Pop star Leah Dou be­gins her first UK tour

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By AN­GUS MCNEICE in Lon­don an­gus@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

Chi­nese fans turned out in force at Lon­don’s O2 sta­dium on Wed­nes­day night to see 19-year-old singer Leah Dou launch her first UK tour as a sup­port­ing act for the in­die pop band Bastille.

The Bei­jing-based mu­si­cian is the daugh­ter of­pop­di­vaFaye Wong and com­bustible rock starDouWei— a now-di­vorced cou­ple equiv­a­lent to Bey­once and Jay Z in terms of star power in China.

“Hello, I’m Leah, and I’m from China,” Dou in­tro­duced her­self to the packed au­di­ence at the United King­dom’s sec­ond-big­gest venue, as the first riffs of the jazzy Blue Flamingo played. She gripped the mic and looked like she be­longed.

The crowd swayed through Bit­ter­sweet and broke out into dance with the heavy base of Ex­plo­sions.

Among the fans at the sta­dium, Zixi Luo, a 24-year-old from Hu­nan prov­ince, who works in­Lon­don, said: “It’smy first time see­ing her live. I was very cu­ri­ous to come and see her play be­cause of her par­ents. She must be un­der a lot of pres­sure. She per­forms quite ef­fort­lessly and she en­joys her­self.”

In a pre­con­cert warm up, when she took to the stage at The Wheat­sheaf pub in Bed­ford­shire, Eng­land, none of the pub-go­ers were aware they werein the pres­ence of Chi­nese pop roy­alty.

“It means a lot to me,” Dou tells China Daily.

“I’m not an­noyed or of­fended that I’m al­ways in­tro­duced in the con­text ofmy fam­ily. But it’s nice. It’s re­fresh­ing to be in­tro­duced through my mu­sic, rather than some­thing that’s ir­rel­e­vant tomy mu­sic.”

The un­pub­li­cized pub gig was set up by Dou’s man­age­ment ahead of the O2 fix­ture, her big­gest per­for­mance yet out­side of China, part of Bastille’s Wild Wild World Tour, which moves onto Manch­ester.

“The op­por­tu­nity came up and I was re­ally lucky tobe able to join (Bastille) on tour. Just be­ing able to tour some­where out of China is re­ally amaz­ing for me, es­pe­cially in the clas­sic way, with ev­ery­body on a tour bus. I’m re­ally ex­cited for it,” says Dou.

With her celebrity sta­tus in China con­firmed at birth, Dou quickly built a strong fol­low­ing after she re­leased her de­but al­bum, Stone Cafe, via Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic Ja­pan in April.

She has 1.3 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Sina Weibo, China’s Twit­ter­like plat­form, and has amassed mil­lions of plays across on­line video chan­nels, though she re­mains largely un­known in the UK.

“I don’t want to place big ex­pec­ta­tions on it. I’m not say­ing I’m go­ing to break into the Western mar­ket — I feel like that then drifts away from why I make mu­sic,” she says.

“I want my mu­sic to takeme places. I want to share my mu­sic with more peo­ple. If I’m re­ally fo­cused on the idea of break­ing into a mar­ket, then there is a big chance I’m go­ing to be dis­ap­pointed. Be­cause you never know with these things— which song is go­ing to dothe job, what’s go­ing to click. A big part of it is luck.”

Lu Bai, 28, who was at O2 with a party of six Chi­nese fans who work in Lon­don, says: “I’ma fan of her al­bum. For her age, it’s not easy, es­pe­cially at such a big place like O2 ... She’s a newvoice of Chi­nese mu­sic.”

Dou is cur­rently work­ing on her sec­ond al­bum, which she hopes to­com­pleteby Fe­bru­ary.

HUANG QIUCHEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Leah Dou is on her UK tour as a sup­port­ing act for the in­die pop band Bastille.

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