Henry Lau Discusses the Inspiration & Pressures as a Newly Independent Artist: ‘I Wanted to Make My Own Brand’

As the singer-composer-actor eyes new music for spring, the 29-year-old is not certain by language or industries: “There’s no excuses anymore.”

Henry Lau's newest journey to New York was technically for the 2019 Fall version Fashion Week, however minutes into speaking with the singer-composer-actor will present his thoughts already steps forward the present second.

After leaving Okay-pop superlabel SM Entertainment in early 2018 upon contract expiration, the trilingual solo star and former Super Junior-M member has been cultivating and making a staff assist techniques that may assist him within the a number of areas he's exploring. For pursuing his old flame singing and producing music, the 29-year-old is making ready an upcoming album this spring that he says will give attention to "golden melodies." For Lau's performing passions, followers world wide will get to see him in a "excellent position" for his upcoming Hollywood debut in A Dog's Journey. Even manufacturers like Marc Jacobs and Li-Ning are reaching out to him because of a newfound enthusiasm for vogue because the star made his manner by way of vogue weeks in NY and Paris. To assist his endeavours, he's obtained the newly established Monster Entertainment dealing with world administration for a profession energetic in China, Korea and the U.S., together with APEX Communications particularly for alternatives in America and different entitles world wide looking. So, what's subsequent? 

Inside the luxury-botique mid-Manhattan resort Lau's staying for NYFW, the stylish chaos the lounge might converse to the place his profession stands. The lounge boasts is a combination present bins from high-end manufacturers, filming and recording tools for the crew together with him for the journey, and two empty beer bottles (the labels eliminated, maybe to ensure no photographs are unintentionally taken and probably spoil a profitable endorsement deal). There's quite a bit occurring and quite a bit to discover, however when Henry enters the room he's immediately give attention to what's at hand and what he needs to debate. He's fast to share his pleasure for his upcoming album and initiatives, however can also be keenly conscious that this all is a direct reflection him.

"Now that I'm an unbiased artist, all the things I do issues," he tells Billboard. "I’ve whole management so it's much more stress. Everything I do and say connects on to me…there's no extra, 'Oh, Henry launched this as a result of his firm needed him to' — there's no excuses anymore."

Oftentimes whereas talking, Henry trails f or circumvents lengthy earlier than touchdown on the purpose he aimed to make which is maybe a illustration how a lot the dude has occurring in his head and the burgeoning alternatives at hand. Opening up for the primary time about his future endevaours and what impressed his previous selections to depart his preliminary Okay-pop house, Lau lets followers inside to what's inspiring him, what's coming and why all of it issues greater than ever.

First issues first: What are you able to inform us about your upcoming album?

Before, I'd need to present a sure sound, sort efficiency or idea. This time, I simply need the golden melodies — I'm simply all about melodies, the chords and lyrics. It's simply me. You can anticipate quite a bit very melodic stuff this time.

What language will you be releasing music?

That's what I'm engaged on proper now. Loads folks will say, "Why don't you launch extra English stuff? Why don't you launch extra Chinese stuff? Korean stuff?" it's a triple-edged sword truly. Laughs] I'm nonetheless engaged on it, however I feel for sure languages, sure songs do work higher. So, proper now, I'm on the level the place I can say, "I ought to use this one on this language" however I feel everybody can anticipate all the things. I do know it's been a very long time since I launched some stuff and that is my precise album so I'm going to place all the things into it.

That's nice to listen to as a result of music lately is much less certain by language.

Everyone's listening to all the things — doesn't matter if it's C-pop, J-pop, Okay-pop, it's simply music. Loads the demos I write are all in English, so relasing music in English isn't translating to English, it's simply protecting them in English. You know, I wrote some songs for EXO and quite a bit folks needed to listen to the unique demo in English so I truly put up a video  the unique lyrics and everybody was going loopy over that. So I feel I'll have much more English tracks.

Is there one tune you've recorded that you just're actually excited for folks to listen to?

Right now, what I’m doing is writing a bunch songs after which sort minimize them to what I actually need to present this time with the album. It's by no means like we don't have sufficient songs — we’ve got too many songs, we simply need to minimize it down. I’m at that time the place I must resolve on the route. There's a monitor with a piano and only a voice…however I don't know! Laughs] I'm nonetheless deciding.

Musically, what's inspiring you lately?

So, I used to be in Paris Fashion Week, it was my first time in Paris and I now have a playlist for French music. I assume in all places I am going, I get impressed by these locations, after which I’ve a bunch Voicenotes on my telephone. Everyhwere I am going, I feel these random melodies. It's loopy as a result of in all places you go, the melodies are completely totally different. Paris was like sings a floaty, dreamy melody] and New York is like beatboxes a tougher percussion melody], it's loopy. 

