4 min read

Exclusive Interview: How Violin “Nerd” Henry Lau Turned into a Mega Pop Star

Whether it be learning new languages or nailing a performance onstage, the star has proven himself to be a man of discipline and dedication.
Exclusive Interview: How Violin “Nerd” Henry Lau Turned into a Mega Pop Star

For those of you too busy to check in on the RADII website every day, we’ve got you every Monday with a summary of all our stories from the last week. In this edition:

  • You know him as the K-pop hearthrob, but do you know the real reason why Henry Lau decided to combine classical music with hip hop? We had a blast chatting with the wonderkid about his hobbies, his career, and how he balances his cultural identity across so many countries.
  • Are there really magical creatures at Jiangxi's Xinyu Fairy Lake? Let’s find out.
  • Lots of movies were released recently and China’s got some choice hot takes on all of them.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

From Violin “Nerd” to Asian Mega Pop Star, Henry Lau Tells All in an Exclusive Interview with RADII

How do you know you’ve officially made it? Is it your first primetime TV appearance? Your first sold-out stadium show? Or, perhaps, the day you realize that you can no longer attend a movie without being photographed by random people? For Canadian Henry Lau, believe it or not, it was when he was offered free apples in the supermarket.

“I’ve never gotten free stuff, ever. [The store clerk] was like, ‘Take a few more apples. You could take them, you know.’ And then that’s when I knew, yo, I made it,” he tells RADII.

But Lau’s story didn’t start there. Before the free apples, a deal with one of South Korea’s leading agencies — SM Entertainment, and before debuting as a member of the musical group Super Junior-M, he was a self-declared “very nerdy” Canadian teenager with a passion for classical music.

So when did Henry first pick up a musical instrument? We sat down with the Street Dance of China star for a DMC (deep meaningful conversation).

Watching a film is something many of us take for granted. For China’s visually impaired, it requires the help of a film narrator

We talked to several people who are doing the good work of giving the blind the chance to "see" movies - including Liu, a regular volunteer at a community program in Beijing who has been narrating for nine years, and Xiufeng, a Wuxi-based freelancer who started the Blind Hollywood voice-over audio project.

It requires skills and practice to explain a movie well, narrators say. While narrating in real-time in front of the audience, it’s difficult to explain everything in between dialogue without pausing or interrupting the film. So how do they decide when and where to begin talking to best service the art form? We found out.

  • There’s a lake in Jiangxi in south-east China that's known for a famous legend involving beautiful fairy women. RADII’s Managing Editor, Matt Bossons, traveled there hungover one morning to see if they’re still around.
  • After being detained last month for soliciting a prostitute, renowned Chinese pianist Li Yundi quickly joined the ranks of the country’s immoral artists. What does the pianist’s fall from grace tell us about the country’s cancel culture?
  • What do you know about Chinese dance choreographers? We checked out a three-day contemporary dance festival at Shanghai’s West Bund Museum and felt très inspired.
  • Have you seen Dune yet? Some are saying it’s Star Wars for adults, but the film hasn’t exactly been a smash hit in China.
  • Despite changing the name of Eileen Chang’s novella into Love After Love for the movie adaptation, the Chinese audience exhibited very little love for it.

We know. Traveling to China is harder than rocket science these days, and all of you stuck outside miss it terribly.

That's why we think you’ll enjoy this Youtube channel: Walk East.

The video creator is offering travel-hungry folks an inside look at some of China’s most spectacular locations — and you can watch from the comfort of your armchair. Fancy a stroll inside the Forbidden City? Sit back and enjoy.

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

Find us on our main site, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and WeChat (@radiichina)!