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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Boy Band 101 by Daniel Wu

In the latest issue of Giant Robot actor Daniel Wu wrote tips on how to build a boy band. You should get the magazine. It’s one of the interesting magazines circulating right now.

"In 2003 s few of my friends and I decided that we were going to make our own boy band, blow up in Hong Kong, and then tear the shit out of Asia. These are the steps we took

1) Choose members
This is the key step in creating a proper boy band. Having right members is a crucial part of the formula. Each can’t be too ugly and must give off a boyish image, but with very clear nuance. Giving the audiences a choice is really important because everyone has different tastes. In our band, we have "the bad boy" (Terence Yin), "the manly boy" (Andrew Lin), "the cute,chubby one" (Conroy Chan), and "the boy next door "(me). Having an actual singing talent is not important, but I will get to that later.

2) Come Up With a Name
It must be easy to pronounce and give off a sense of happiness, joy, and boyish energy. More important it has to be catchy and marketable. In the end we choose ALIVE.

3) Record a Hit Song
This stage has nothing to do with talent because the members don’t compose song or write lyrics. They just look good and try to sing. When it came time for us to record, it was actually a lot easier than I expected. This was not due to our skills but to software called Auto-Tune. This program can take out of tune vocals and make them pitch perfect with a click of a mouse.

4) Shoot a video
The covered Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” was shot in an industrial boat yard with all the rusty metal helping tom make us look tough and manly but in boyish way.

5) Get Sponsorship
This is the key part of any recording artist’s job in Asia. Sponsorship and product endorsement pay for your recording and production cost. By the time we finished our EP and music videos, we were in the hole for thousand of dollars. Luckily, ALIVE got two major commercials to help ease our financial woes: JVC and bridal salon.

6) Get a Record Deal

After we recorded our songs and made our music videos, we searched for a record company. We got offers left and right, but the terms were ridiculous.

7) Market Your Product
I came up with the ultimate publicity stunt. We took our first song and put it up on as many Web sites as possible. Then I called a few entertainment reporters and told them that while preparing for the release of our EP, someone had stolen our songs and put them on the Internet. The next day we were all over the papers and famous without having done a thing!

8) Work it
We kept busy and made sure we were everywhere. Brainwashing the masses and being part of everyday culture is absolutely necessary: public apperances, interviews, concert, etc.

-from Giant Robot Issue 42

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