With more than 70 million followers on Weibo, Jackson Yee is one of C-pop’s biggest stars, and considered ideal to crack the Western market. Others believe C-pop stars are all about the packaging and don’t have the musical ability to compete with Western stars.
易烊千璽在微博上擁有超過7000萬的粉絲,是中國流行音樂中最大的明星之一,被認為是打入西方市場的理想人選。其他人則認為中國流行音樂明星只注重包裝,沒有與西方明星抗衡的音樂能力。

At the United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum in New York last month, a young Chinese man gave an impassioned speech about the concerns of young people. He asked policymakers to consider the real needs of the next generation and provide them with the skills needed to change the world. The young man calling for youth empowerment was neither an activist nor a member of a high-profile concern group. He was Jackson Yee, 18, currently one of the biggest pop stars in China.
上個月在紐約舉行的聯合國經濟及社會理事會青年論壇上,一位中國年輕人就年輕人關心的問題發表了熱情洋溢的演講。他要求政策制定者考慮下一代的真正需求,并為他們提供改變世界所需的技能,呼吁賦予青年權力的年輕人既不是活動家,也不是一個備受關注團體的成員。他是18歲的易烊千璽,目前是中國最大的流行歌星之一。

“Young people should not just be job seekers but also job creators,” said Yee, who was representing China at the forum and gave his speech in English. “We stand ready to make sure we play our part. Let’s all come together. Let’s go.”
“年輕人不應該僅僅是求職者,也應該是創造就業機會的人,”在論壇上代表中國的易烊千璽用英語發言。“我們隨時準備確保發揮我們的作用。我們聚集起來。我們一起創造吧。”

Yee’s appearance at the forum came just six months after K-pop supergroup BTS appeared at the United Nations for the launch of Generation Unlimited, where group leader RM also called for youth empowerment.
就在易烊千璽出席論壇的六個月前,韓國人氣組合防彈少年團在聯合國發起了“無限一代”的活動,該組織領導人RM也呼吁賦予青年權力。

One of the three members of Chinese boy band TFBoys, Yee is a singer, dancer, musician and actor. The 18-year-old represents a new generation of Chinese pop idols who are not only talented behind the microphone and on stage, but also speak up on behalf of young people.
易烊千璽是中國男聲樂隊TFBoys的三名成員之一,是一名歌手、舞蹈者、音樂家和演員。這位18歲的年輕人代表了新一代的中國流行偶像,他們不僅在麥克風后面和舞臺上有才華,而且也能代表年輕人說話。

Chinese media reports have described Yee as the most valuable star in China – together the TFBoys are said to be worth US$4 billion – and he has amassed more than 70 million followers on Chinese social media network Weibo, more than the population of the UK. After years of operating in the shadow of K-pop, C-pop is ready to take on the West, some industry insiders believe. And Yee is seen as one of China’s best candidates for achieving crossover international success, a dream that has yet to be realised.
中國媒體報道稱,易烊千璽是中國最有價值的明星——據說TFBoys的總價值高達40億美元——他在中國社交媒體網絡微博上積累了7000多萬粉絲,超過了英國的總人口。一些業內人士認為,中國流行音樂在韓國流行文化的影響下經營多年,準備迎戰西方。而易烊千璽被視為中國成功跨國這一尚未實現的夢想的最佳人選之一。

“The success of K-pop has turned more Western eyes to Asia, looking for the next big thing from the region,” says Jonathan Serbin, head of Asia for Billboard. “Jackson is definitely multi-talented. He sings and dances extremely well. He also made the effort early in his career to sing in English and work with top international producers, which has helped him reach a wider audience.”
“韓國流行文化的成功讓更多的西方國家把目光轉向了亞洲,希望從該地區看到下一件大事,”Billboard亞洲區負責人喬納森塞賓表示。“易烊千璽絕對是多才多藝的。他唱歌跳舞跳得非常好。他在職業生涯早期還努力用英語演唱,并與國際頂級制作人合作,這幫助他贏得了更廣泛的觀眾。”

Serbin – who is also CEO of B2 Music, a Hong Kong-based label that has done A&R and production work for Yee in the West – adds that being tech-savvy is one advantage that Yee has over idols from previous generations.
瑟賓也是B2音樂的首席執行官,B2音樂是一家總部位于香港的唱片公司,他在西方做了一項關于易烊千璽的研究和制作工作。他補充說,數字科技利用是易烊千璽超過上一代偶像的一個優勢。

“He’s been able to harness the power of digital media to achieve wider exposure. The technology just wasn’t available to idols from past generations,” he says. And Yee is aware of this advantage, pointing out the importance of using social media to reach youngsters during his speech at the United Nations Youth Forum.
“他能夠利用數字媒體的力量實現更廣泛的曝光,”他說:“過去幾代的偶像根本無法使用這項技術。”。而易烊千璽也意識到了這一優勢,他在聯合國青年論壇的演講中指出了利用社交媒體接觸年輕人的重要性。

Born on November 28, 2000, Yee is a native of Hunan province and has an unusual four-character Chinese name, Yi Yangqianxi. He started out as a child performer in 2005 and was discovered by Chinese entertainment company TF Entertainment while taking part in the Hunan reality TV show Up Young in 2012. The next year Yee made his debut as the youngest member of TFBoys, who have grown into one of the most successful pop groups China has ever seen, earning fans all across Asia. Overall, the group have more than 200 million followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
2000年11月28日出生于湖南省,易烊千璽有一個不同尋常的四字中文名字。2005年,他從一名兒童演員起步,2012年參加湖南真人秀《青春起來》時被中國娛樂公司TF娛樂發現。第二年,易烊千璽作為TFBoys最年輕的成員首次亮相,TFBoys已經成長為中國有史以來最成功的流行樂團之一,贏得了全亞洲的歌迷。總的來說,該組織在中國版的推特——微博上擁有超過2億的粉絲。

