Softhard Wizards

Softhard Wizards
(Ruanying tianshi)
Forerunners of indigenous Wulitou (Nonsense) Culture in Hong Kong, Softhard Wizards are the most alternative singer-songwriters in Cantonese pop music. The two Wizards, Jan Lamb and Eric Kwok (born in Hong Kong in 1967 and 1966, respectively), were originally disc-jockeys of Commercial Radio Hong Kong. Starting their careers as traffic reporters in the 1980s, Softhard Wizards soon developed their unique styles—addressing serious topics with funny presentations—to attract audiences. The Nursing-Home Hour (Laorenyuan shijian, 1992–5) was their hottest radio programme, and they released three albums between 1991 and 1993.
Featuring their own lyrics and occasional melodies, Softhard Wizards’ albums continued their humorous approach to social issues, including fashion, drugs, sex and idol worship. Technically rapping most of the time instead of singing, Soft-hard Wizards neither encouraged nor criticized the issues they targeted, but rather assumed the role of spectators and reporters. Inspirationally, their popularity confirms the suitability for Hong Kong of the indirect approach. Softhard Wizards terminated their musical collaboration in 1995, but remained quasi-attached as broadcasters. Lamb continued to release solo albums intermittently, yet probably reflecting the maturation of the Wizards, his more recent songs were more alienated from the masses than before.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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  • pop music in Hong Kong — Hong Kong’s indigenous popular music industry became a commercial force in the early 1970s, when the city became affluent and urban youths (post 1949 baby boomers) developed a sense of local pride. Popular music from Taiwan (in Mandarin) and… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

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