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