‘I deliberately alienated teens’
Taiwanese singer Jeff Chang says new album & music video not for young
By Tan Kee Yun
November 04, 2010
IN THE music video of his new song Space, Taiwanese balladeer Jeff Chang patronises a pub and cosies up to a hot babe with luscious locks.
Following that, the two check themselves into ahotel, where they lie in bed, warmly embracing each other; she plants a kiss on his forehead.
Granted, the video was done tastefully, but its decidedly adult direction and hints of casual sex are nevertheless a departure for the veteran crooner.
Chang, 43, the son of a Christian pastor, has maintained a consistent clean-cut, nerdy image over twodecades of his Mandopop career.
Heartbroken female fans seek solace in his silky vocals and sappy tunes of undying love.
So, what made him decide now to play the cool cat and channel George Clooney’s isolated road warrior character from the movie Up In The Air?
In an interview with The New Paper while in town to promote his latest album, Genesis, Chang clarified that it was ‘never my intention to start being sexier or morehip’.
‘Space is definitely one of the most daring music videos I’ve done. It was a little awkward doing some of the physically intimate scenes opposite my female co-star,’ admitted the bachelor.
‘But I feel that in comparison to a lot of recent works by younger artistes, it’s actually quite tame and conservative.
‘These days, there are more and more videos that are either very graphic, explicit or just plain bizarre.’
If he sounds a tad old-fashioned, that’s because Chang does not hide the fact that he has hit middle age.
He readily admitted that the entire album Genesis is ‘meant for mature listeners’.
‘This time round, I deliberately alienated the teenage crowd… at this stage in my life, it’s impossible for me to reflect the emotions of youngsters through my songs,’ he said.
‘Look at Space. It strikes a chord with me personally as it brings out the long-drawn loneliness of being always on the road.
‘I’m sure it resonates too with single folks around my age who are in the same predicament. But teenyboppers may not be able to understand all these feelings we have.’
The music video for Space made headlines in Taiwan last month for the painstaking effort that went into the filming process – it was reportedly shot on location at seven boutique and five-star hotels in Taipei.
Perhaps, it’s also time to dispel the goody-two-shoes impression many people have of him.
‘Like the character I play in the video, in real life, I do go to pubs occasionally for drinks,’ said Chang, who is currently unattached.
‘(The character is) not a carbon copy of me of course, but there are similarities.’
The desire for love is genuine as well.
‘Loneliness is a feeling that I’ll never fully get used to,’ he said pensively.
‘Some of my friends who are married or going through bad divorces tell me they envy my singlehood… I lead a carefree lifestyle, I can go wherever I want to and when I like.
‘But it’s often in the middle of the night when a wave of sadness comes over me and I feel the big void in my life.’
Deep down, like his pals, Chang hopes ‘to find the right girl’ to walk down the aisle with.
‘Over the last few years, I’ve gone on dates but unfortunately, none really worked out,’ he said.
‘I view failed relationships as a learning experience, you learn more about yourself and what you really want in a partner.’