Made famous by appearances on Rove and South Park, Wing is a Chinese lady who came to New Zealand around 10 years ago, and has since made her singing debut. With a diverse range of songs up her sleeve and an upcoming appearance at Orientation, Wing’s huge fan base continues to grow. Nick Archer reports.
Wing began her singing career as a rest home nurse, singing to her patients to help comfort them. This inadvertently kick-started an international singing career. With her unique style including AC/DC (“hot metal” as she calls it), ABBA, The Carpenters and opera, she soon began to be noticed.
Wing’s big break in New Zealand came when she received an invitation to perform at the Auckland festival AK05 following an appearance on Sports Cafe.
The appeal of Wing, (besides sheer novelty value) is that she has such an intriguingly high-pitched and lively voice. Internationally, she has become a cult icon, appearing in the South Park episode ‘Wing’, which aired in 2005.
As guest-characters on South Park are often campedup and serve as mere targets for ridicule, Wing’s appearance on the show may make her a joke to some. However, Wing took her guest-starring role seriously.
“When I saw [the show], not much feeling, because it is a story written for their own program. It’s just a Chinese singer that’s appropriate to me. The others, you know, they just make it up. So it’s not true. I always think that it’s a cartoon, there’s a big advertisement on my website and they see that how I look actually, and also that I sing live all the time and people know how I look. What is concerning most importantly to me is how the music comes out and they did do that part really well.”
Wing also takes her singing seriously, and claims she practices hard in an effort to constantly improve. “I am not a musician. Because my musical knowledge is very little, I need a lot of help from the musician and teachers as well.”
One thing that comes through when you hear Wing perform is her confi dence – the result of fi ve years of singing lessons and many on-stage performances. She also says the crowd is helpful in getting her fi red up. “You know, when I sing I’ll see that all the audience [are] smiling, moving, dancing, singing with my music, clapping and I feel that all the hard work I [put into] a song is all there and I feel very happy to continue to sing.”
Fan response also keeps her motivated. “From the emails I get, every time from the new CD’s release – you know, a different concept. Some like my music very much and say it’s relaxing and very unique and ‘don’t stop, continue singing’ – encouraging, you know. But some on the other side, ‘oh it’s horrible, stop singing!’ I have to take good and bad. It won’t hurt me, I just try to improve. It’s good to not to excite it because Wing music is a very personal preference.”
Does Wing make a living out of doing all this? “It is getting better and better. I can get back all the expenses I spend on music, not yet [enough to make a] living. But I do think it will come later, it will come. From this time onwards I will do more live performances and private functions to earn more money.” So what can a student at Orientation expect from Wing? “They expect to have a chance to listen to all sorts of styles of songs.
Like hot metal AC/DC, like classic ‘Close To You’, ‘Over The Rainbow’ and country music… also there are a lot of those popular songs liked by everybody – ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, and ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ all are beautiful songs.” Wing says her musician also arranges pieces for her to sing, as well as her fans contributing song ideas via the internet.
If you would like Wing to perform at a function, or if you have any other requests, you can visit her website (http://www.wingmusic.co.nz) and let her know what you want to hear. Wing vows to “sing my best and continue to sing to improve to sing beautiful songs for [the audience] and I hope that very soon that they see me sing more in television shows, and also hope very soon they will fi nd my music in ringtones as well.”