It seems that the name of Faye Wang can never be separated from that of Dou Wei. Not long ago, Dou Wei released his new album Mr. Naïve. Here comes the news that Faye Wang is going to release a new album called Be Perfunctory, which is surprising for most fans. Though Faye is a low-key person, but the news is quite sensational.
Fans of Faye must be familiar with the old song named Be Perfunctory. The publisher Chaotic Silence—- Guangzhou Chaotic Silence Culture Company —- is also under the name of one of Faye’s classic songs. Is Faye selling her old songs for money?
What about this unexpected and unsolicited album? Where does it come from? Many people are confused about it. On one hand, they have questions on the new album. On the other hand, they really hope that the queen of Chinese music —- Faye —- could release a new album again. CMBN found that this album was not really a new album but a compilation produced by one of her fans.
Chaotic Silence is a fan-funded music company. The founder is Xie Qi, a 19-year-old college student studying abroad. He said, “Releasing Faye’s album is the ultimate goal of my company. It’s surprising that it just came so soon.” When referring to making an album for idols, many fans just dream about it but Xie made it come true.
The ten songs in Be Perfunctoryare mainly from the Eps called Toy and Helping Yourself respectively and other albums. In fact, those songs should have been put together and released in one album. In 1995, in order to compete the contract with Cinepoly Record, Faye recorded ten songs. But the company did not release them.
In 1997, Faye released her self-titled Mandarin album by Cinepoly Record after giving birth to her
baby. With the purpose to compete with EMI, Cinepoly Record split the album into four parts and released two EP called Toy and Helping Yourself. The other two songs were collected in other albums.
For fans of Faye, this dismembered album has always been a regret for them. It could be a continuation of Di-Dar. However, for the reason of the publisher, the album had to be separated. As one of Faye’s fan, Xie hopes that the album could be collected and released again. Thus, after nine-month’s preparation, it released.
After Xie had the idea of compilation, he contacted with Cinepoly Record (now it belongs to Universal
Music). He successfully brought the copyrights of the ten songs, which weresorted through the order from darkness to brightness.
Xie told us, “It’s very difficult to negotiate with labels. Fans’ view is totally different from labels, which will cause serious disagreements. I gradually submitted dozens of versions to the label in three months.”
Finally, when acquired the copyright and decided the order, the releasing was permitted from Katie
(Faye’s agent) Studio. “Actually, they disagreed with the releasing at the beginning. But labels and others persuaded them. Finally, they agreed.” Xie said.
In terms of the package of the album, Xie also spent much time on it. He planned to use some unpublished photos. But he found it quite hard for the songs were recorded from the end of 1996 to the beginning of 1997 when Faye was pregnant. There was no photo at that time.
Later, Xie discovered a clue by accident. There were a series of photos on Switch, a Japanese magazine, which were shot by Fubushiro Meisa in Sanlitun, Beijing in 1997. Only 14 photos were published on the magazine.
Xie contacted with Switch, who warmly helped him to find Fubushiro. He was willing to provide
those photos because he was also Faye’s fan. Those photos were taken by a film camera and took a lot of time turning into digital mode. Then, they were put into the album.
Recently, we interviewed Xie. And he shared with us some stories behind Chaotic Silence.
CMBN: Did you grow up with Faye’s songs?
Xie Qi: Yes, when I was three years old, I knew her through Spring Festival gala. I thought her MV
was very interesting when I was a child. In The Moon at That Time, there were different Fayes in the MV; in Give up Halfway, there were air planes around her. However, I was not dare to watch Chess Piece because she was cutting curtains in a dim room with a pair of scissors. I regarded it as thrilling. At that time, I didn’t have copyright awareness and asked my mom to buy a 10 Yuan pirated VCD for me.
It was in my middle school when I firstly got touch with her works in each period. Actually, I felt
very lucky that I did not finish listening to all her songs when I was young, so that I still have feeling of freshness for many songs, because I listened them in recent years.
CMBN: Did you choose the name of your company and that of the album on purpose from Faye’s songs?
Xie Qi: Yes, but I have my own ideas. Chaotic Silence wants to convey the meaning that people are
impetuous in the chaotic society but music gives us space for thinking and forgetting our worries temporarily. Perfunctory is an attitude towards life and relationship. For example, when I’m in a new environment, I fear the strangeness and miss the past. These feelings are very strong at the beginning. They fade away with time because of habits rather than acceptance. We choose the attitude of perfunctory to protect us.
CMBN: When did you found Chaotic Silence? And where did your initial funds come from?
Xie Qi: The company was founded when I was in the second year of high school. But it was not registered until August this year. Faye’s album is the first project of our company. Now I’m the only person in my company. I have to handle all the issues.
In fact, registering company was my family’s idea. I was afraid to tell them at the beginning, for fear that they might not support me. At the end of last year, I started to contact with labels and planned to compilation. Therefore, I need initial funding. Then I mustered up the courage to tell my family. I was surprised that they fully supported me. Also, I received much unexpected help. It might be the reason that I was young and inexperienced, so many people were willing to help me patiently and gave me much valuable advice.
When I first contacted Universal Music, I was rejected. Then, I connected to Hong Kong Universal
Music, and a staff from sales department answered my phone. I kept hanging on and told her my ideas. Then, she was willing to help me. The copywriting of the album was finished by my good friend Chen Zhengqing and a Taiwan music critic named Lin Maowang. They helped me a lot.
CMBN: Have you ever worried about the album’s sales? What’s your future plan of Chaotic Silence?
Xie Qi: I don’t worry about the sales. Faye’s albums are always long-term bestsellers. I spent over
one million Yuan copyright. And most fans think it’s not expensive for pricing this album 128 Yuan. Be Perfunctory is the tenth compilation of Faye. Its value and related memories are incomparable. Now the album is only available in Hong Kong, but mainland fans can buy it thought crowdfunding on Musikid.
In the future, Chaotic Silence will cooperate with labels for exclusive products including compilation of classic albums and concert DVD. My next plan is holding mini concert in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. There are many excellent Taiwan and Hong Kong singers. But fans cou ld only see them on festivals. I hope to bring their shows to mainland market.
(Translator: Elliei; Editor: Chuqian Li)
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