Like a Youth, Like Hongyu Chen

Hongyu Chen.
Hongyu Chen. Picture | Authorised


Like A Youth is a folk album named by the same song that released by Hongyu Chen, a Chinese singer and songwriter, in March 2017. Some say that he is quite lucky to get the breaks in just a few months compared to other independent musicians. However, he has prepared himself for the opportunity.

After university, Chen became one of the millions ‘Beijing Drifters’. He had experience of managing a restaurant and a radio programme, but did not give up his dream. In fact, all the adventures have been made into his music: the moment of homesick, listening to the rain, stories along the way of his hitchhike trip.

On the Way and the Song of Walking were written by Chen during this trip with a friend. From the north to the south, accompanied by two guitars, they travelled across deserts and mountains. In the first song, he wrote: “Love the breeze in the wild more than poverty and thinking, heating the snow in late winter and writing a letter in the long summer.”

Everything in his lyrics are so vivid, which is a result of perfect cooperation between Chen and lyric writer Yingfeng Tang. Their collaboration began when Tang won a lyrics competition for a song originally called No Name by Chen. Later they changed its name to Mature Dreams, a symbolic song that brought him into public notice. People who love this song say that the emotion behind the singing, rather than its narration, recalls a lot of memories for the listeners.

In Like a Youth, the most famous lyrics is “you need to stay in this world if you want to avoid it”. This philosophical statement shows the spirit of an idealist: never give up your dreams. About half a year ago, he revealed the background of this song. He wrote it when he was in a band in his high school. After the band dismissed, he only had contact with the drummer, who was really touched after listened to this song. They came up with the idea to perform together at somewhere they used to do. Finally, they made it in Tongliao, a city in Inner Mongolia. The moment when they stood on the stage again was so glamorous, and in some sense, private to themselves.

Now, Chen has gained popularity amongst music lovers and has established his own music brand. But to many fans, he is the young boy who loves music more than anything else forever.