Interview with Da Lead(大隸)/After Don P(當屁) pursues his solo career and Da Lead becomes closer to himself.

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Interviewer:Sophia/Writer: Wendy/Translator: afore

◎ After pursuing my solo career.  I feel excited and unease at the same time.

The day after our interview is Da Lead’s album release press conference so my first question is “Do you position yourself as a new comer?”  He thinks the answer is yes, technically.  After all, after he made the solo flight from Machi, this is his first time to face the market and fans with his own identity and everything is uncertain.

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Da Lead was one of the group "Triangle Cool."

“I had a lot on my mind during the process of producing the album.  This album is not released in the name of Machi, not released by Warner Music and the company I used to work with, but by the record company I’ve found on my own.  Besides, I have to worry about whether I’ll be able to accomplish so many songs by myself and whether they can make an album.  I also need to look for the arranger and sound recordist…  Though I’ve done this stuff before, I still feel unease about this when I have to accomplish all these things on my own.”  Da Lead says that when he was still with Machi, Luke Tsui(崔惟楷)was the one who wrote the lyrics.  Now Da Lead is under lots of pressure when he has to compose the whole album.  At the same time, he has to worry whether the audience will like it, feeling excited and unease at the same time.

After joining Machi in 2005, Da Lead sang mainly rap and hip hop.  Da Lead says there were lots of things he would like to try, but had no chance at that time.  Making his solo flight may be his chance to do so.  His partners at Machi all have their own career now ─ Nicky Lee’s(李玖哲)singing skills have become better and better and Luke Tsui has made lots of songs for many top singers as well.  “Why does Jeffrey Huang(黃立成)support my idea to strike out on my own?  That’s because he believes that I can do something with my own music as well.”  Jeffrey Huang’s permission has made Da Lead feel more secure so he began to write his new songs.

◎ The top 10 dancers in Taiwan

Da Lead has accumulated lots of dancing skills before he made his debut.  “It was a long time ago since I began learning how to dance.  It was around my second year in junior high school at that time.  I was 15 or so…”  Perhaps it has been too many years that I find him lost in thought for a while.  At that time, street dancing was not so popular in Taiwan so Da Lead could only learn it from watching TV, such as the videotapes from abroad or the foreign music playing on MTV at midnight.

As for music making, Da Lead has tried music arranging when he learned dancing, but most of his music were with strong rhythm since he knew nothing about music theory, singing and lyrics.  He began learning different types of music, singing and music making since he joined the rap group Underground Nation(地下國度)and a rock band called Hot Shock in 2001 and later on, singing at pubs for three years.

So when Jeffrey Huang came back to Taiwan in 2003 and said that he was looking for “The top 10 dancers in Taiwan”, Da Lead was chosen.

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Jeffrey Huang and Triangle Cool. Photo credit: Da Lead

◎Machi Bigbrother(麻吉大哥)─ The one who is a major influence on him

When talking about Jeffrey Huang, Da Lead always says this “Bigbrother” is the one who has a great influence on him.  “When I learned dancing at the beginning, I learned MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and Vanilla Ice.  Later on I saw the dance of Jeffery Huang and I realized Asians could dance like this as well.”

After shooting the music video with Da Lead, Jeffrey Huang even asked him right away whether he would like to record the next album together.  Da Lead joined Machi formally after he recorded the third album with them.  He used the stage name “Don P” at the time.

◎ What are the other forms to present music?  Can rap evolve to something new?

Da Lead makes a short comment about the album ─ combination.  “What are the other forms to present music?  Can rap evolve to something new?  Why did I name the album ‘Da Lead’s Theory’(大隸式)?  Because I’ve combined all these things together and written in the album everything I wanted to say.”

In the whole album, Da Lead presents three main concepts with five songs ─ The prospect of the future of the world, his expectation of himself and his idea about love.

“’Subway’(地下鐵)is a warm-up song which is more inspirational.  I’ve written in the song the prospective I’ve wanted to convey to others.  It is about the unease I’ve had during my time of creation and I wanted to tell my audience that don’t give up on any dream.”

“The other song ‘Peace Dove’(和平鴿)is also a song to convey hope.  In comparison with Peace Dove, Subway is more about myself.  Peace Dove, on the contrary, is about the love for the world.  It talks about war and the contrast between the brightness and darkness in humanity.”

There is still another element in the album ─ love.  The two songs, “Some More Time”(再給點時間)and “The Last Lover”(最後戀人)are about Da Lead’s own story. “The Last Lover” is about the relationship Da Lead had eight years ago and he even finished the demo eight years ago.  Why did he want to record in the album something he has finished eight years ago?  “Besides the concept of combination, I also have to give one closure to the demo.”  Has your ex-girlfriend heard the song before?  He says blandly “Even now, she hasn’t heard the song.  Besides, she’s married.”

◎ It was quite suffering to show the relationship to others without reservation.

“The most suffering part is the process of writing the single ‘Some More Time’.  It took lots of courage to write the lyrics and showed the relationship to others without reservation.  What’s more, the relationship was still about to end when I wrote the song.  It was a real struggle for me at that time.”

To permeate his strong emotion through the song, Da Lead says he felt like he was almost roaring when singing the chorus.  But then he says “I couldn’t express those feelings when I was recording in other recording room so I chose to do that in my own recording room.  Many cars and ambulances were passing by when I was recording in the morning and their sound were often recorded as well.  So I repeated singing a lot when I was recording in the morning(laughing).”  Upon saying this, we happen to hear a loud honk coming from outside.  He says jokingly that perhaps you will hear some noise coming from cars if you turn up the volume.

Before I stop the recording, Da Lead says the last sentence “Machi and Triangle Cool(三角 COOL)both present different parts of me, but they are not the whole me.”  He hopes to finish more music videos and music in his way in the future.  Welcome to “Da Lead’s Theory”, a world belongs to Da Lead.

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