my goal right from the start. But, now the time is right, since I have something new to showcase when I go over there. I hope that my dream will come true soon.