“A Tainan boy living in Taipei, trying to sing out his ideas about life using an acoustic guitar. Likes to eat breakfast. Positive thinking in music aids digestion.”
When asked to describe himself in one sentence to fans, this is how quirky Taiwanese singer-songwriter Crowd Lu decided to do it. Famous for his obsession with breakfast as the most important meal of the day (he’s even written a song about it), the 31 year-old who was recently crowned ‘Best Male Singer’ at Hello Asia’s C-Pop awards in 2016 even told us he was so happy about the award that he ate two servings of breakfast that morning! Lu talked to us about his latest album, his musical influences, and life in general.
Known always for his organic, exuberantly optimistic take on his music, in his latest album ‘What a folk!!!!!‘ Lu, newly schooled in the discipline of Folk music instead incorporated these elements into his music using an entirely unplugged arrangement, making for a reflective, yet subtly optimistic work.
“Wanting to finish an album using entirely unplugged instruments is also something I’ve never done before, I wished to use those restrictions in making music to challenge myself!”
Lu expressed that the transition to more ambient styles of music came about as a result of his changes in musical tastes. Furthermore, he shares how his penchant for storytelling lent itself to this album in particular.
“Because the songs and stories within the album belonged to myself or friends around me, I felt it was very suitable to use the acoustic guitar to narrate, very easy to understand and digest. In recent years I’ve also begun listening to more quiet music.”
Crowd Lu – Believe in yourself
From his laidback attitude, it is clear that family and friends mean a lot to Crowd. Although living in Taipei away from his family, he cherishes every opportunity to go back to Tainan, excitedly sharing anecdotes from his uniquely Taiwanese Chinese New Year family reunion experience with us.
“On Chinese New Year eve, the whole family would crowd around the hotplate, over ten people squeezed into a tiny living room. Everyone would exchange red packets with money inside, when I was young I would use it to buy the most expensive toys, such as a toy BB gun. On the first day I would go tomb sweeping, sometimes I would go to the port fishing with my Grandpa and bring back hundreds of prawns to be cooked. Between myself, my dad and my other Grandpa, we would finish all the prawns, leaving behind a huge mound of prawns”.
Crowd Lu – 4.95m^2 Dream
Lu is also known to be somewhat of a philanthropist, something which I experienced first-hand when I attended his ‘What a folk!!!!!‘ walking autograph tour in Taipei in 2016 where he made the news for stopping along the streets of Taipei to buy a copy of ‘The Big Issue‘ from a woman in need selling them. Crowd has expressed his compassion for the homeless in particular, even writing a song called “Sleep Here Tonight” detailing their experiences.
“In the past I’ve participated in activities for the homeless, and really wished to write a song for them. On the other hand I also felt that sometimes when you yourself have entered a difficult situation, it is also because you care too much about yourself. It is at these times that putting the focus on things happening around you will assist in relieving tension. What I wanted to express was, having love in your heart is like chicken soup for the soul. Knowing how to share, to care, those who love others will be rewarded with freedom!”
Crowd Lu – Sleep Here Tonight
After hearing him say that, it seems like Crowd has really grown up since the last time he released an album. As a singer-songwriter, I believe that he truly has a unique perspective on how his music can help and affect the lives of those around him, and am in awe by the positive impact his music has on others. Crowd also shared with us that he’s not going to stop there. In the midst of writing new songs and preparing for his upcoming tour in April and May, I can’t wait to see what surprises and meaning his new album will bring into my life.
P.S. If you’d like to check out Crowd Lu’s latest album ‘What a folk!!!!!!’, Crowd recommends checking out ‘Believe In Yourself’, ‘Happy Chakra’, ‘4.95m^2 Dream’, and ‘Smartphone 1’.