Train of thought: I was drafting my post listing my playlist for and upcoming half-marathon and one of the songs is Alyssa Reid’s The Game that I first hear associated with a highlights reel during the Olympics. So I Googled the song and came upon the CTV page “Move to the Beat” that listed The Game amongst other Canadian songs used for highlights, conveniently listed in track listing format. I scanned the names and picked some to listen on YouTube but only when I read Alyssa’s short bio on that page and started scrolling down did I realize that one of the bio images showed an Asian girl! Wanting Qu goes by Wanting so it just looked like another Canadian band I did not know. The rest… is history.
How did I not know about a breakout Chinese-Canadian artist attempting crossover? Because I don’t generally follow music, that’s why. But it’s not too late and I have now subscribed to her Facebook page to be all up to speed.
Born in Harbin, China, Wanting left her family twelve years ago at the age of 16 to study business in Canada. She earned her degree but her passion lies in music and she wrote and performed music in Toronto before relocating to Vancouver where she is currently based. In Vancouver, she got the attention of Nettwork Music Group (Canada’s largest independent recording label, with whom I’m familiar as a Sarah McLachlan fan) and signed in 2009, their first Chinese (or Asian, for that matter) artist.
Wanting’s debut full-length album, Everything in the World, dropped on April 24, 2012 and features mostly English songs (9) with some tracks in Mandarin (3). The self-taught musician has been hailed to have a voice similar to that of Chantal Kreviazuk, Anna Nalick and Christina Perri. I agree with the Christina Perri comparison. She experienced some Internet fame as she has a YouTube channel and posts covers and original work. She already has a fan base in China thanks to sheer numbers and their version of Twitter, Weibo, where she has 546,570 followers today. It doesn’t hurt that one of her songs, Drenched with its English lyrics, inspired the creation of a Chinese film, Love in the Buff. Her song that was used by CTV was Star in You which has apt lyrics for the Olympic highlights reel. Wanting’s interview at Misunderrated.com was long and fun to read and source of some of the information here.
Will I be able to catch a concert? Alas, besides not having anyone to go with, my mum will be visiting during her Toronto concert date, October 18 at the Mode Club Theatre. She also has a concert date in Vancouver at the Rio Theatre. So, I’ve just been visiting every YouTube video instead.
You Exist in My Song (with English translation)
You Exist in My Song (with traditional Chinese, for karaoke!)
You Exist in My Song (real karaoke version, with Love in the Buff clips)