Getai artist Hao Hao drinks beer before showtime to smooth his vocal cords
To loosen up his vocal cords before a show, popular Taiwanese getai singer Hao Hao swigs an unlikely beverage: beer.
Speaking over the telephone from Taiwan, the 27-year-old says with a laugh: “As long as I drink some beer, my voice will open up, especially if I have not been talking much before I am about to sing.”
He is headlining a concert here at D’ Marquee at Downtown East on Feb 15.
Getai fans would have heard Hao Hao, whose real name is Cheng Shih-wen, switching between male and female voices in his colourful stage performances held here during the Hungry Ghost Festival in the past two years.
For the upcoming concert, he promises to serve up R&B and rock ’n’ roll in his Mandarin and Hokkien numbers as well.
There is another treat for fans.
He says: “I’ll be doing a duet across time and space with Big Brother Lim Lee.” Lim, a popular local getai performer, died last October. He declines to say how this will be done.
Aside from his getai gigs, Hao Hao is probably best known here for his role as a getai performer in Royston Tan’s 2008 movie 12 Lotus.
“He saw me perform on stage and observed me for a month. I didn’t know he was going to offer me a role,” says the entertainer.
Tan will be making a special guest appearance at the upcoming show.
Hao Hao has been performing since he was 13.
“My uncle was staging a getai type show and I tried it out. I got hooked and subsequently sang in restaurants and pubs,” he recalls.
His big break came in 1996 when he took part in a Taiwanese TV singing competition, went through 15 rounds and came up tops.
That was also when he discovered his ability to hit the high notes as he was in the group taking on Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung’s songs.
Hao Hao is an only child and his father is dead. He says that his mother was “quite encouraging” of him entering the entertainment industry.
“She only said, ‘Do what you want as long as you don’t pick up bad habits.’”
He broke up with his girlfriend five years ago. They had drifted apart over their different lifestyles.
“She was a department store counter girl with a nine-to-five job, while mine was more nightlife,” he says.
He does not appear to be in a hurry to get into another relationship.
He says: “I don’t like people looking after me, I prefer freedom. It’s really up to fate.”
A high note in Hao Hao’s career is playing a getai performer in Royston Tan’s 12 Lotus movie (with comedienne Liu Lingling).
book it HAO HAO’S CHINESE NEW YEAR CONCERT
25 Feb 2009, Sunday, 7:30pm
Pasir Ris Downtown East, D' Marquee