“Music my arena, feeling the vibe. Taking China to the world.” -Lay in his hit song Lit (莲).
EXO member and Chinese singer Lay aims to take China to the world through his music. He presents his Chinese roots in his song lyrics and music videos. Also, the idol brings Chinese tradition and culture to his audience around the world.
It is evident how proud he is and continues to raise his native land’s flag. With Lay’s unique music, he was given the title of the King of Mandopop or Mandarin popular music.
Who is Lay?
Lay or Lay Zhang with the real name Zhang Yixing, is a Chinese music producer, singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, and businessman. In 2012, he debuted as a member of the K-Pop boy group EXO. Then he had solo activities since 2015 including an appearance in television shows, singing, dancing, and acting.
He also released albums as a solo artist and is known for his krumping and freestyle skills. Moreover, Yixing produces his music videos and does choreography. He made headlines with his hit song Lit (莲) which incorporates Chinese traditional music.
With his success reaching the United States, he also built the entertainment company Chromosome Entertainment Group in 2020. Afterward, he guested and became a mentor in music and dance competition shows in China.
Lay compose and produce numerous songs, including songs from each of his solo albums Lose Control, Lay 02 Sheep, Winter Special Gift, and Namanana. He released his first song in 2016 followed by many opportunities because of his popularity. But, the title track in his album LIT released in 2020 gained the most attention.
Many of Yixing’s available songs are reggaeton, trap music, hip-hop, electronic, and R&B. It also features traditional Chinese musical instruments like the hulusi, guzheng, and gong. Lay also shared in an interview with Rolling Stone Australia that he wants to call his primary genre as M-Pop.
“I want to call it M-Pop because I think in the future, mixed will be king. Every work, every genre can be mixed with each other – every language can mix with each other, and that’s where we go.”
Additionally, Lay stated that Hip-hop is currently so widely accepted and liked worldwide. So, he thought that combining it with Chinese traditional instruments will be a great way to introduce China to the people.
Other than that, Yixing also shows Chinese tradition in his music videos (MV), album covers, and concept photos. He gives life to the Chinese mythical creatures for the public to be aware of their culture. He carries it with him and he spreads it to the world. The one and only king, Zhang Yixing.
Janelle is a full-time K-Pop fan but is also an active campus journalist since elementary. She loves to watch movies, but television series have a special place in her heart. She is also into romantic-comedy and the slice-of-life genres.