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[Predebut/Interview] 2005 Zhou Mi “100 Steps” Campus Magazine Interview

SOURCE: 100steps.net via 雨疏
TRANSLATED BY @zhouminews

[The exact date that this article was published is unknown (the “100 Steps” website in question has disappeared), but judging by the events it discusses, it was probably written in the latter half of 2005, a year before Zhou Mi was picked up by SM Entertainment. Zhou Mi did not sign with Music Nation as the article says (he actually denies it in the interview itself = =).

This article is from a webzine about university/campus happenings that seems to be written by college students. The writing is not particularly professional or polished, so the introduction sounds a little strange and sometimes the reporter makes a few errors in logic, but what Zhou Mi has to say is pretty clear!]

How many competitions does it take to go from a university campus to the music world? This question is as difficult as the question posed by Kong Yiji: how many different ways can you write “茴”? [This literary reference is totally random and also makes no sense, so please do ignore it. The Kong Yiji story is not supposed to be about difficult questions.] But we found Zhou Mi. In that Campus Breath of Fresh at Huagong Stadium, even though Zhou Mi only took third place, he was surely the most eyecatching of all the contestants. In the two previous competitions, he won two championships. He is about to sign with Music Nation and become a professional singer. Let’s ask him how many competitions it took to get him from the campus, to competitions, to the music industry, to becoming a singer.

From Competitions to Competitions

Reporter: About how many competitions have you participated in since you were little?

Zhou Mi: Since I was little….. 5 or 6?

Reporter: So few! Did you do any of those weird poetry recitation and speech contests when you were little?

Zhou Mi: (laughs) I was in a dance competition? But that was when I was in kindergarten.

Reporter: Then what was the first time you participated in a large-scale competition?

Zhou Mi: When I was 16, MTV’s New Voices Competition [2002; Zhou Mi was the national champion]. I was a junior in high school then. I didn’t really think that much about it. I just felt that music was something I especially liked, so I thought I’d try it out. I didn’t think I’d actually be able to win.

Reporter: Which one left the strongest impression on you?

Zhou Mi: That would be the first MTV New Voices Competition, as well as the recent Moving New Voices Competition. The former was the first time I’d won a championship, and the latter was the first time I received an offer for a singing contract. Both of them made me really excited.

Reporter: And both of them were run by MTV. You and MTV are pretty fated, huh? I hear that they want you to become one of their VJs? [Note: Zhou Mi was actually talking about the 2005 China Mobile Moves the Land “Moving New Voices Competition.” The reporter is thinking of a different competition. Zhou Mi participated in three run by MTV. See Profile for more information.]

Zhou Mi: Yeah, I’m thankful to MTV. [The first time] I was in Beijing attending high school, but after college exams I ended up coming here to Guangdong. I had to spend two years in Zhuhai, so it wasn’t possible. Actually, though, after I won my first competition a record company offered to sign me, but my mom thought I was too young. She didn’t want me going into the entertainment business so early and giving up my education.

Reporter: What advantages do you think you have over the other competitors in all of these competitions?

Zhou Mi: Advantages? I think I’m mostly average, just my looks are pretty OK and my voice is pretty OK.

Reporter: Have you ever experienced failure?

Zhou Mi: Yes. Actually the very first time I was in a competition was probably the first round of MTV’s newcomer competitions, and I was 15. I didn’t think much of it at all, but I certainly didn’t think that I’d be eliminated so quickly. I think it had to do with the song I picked. Or maybe because the rules for the competition were that you had to be 16 to 28, and I didn’t qualify.

Reporter: How do you choose songs now? The past few competitions you’ve been singing David Tao’s music.

Zhou Mi: When you pick a song you have to take your voice into consideration, and choose something that’ll let you show off the unique things about your singing. Like with David Tao’s songs, when you perform them there are a lot of places where you have to be very detailed. When you choose this type of song, you can display your singing skills.

Reporter: Now that there are all sorts of different singing competitions, how do you choose which you want to participate in? Or do you just join all of them?

Zhou Mi: The first time was because MTV had done tons of promotions for their newcomer competition, so I signed up. As for the others, I just sort of went with the flow.

Reporter: What’s the greatest impression that participating in so many competitions has left on you?

Zhou Mi: It affects you on a mental level, for instance your ability to withstand pressure and adjust your attitude continue to strengthen with every next competition.

Reporter: Then what sort of attitude do you have in these competitions? Are you holding on to a dream to become a star, for example?

Zhou Mi: I participate in competitions to come in contact with all sorts of people, and learn even more things.

Reporter: Have you thought about being spotted by a record company and signing a contract like this?

Zhou Mi: I have. But I don’t think that there are ever any absolutes. Every competition is different; different competitions help you improve and move forward in different ways. This is the most important thing.

