Canto-pop singer-songwriter AGA explains how the sounds of Hong Kong and his early jobs influenced his music – YP

Famous Hong Kong popstar Agatha Kong (known as AGA) has always been fascinated by the bustling streets of Hong Kong, immersing herself in the sights and sounds of its comings and goings.

Born and raised in the city, the 33-year-old singer-songwriter is famous for singles such as Superman and 3 a.m., who has racked up over five million views on YouTube, and she spoke to Young post on the inspiration behind his writing and sound.

Among the city’s many artists who are bringing Canto-pop to life, Kong hopes to bring retro textures to the stage with his latest lead single, CityPop, from his first English album which will be released later this year.

CityPop atmosphere and joy of being alone

When Kong was younger, she enjoyed walking to the rhythm of the sound of passing trains and listening to the babbling of pedestrians, cars and trains as they passed each other loudly.

These unique sounds are presented in the first few seconds of CityPop.

The artist thought, “If I could put that … in my music, that would be fun to start with.”

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Capturing the bustling city was only one aspect of Kong’s vision for CityPop, although. The song also pays homage to the Japanese musical genre from which it takes its name.

The genre of city pop emerged in Japan in the 1970s and flourished in the 1980s. Its smooth, groovy tunes combine jazz and R&B and give off a bubbly and relaxing vibe. It emerged in 1970s Japan alongside the rise of music technology, which inspired the record players, cassettes and vinyls featured in the landscape of CityPopthe clip of.

With the song’s appeal to the ears, Kong explains why she chose not to fill the single with the exuberance of modern life typically associated with metropolitan cities. She said simply, “I want to talk about the joy of being alone.

In her words, she claims that being alone allows her to savor her time with herself, which is necessary for living in a city where it is important to protect yourself from outside noise.

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She explains that this noise comes from everyone’s opinions and can make it hard to be yourself.

“There are a lot of calculations about who we should be and how we should act … I feel like we [should] simply confess who we are, ”she explains.

Seeking the stillness of life’s turbulence is the perfect opportunity to embark on “a journey of introspection,” she says.

Kong’s songwriting journey began as a flight attendant

Obviously, Kong reflects on every song she composes. This is the result of many years of songwriting, which began even before her debut in 2013 – when she still held other jobs. From a young age, she held many part-time jobs including sales, marketing, and even a yoga center. Her first full-time job was as a flight attendant, and it was also her last job before she became a singer.

“I understand what it’s like to be in the working class,” she says, adding that when writing music, those work experiences have helped her empathize with the experiences of others.

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While none of these positions are related to the music industry, several of his past experiences have been crucial to his creative process. She often wonders, “How did I feel when I had to travel an hour and a half to a store that I had to open at 5 in the morning?” What song was I listening to?

While these jobs provided materials for her music, she eventually realized that they also kept her from fully engaging in her craft.

Over 200 of the songs AGA wrote were rejected before she finally sold one – and it was a hit. (Photo: Universal Music)

In the four years before her debut, she had learned songwriting from famous music producer Schumann Lee. But in the first three years, she couldn’t sell any of the 200 songs she wrote for him. Describing the doubt that filled her mind, she recalls, “It was the darkest place I have ever been.”

At the time, she was still working as a flight attendant, and she had to make the risky decision to “fully invest in music”. She says, “I quit my job and devoted myself entirely to music.

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After years of perseverance, success

Everything she did became connected with music: she formed her own band playing in the streets, and she sang harmonies and composed songs for other singers. And finally, after three years of refusal, she sold seven songs in a row. One of the songs she wrote was the hugely successful canto-pop singer Fiona Sit, Better me, which became Sit’s biggest hit with over 10 million views on YouTube.

Since then, Kong has released two successful albums and numerous singles. Last year, at the prestigious Ultimate Song Chart Awards presentation in Hong Kong, she won the coveted Gold Award for Best Female Singer and Best Singer-Songwriter. The last female artist to win both awards was Canto-pop legend Faye Wong in 1996.

This year, she is preparing not only for the launch of her first album in English, but also a concert on the theme of dreams. And she feels lucky that she didn’t let her initial songwriting struggles take hold of her.

“When I write a song, it means I have one more chance to move forward,” she says.

She emphasizes, “Ignore all the ‘noise’ from others because a hundred people will tell you to give up. You need to believe in yourself. “

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