The TFBoys have released five albums since their debut in 2013, while Yee has released a string of solo singles. His first solo EP came out in November last year.
自2013年首次亮相以來,TFBoys已經發行了5張專輯,而易烊千璽則發行了一系列單曲。他的第一張個人EP于去年11月問世。

“Jackson seems approachable and instantly likeable – he comes across as clean-cut and somewhat innocent. It’s easy for fans in China and around the world to root for his success. Jackson is different from K-pop stars – he’s not as slick and untouchable. He’s more human. I think fans across the world can connect with him pretty easily,” Serbin says.
“易烊千璽看起來平易近人,而且很討人喜歡——他看起來清白無邪。中國和世界各地的粉絲很容易為他的成功歡呼。易烊千璽不同于韓國流行明星——他沒有那么圓滑,不可觸碰。他更人性化。我認為全世界的粉絲都可以很容易地和他聯系起來。

Unlike his C-pop predecessors, Yee’s music contains a heavy Western influence which sits well with his hip-hop-influenced choreography, providing a stark contrast to the melodic love songs that has driven the success of Canto-pop and Mando-pop. He is also releasing English-language songs, starting with Nothing to Lose and Unpredictable in 2017. However, some Chinese music critics believe the success of Yee and the TFBoys is due to the “fan economy”, rather than the quality of their music.
與他的中國流行音樂前輩不同,易烊千璽的音樂包含了強烈的西方影響,與他受嘻哈影響的編舞很好地契合在一起,與粵語流行音樂和華語樂壇成功的旋律情歌形成鮮明對比。他從2017年開始便發發行了Nothing to Lose和Unpredictable這些英文歌曲。然而,一些中國音樂評論家認為,易烊千璽和TFBoys的成功是由于“粉絲經濟”,而不是他們的音樂質量。

“The entire music industry has become an entertainment industry driven by profits from fans,” says John Fei, a veteran music critic based in Shanghai. “Idols dominate 70 to 80 per cent of the industry. There are fewer real music fans these days – they just follow idols.
在上海的資深音樂評論家約翰·費表示:“整個音樂行業已經成為一個由粉絲利潤驅動的娛樂行業。“偶像在行業中占據了70%到80%。現在真正的音樂迷越來越少了——他們只關注偶像。

“Do they like their music? Not necessarily. These fans, especially teenage girls, are always looking for ‘little fresh meat’, the cute, good-looking guys. They like the personality, not the music. And following idols helps them socialise with like-minded fans.”
“他們喜歡他們的音樂嗎?不一定。這些粉絲,尤其是十幾歲的女孩,總是在尋找“小鮮肉”,那些可愛、帥氣的男生。她們喜歡個性,不喜歡音樂。追隨偶像有助于她們與志同道合的粉絲進行社交。”

And Li Dalong, director of Shanghai live music venue Mao Livehouse, says the internet may have helped boost the popularity of young idols, but it hasn’t helped youngsters develop an appreciation for music.“The post-2000 generation has grown up with cultural products made in China, while my generation grew up with music from the West, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The internet is flooded with entertainment products and so much is made available to young people before they can learn to distinguish quality material from commercial rubbish,” Li says.
而上海現場音樂場Mao Livehouse總監李大龍表示,互聯網或許有助于提升年輕偶像的人氣,但并沒有幫助年輕人培養對音樂的欣賞力。他說:“2000年后的一代人成長于中國制造的文化產品,而我們這一代人則是成長于歐美地區、香港和臺灣的音樂。互聯網上充斥著娛樂產品,而這些在年輕人學會區分優質產品和商業垃圾之前就已經受到了很多洗禮。”

Like Yee, other young Chinese pop stars such as Kris Wu and Hong Kong-born Jackson Wang, a member of K-pop group GOT7, are attempting to make a name for themselves in the West by releasing English-language songs. But Fei says Asian musicians still struggle to find equal footing with Western stars on the global stage.
像易烊千璽一樣,其他年輕的中國流行歌星,如吳亦凡和香港出生的王嘉爾,韓國流行音樂團體GOT7的一員,正試圖通過發行英文歌曲來為自己在歐美地區正名。但費說,亞洲音樂家仍然難以在全球舞臺上找到與西方明星平等的地位。

“There could be a one-off phenomenon, but it is almost impossible to challenge the domination of the West in the music industry,” Fei says.“The Chinese stars are being packaged as idols – it’s not about their music. Even if they are talented musicians, today it’s all about the packaging and profits, and the music is only a by-product created to satisfy the needs of the market. So we can expect to see a lot more idols produced by China’s pop industry."
“這可能是曇花一現,但幾乎不可能挑戰西方在音樂行業的統治地位,”費說。“中國明星被包裝成偶像——這與他們的音樂無關。即使他們是有才華的音樂家,今天的一切都是包裝和利潤,而音樂只是為滿足市場需求而創造的副產品。所以我們可以期待看到更多的偶像是由中國的流行音樂產業來生產。”

“As an idol, you have to give the fans what they need. And Jackson Yee is successful in that regard,” said Fei.
“作為一個偶像,你必須給粉絲他們所需要的。而在這方面,易烊千璽是成功的,”費說。