Happy to­gether

Hong Kong pop duo twins is back with a new project.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC - By SETO KIT YAN en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

AR­GUABLY the most suc­cess­ful and en­dur­ing girl group in Hong Kong, Twins fell apart when its sup­pos­edly squeaky clean mem­bers were hit by scan­dal – Gil­lian Chung’s 2008 saucy photo with Edi­son Chen and Char­lene Choi’s se­cret mar­riage (2006) and very pub­lic di­vorce from Ron­ald Cheng last year.

But now the re­silient lasses have bounced back with a new project that marks their 10th an­niver­sary in the en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness. Their new re­lease is a Man­darin al­bum ti­tled 3650, rep­re­sent­ing the num­ber of days they have been to­gether through thick and thin.

Plagued by last minute no­ti­fi­ca­tions and a four-hour de­lay, the girls ar­rived with bright smiles for this in­ter­view in Kuala Lumpur. Though Chung was down with fever she gamely an­swered ques­tions fielded by the me­dia.

The girls de­clared their ex­cite­ment about con­duct­ing al­bum pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties here again, since they have not been to Malaysia as a duo since 2006.

Chung was asked if she was still both­ered about be­ing se­cretly pho­tographed while chang­ing cos­tumes dur­ing her last show in the Arena of Stars, Gent­ing High­lands. Look­ing per­plexed, Chung said she couldn’t re­mem­ber and turned to Choi, who laughed and said: “It’s true. She has a very bad mem­ory. She con­stantly for­gets things.”

Ten years ago, the girls ad­mit­ted that they were none too pleased when asked to form a girl group. “At that time, girl groups just didn’t cut it and most never made it past two or three years. So, we were aghast at our com­pany’s ar­range­ment for us and lamented that our ca­reer was doomed to end be­fore it had even be­gun,” Choi said with a laugh.

But, hav­ing jour­neyed thus far, they now look back fondly on their ex­pe­ri­ences. They were the top band in China be­fore the un­for­tu­nate scan­dal. “It’s a mir­a­cle!” Chung ex­claimed.

When asked to com­ment on their sweet­est mem­o­ries, Choi replied, “It’s all been very sweet. That we’ve man­aged to sur­vive to this day is truly some­thing to be thank­ful about. Sure, many things hap­pened in those 10 years and there were times when we re­ally felt ex­ceed­ingly mis­er­able.

“But, look­ing back now, I feel those were just ex­pe­ri­ences that are part and par­cel of grow­ing up. We learnt a lot so these 10 years did not go to waste.”

Com­ment­ing on their close ca­ma­raderie, Chung picked up where Choi left off. “We see each other ev­ery day. So, whether it’s been good or bad, happy or sad, we’d deal with every­thing to­gether. We don’t have to say much. There’s no need to ex­plain things. We un­der­stand each other so well now.”

Why did they de­cide to com­mem­o­rate their 10th an­niver­sary with a Man­darin al­bum?

“Since there are more Man­darin speak­ing peo­ple, we want to share the happy oc­ca­sion with them. We’re work­ing on our next Can­tonese al­bum, so Can­tonese speak­ers have some­thing to look for­ward to.”

The lyrics book­let for 3650 fea­tures child­hood pic­tures of the two girls, prompt­ing Choi to say: “There are so many pic­tures pub­lished in the book­let and I am see­ing some of them for the first time. My mother stashed them away very care­fully so I’ve never seen some of them be­fore.”

This time around, they also tried their hand at song­writ­ing. “There’s a song I co-wrote with Char­lene. And an­other that I wrote my­self ( Nei Wui Hang Fuk Dik), com­pos­ing the melody and pen­ning the lyrics. It was very dif­fi­cult. I spent a very long time at it. I didn’t even know how to be­gin,” shared Chung, who wrote the song for An­gela Zhang, 29, a Tai­wanese singer-ac­tress suf­fer­ing from a heart con­di­tion.

“I paid her a visit. The song was as much for her as for my­self. I meant it as a form of en­cour­age­ment, as we were both go­ing through tough times then.”

While the event was held to plug their lat­est re­lease, lo­cal me­dia were more in­ter­ested in Choi’s love life and Chung’s lack thereof. With three Hong Kong celebri­ties – Karen Mok, Gigi Le­ung, and So­nia Kwok – get­ting mar­ried early this month, the girls were grilled on their mar­riage plans.

Choi, 28, who is dat­ing Hong Kong singer­ac­tor Wil­liam Chan, 26, replied: “I’ve been mar­ried be­fore and I know what that’s like so I’m not in such a hurry to get mar­ried again. But, we’ve made our re­la­tion­ship pub­lic be­cause it beats hav­ing to sneak around. I will get mar­ried one day, but I pre­fer to en­joy our courtship now.”

Chung, 30, was less cheery in her re­sponse. “I won­der why peo­ple like to ask ques­tions like that just be­cause some­body else is get­ting mar­ried. It re­ally doesn’t have any­thing to do with me. Although I’d like to get hitched some day, I’m not so crazy about want­ing to get mar­ried right now.” n Twins’ Man­darin al­bum 3650, dis­trib­uted by TG Mu­sic, is avail­able in lo­cal stores.

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