Musical Maverick, Dao Lang

Actually, I agree with Na Ying and Wang Feng’s assessment and Dao Lang’s waning popularity is not so much due to him deliberately keeping a low profile but rather the initial buzz that greeted his unique style is long gone. In the long run, the capricious spenders in the Chinese market will grow tired of him and his only fans would be the working class people who buy pirated copies. If a studio were to invest in producing Dao Lang’s music from then until today, they are almost certain to lose money. In that sense, I don’t completely agree with the video below.

However, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Dao Lang is no good. I’m just talking about the commercial value of his music and his potential as an idol in China. While he definitely earn a comfortable living as a songwriter, there is a ceiling to his commercial value because unless he undergoes a total image makeover (which he is obviously unwilling to undergo) he simply doesn’t have the “sophistication” to sell cars and luxury apartments. People don’t pay a lot to listen to music these days. What’s more, concert tickets would probably cost many of Dao Lang’s fans a week’s salary. Singers often have to resort to being brand ambassadors to get rich. Dao Lang simply doesn’t have the star factor to rake in unlimited advertising returns.

Below is one Dao Lang Song that I like.

Dao Lang in Hong Kong with Cantopop king, Alan Tam, about 20 years ago.

Finally, Alan Tam manages 披著羊皮的狼 professionally and with superior technique. Note the difference and why some people think that Dao Lang can’t sing.


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