Reporter: There are lots of college students nowadays who really want to become stars. What advice do you have for them?

Zhou Mi: I don’t think that there’s such thing as becoming famous overnight. Everyone goes through a process, and in this process you must constantly be embellishing yourself, let yourself become more mature, no matter whether it’s in terms of stage presence or acting skill. I think that by going through this process you will be setting the stage for your future, and only then can you move onto the next step.

Reporter: These days there are a lot of talent show type competitions, such as Super Girls. What do you think about these competitions?

Zhou Mi: The purpose and starting points of these competitions are all different. When you’re choosing the type of competition you want to join, you have to choose one that’s suited to you. You can’t win every competition you join, but the same competition can teach different things to different people.

Reporter: Has participating in competitions ever gotten in the way of your schoolwork?

Zhou Mi: Of course. Competitions take up a lot of time, and it’s certainly not like it’s only happened once or twice.

Reporter: Going from what you know, do you think that there are a lot of people in China who’ve gone from singing competitions to become singers? What do you think about their performance?

Zhou Mi: I think there are a lot, but most are newcomers? This has a lot to do with each person’s abilities and the direction their companies take them in.

Reporter: Do you think it’s easy to go from singing competitions to becoming a singer?

Zhou Mi: Ah…… it’s pretty tiring. But if you really love music and music is your hobby, then it could absolutely be enjoyable too.

From Music to the Entertainment Industry

Reporter: Let’s go back to your music. I hear that you’ve signed with a record company in Hong Kong and are currently training?

Zhou Mi: No, not yet. I’m still a student and I plan to continue with my education.

Reporter: Your looks are the kind that stand out from the general population. Do you worry that you’ll become an idol in the future? [As in, an idol as opposed to a singer.]

Zhou Mi: I…… don’t think so. I think that as a singer, both your performing ability and your appearance are extremely important. And of course, in the future, I will keep learning more about music.

Reporter: Have you always liked to sing? Are there any people or singers that you consider to be an inspiration?

Zhou Mi: I’ve always liked to sing. My dad is with the Beijing Military Band and his specialty is the trumpet, so I also learned along with him when I was little. My mom’s always liked singing since she was young too. So from a young age, I was exposed to my family’s influence. The singers I listen to more often are Wang Leehom and David Tao, and England’s Craig David, as well as some Japanese R&B artists.

Reporter: Do you imitate them?

Zhou Mi: When I was in junior high I’d try imitating the feeling they gave off, because when a singer is just starting out there’s always going to be an imitation phase. But as you sing more and more, you start adding your own flair, especially since your voice is ultimately different from the original singer. So in the process you can add in more of your own stuff. In this way, imitating the right singers can be helpful when you’re starting out.

Reporter: Right now you’re majoring in broadcasting, and you yourself enjoy it. In the future, do you want to focus on singing, or do you want to develop in multiple directions, like both singing and hosting?

Zhou Mi: I hope that I can grow in many different areas, because I also really like hosting, myself.

Reporter: Then how about filming dramas?

Zhou Mi: Filming dramas? This would require more learning. As far as acting goes, I’m still rather lacking.

From Beijing to Guangdong

Reporter: Previously you were in Beijing. After coming to Guangdong, do you feel that the contestants here are any different?

Zhou Mi: The contestants in Beijing are probably more proper, including the types of songs they choose to perform. There are probably not as many “special” * or unique standout performances. After coming to Guangdong I got the feeling that there’s a lot of variety in the genres of music everyone chooses, especially since they also choose Cantonese songs. And in terms of clothing, I think that Guangdong is also more hip and fashionable, probably because we’re closer to Hong Kong. I just think that the students here are a lot more alive.

* [Zhou Mi said “special” in English.]

Reporter: Can you speak Cantonese? If so you can consider a career in Hong Kong.

Zhou Mi: No, I don’t. [← in Cantonese = =|||||] Hehe, in the beginning I couldn’t understand a single word. Now It’s a little better.

Reporter: As a mildly famous college student, do you think there’s anything you’ve lost, in comparison to the average student?

Zhou Mi: In college life, I think everyone has the same things. Maybe I’m more fortunate than the others in some area or another, and am able to come in contact with more things. But when you’re in school, everyone goes to class and eats, everyone goes back to the dorms to rest at the end of the day like everyone else.

Reporter: How do you practice singing, normally? Do you go to karaoke?

Zhou Mi: You can usually see me with earphones in my ears. My mp3 player and I are basically inseparable. And of course, I go to karaoke.

Reporter: Then if we get the chance, we should go karaoke together!

SOURCE: 100steps.net via 雨疏
TRANSLATED BY @zhouminews

Category: Interviews


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