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