Jay Chou 周杰伦 : What’s a Secret and What’s Not

Popular and well-known Taiwanese singer, songwriter, musician and actor Jay Chou was appointed Tudor ambassador and “Born to Dare” campaign ambassador in March 2018. Photo: courtesy of Tudor.

First, what’s not a secret?

Well, fans of Tudor would probably know by now that popular Taiwanese singer, songwriter and musician Jay Chou (周杰伦) was in March 2018 appointed as the brand’s ambassador and their “Born to Dare” campaign ambassador.

It is logical to conclude that the appointment is a strong signal of the brand’s intention to deepen its penetration into the markets of Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and Southeast Asia, primarily targeting Chinese consumers as Jay Chou is a well-known entertainer in this part of the world.

However, do note that Jay Chou’s fans can be occidental too and even if they are Chinese, they may also be residing in any part of the world.

For example, he probably has a huge Chinese fan base in Australia as well. After all, how can one explain the record audience turnout for Jay Chou’s musical performance in Sydney in 2009, as reported in Australian daily The Telegraph, that exceeded Beyoncé’s?

For fans of the “King of Asian Pop” as he is so-called, they might be pleased to know that “The Secret”, a musical based on his 2007 romance movie 不能说的秘密 or “Secret” in which Jay Chou produced, directed and starred in is currently playing at The Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Source: Kendelia Videos on YouTube

However, there are three things to note:
1. The 10-day musical performance, which began on 6 April 2018, will end on 15 April 2018 (Sunday);
2. While the language medium used is in Mandarin, there are digital screens displaying subtitles; and
3. Jay Chou does not act in this musical; the lead actor in “The Secret” musical is Cao Yang who plays Ye Xiang Lun and the lead actress is Wang Xiao Min who play Lu Xiao Yu. In the movie “Secret”, Jay Chou was the lead actor playing Ye Xiang Lun.

Jay Chou’s jukebox musical “The Secret” is a collaboration between Base Entertainment Asia and Perfect World Pictures.

“Many people have grown up with Jay Chou’s music, especially those in Greater China. His music is very ‘hot’ in Greater China. The movie ‘Secret’ was extremely successful in Greater China and it was his first movie as a director. The movie also won three Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan,” explains Ivy Zhong, producer, China Broadway Entertainment.

Indeed, the Taiwanese movie “Secret” was significant as it marked the directorial debut of Jay Chou.

At the 44th Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards held in Taipei in 2007, Jay Chou and the movie “Secret” received nominations in categories such as “Best Original Score”, “Best Original Song” and “Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year”.

The movie eventually won awards for the “Best Original Song”, “Best Visual Effects” and “Outstanding Taiwanese Film of the Year” at the 44th Golden Horse Festival, according to IMDb.

Ivy Zhong, producer, China Broadway Entertainment. Photo: © TANG Portfolio/TimeWerke.

Little wonder why The Mastercard Theatres is staging this Chinese musical, marking a significant step forward for Base Entertainment Asia.

“This is a very first for Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Normally, we would have English musicals in our theatre and they come from Broadway or the West End.

“Singapore is the very first country to receive an amazing production where two big powerhouses have joined forces to create the musical ‘The Secret’. We brought in China Broadway Entertainment with Broadway Asia who had joined forces sometime ago and created this incredible production.

“I’ve been waiting for this kind of production for years. This production is the best from the West [Broadway Asia] and the best from the East [China Broadway Entertainment]. Added to this is the amazing music of Jay Chou and an incredible storyline that is the ‘Secret’. We are pioneering something completely new here,” says Chantalle Prudhomme, chief executive officer, Base Entertainment Asia.

According to Simone Genatt, executive director of Broadway Asia, this musical production is groundbreaking for this market as this is the first engagement of “The Secret” outside of China.

“We are primarily Broadway producers but we work extensively in the Asia Pacific region. We’ve been here for 20 years.

“This is the first musical of this sort that brings together the best of China and the best of Asia merged together with the best of Broadway.

“We listened to it from a musical point of view, looking for the art of storytelling in the sound of his music. What was fantastic was the variety of his storytelling and sound of his music allowed us to use his music for the emotional art for the very romantic story,” explains Genatt.

Well, if the video above is anything to go by, Jay Chou fans and even interested Tudor owners can probably expect an entertaining and engaging musical.