You're going to get an opportunity to indicate a brand new facet your self in your upcoming movie A Dog's Journey.

When I obtained the decision for the film, it was like, "Spielberg's studio Amblin Entertainment] is asking you." And I'm like, "What?!" I assumed they have been mendacity to me. It ended up being an ideal position; excellent within the sense it simply suits me. I do know there aren't many roles for Asians so then I used to be like, "Wow, this can be a big alternative." I used to be very honored. I had a video convention with the director, Gail Mancuso, who labored on episodes ] Friends, Modern Family, issues like that. Working on A Dog's Journey, there are quite a bit canine, it's for the canine lovers, however it was a tremendous expertise. I feel folks can look ahead to extra initiatives in Hollywood for me, that's undoubtedly one thing I'm working in the direction of. 

Why do you say it was the proper position for you?

So, A Dog's Journey was based mostly f the novel the identical by W. Bruce Cameron] and there's an Asian child. It's an precise character, it's not one thing the place they stated, "Oh, we need to put an Asian in there" or "Oh, we need to put a Hispanic in there" however the Asian half wasn't the necessary half the position and that's why I preferred the position a lot. It wasn't like I got here in talking in a Chinese accent or something like that. I feel that's necessary lately…I’ve to be secretive about what I say, however it's a heat, loving film that get you at your coronary heart strings.

And how have you ever loved your work within the vogue world?

It truly got here very naturally. I at all times preferred garments after I was youthful, however I by no means actually dove into it. In the final two years, I simply sort dove into it and there's all sudden quite a bit manufacturers asking me to do collaborations, inviting me to Fashion Week and I adore it. I really feel like I'm rising as a result of the extra reveals I am going to the extra I study. 

So everybody is aware of you left SM Entertainment, however nobody actually is aware of why you left. What went into that call?

First all, we parted on actually good phrases. Everyone's pleased. It's simply…I feel each artist is similar in wanting a extra custom-made setup for your self. I'm very grateful to that firm for locating and making me and all the things, however I simply really feel like to essentially do what you actually need to do, it’s a must to do it sort your self. I'm truly an unbiased artist now and I feel it's for my followers.

Is that scary going from an organization and model that’s so established and well-known to now being unbiased?

I feel that solutions it truly: I needed to make my very own model, to have my very own colour. If you're half such a giant chain, you don't actually have your individual colour. I simply needed to essentially, actually focus by myself model. It wasn't that I used to be pissed off, I simply suppose I'm freer by myself. When you're half a giant firm it's such as you sort get within the mindset ], "I might simply do this and it doesn't actually matter." Now that I'm an unbiased artist, all the things I do issues. I’ve whole management so it's much more stress. Everything I do and say connects on to me. I needed extra duty so I might management extra and do extra what I needed to do. I do know that it's much more stress and it’s a must to do much more, however I simply needed to be the motive force now. 

There's no extra "Oh Henry launched this as a result of his firm needed him to." There's no excuses anymore. Before, course there's a producer on the label and all the things must be authorised by them. But they gave me quite a bit creative freedom there, most likely as a result of I used to be simply continuously producing my very own stuff — like "1-Four-Three (I Love You)" I simply made with a good friend in my home.The predominant distinction is that now] all the things I launch is completely mine. I obtained to place out one thing good.

These days, it's not like earlier than. People suppose that the massive firms make songs and their artists simply launch it. It's not like that. These days, the businesses need their artists to do their very own issues and so they're making an attempt to assist that. And there are just a few folks like members BTS who produce and all the things. It's altering now, it's actually altering, and now artists are discovering their very own colours inside these firms. Before, all the things was simply the identical. 

Because Okay-pop nonetheless will get an unfair tag that it's "factory-made."

It can't be factory-made when it's folks. You can't make or program folks. Everything's evolving and all the things's going into route. 

What's a particular reminiscence out of your time then?

You know, I had this single known as "Monster." I wrote that with a good friend mine named Bazzi. At the time, Bazzi was only a author, he was my good friend, and I used to be like, "This man is a tremendous author, he's obtained to get huge." Just one these folks you actually hope that they'll get huge. He used to return to Korea quite a bit, he wrote quite a bit and got here up with this tune. He was simply wonderful, I nonetheless bear in mind I used convey him buying, as a result of he actually preferred Korean garments. It's simply wonderful how I am going and movie a film and the following day he's everywhere in the Billboard charts. He evokes me in a manner as a result of he works so onerous. If he didn't make it, I’d have been like, "This sucks…" you recognize? But he's accomplished rather well. It's been wonderful. He's simply genius.

What's the Henry Lau imaginative and prescient lately?

I have a look at all the things as one lately, there are no borders.