Home / World / Europe

UK's Chinese singers are on song

By China Daily in Manchester | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-05-22 17:55

A Welsh folk singer won first prize on Saturday in the Chinese Song UK contest, in which non-native-speakers belted out traditional Chinese songs — in Mandarin and Cantonese.

UK's Chinese singers are on song

Sun Dali, China's consul general in Manchester, congratulates Alec Loane after he won Chinese Song UK. Angel Kong / China Daily 

Alec Loane impressed the judges with his lively performance and affectionate rendition of the Chinese love song The Moon Represents My Heart at a packed theater in Manchester.

"I have sung Chinese songs for many years and my friends have always enjoyed my singing," Loane said after the tournament, which was for people who speak non-Chinese languages as their mother tongue.

Loane said he was pleasantly surprised that his hobby, which he picked up while hanging out with friends from Hong Kong, had eventually brought him plaudits, and the 3,000 pound prize.

"I'm over the moon," he beamed.

The 58-year-old father is a big fan of Chinese culture. He said his daughter is planning to participate in the competition next year.

Ten contestants, from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Switzerland, reached the final of the Chinese Song UK contest, performing before an audience of about 1,000 people at Manchester Central. Singers entertained the crowd with hip hop songs, pop tunes, rock anthems, and folk ballads.

Gabriel Mayoral-Galindo, 21, who has learned to speak fluent Chinese, sung the ballad You Exist in My Song and impressed people on social media, who voted him their favorite.

His interest in the Chinese language started in secondary school, when he got an opportunity to visit China through the Confucius Institute, an organization that promotes Chinese culture around the world.

"My brothers and I sang in Chinese to Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, when he visited the UK and that encouraged me to put more effort into learning Chinese," he said.

Mayoral-Galindo, who is a student at the University of Leeds, will study for a postgraduate degree at Shanghai Theatre Academy.

David Geary, 24, won a prolonged round of applause from the audience for his original creation, The Dialect. A past winner of the Chinese Bridge Mandarin speaking competition, Geary rapped in Chinese — in both the Guizhou and Beijing dialects.

Sun Dali, China's consul general in Manchester, congratulated the winners and noted that music has no boundaries and "amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states".

The Chinese Song UK contest was organized by the UK Chinese Young Entrepreneur Association. By midday on Sunday, video highlights from the competition had already had more than 1.4 million views on Chinese social media platforms.

Yang Jing contributed to this story


Most Viewed in 24 Hours