updated 7 Jul 2014, 04:54
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A-mei: It's just a different me

ONE of her latest music videos, Hei Chi Hei, has been banned in her own country.

But Taiwanese pop sensation, Zhang Huimei (A-mei) is making no apologies for the controversial video that features masochistic and sexual themes.

A-mei, 37, told The New Paper in a phone interview from Taiwan: 'Everyone has different sides to them. My latest 'self-titled' album, Amit, just shows another facet of my personality.

'I feel that with this album, my work has come full circle. There is now a feeling of total completeness.'

A-mei, who is of Taiwanese aborigines descent, chose the name Amit as it is her aboriginal name.

In the music video in question, A-mei's character is dressed in an outfit made of black crystals and tied up with black ropes.

Another scene shows her first hugging a man dressed in a skimpy top made of leather straps. She then kills him when spikes suddenly project from her body.

Other controversial scenes include A-mei simulating sexual positions and the male lead character suggestively licking a tomato.


Taiwanese TV stations have deemed these images unsuitable for broadcast because of the violent and sado-masochistic content.

But the video can be seen on MTV Asia (StarHub Ch 20), MTV China (StarHub Ch 51) as well as online file-sharing sites such as YouTube.

The MTV channels could not be reached for comment.

A-mei's fans seem to be standing by their idol's controversial video, with comments posted online such as 'it's no big deal' and 'wow, what a cool video' on Asian entertainment forum, AsianFanatics.

Music fans The New Paper spoke to agreed that the music video was a 'daring effort', but they felt it was 'unacceptable for mainstream viewing'.

Said Ms Valerie Sim, 32, a public relations executive: 'I'm no fan of A-mei. However, the video was very cool.

'I respect her more now for daring to do something other than her usual sweet, syrupy stuff.'

A-mei confessed she had 'communicated' with her family members to prepare them for the controversial video.

The pop diva, who is known as the 'pride of Taiwan' and who has released numerous award-winning albums such as I Want Happiness and Star, is no stranger to controversy.

In 2000, she was invited to sing the Taiwanese national anthem at President Chen Shuibian's inauguration ceremony.

Supporters of the unification between Taiwan and China slammed A-mei for her 'political declaration in support of Taiwanese independence' and the singer was banned from performing in China for two years.

Four years later, the singer once again came under fire, this time for a kissing scene between two men in a wedding scene in her music video Love Is The Only Thing.

'I'm honest'

A-mei said: 'I don't want these things to be misconstrued. What I wanted was to be honest and really discuss society as it is.

'That's also why with Amit, I felt finally free and I could direct the concept of this album.

'These topics were very difficult for me to bring up with my production team before.'

A-mei admitted that she had felt suppressed 'for a long time' and was afraid that the public would think that 'Zhang Huimei could only sing this type of songs (ballads)'.

Her fans in Singapore can look forward to seeing their idol perform at the three-night musical event, F1 Rocks, which takes place at the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix from 24 Sep to 26 Sep.

Other stars headlining the concert include Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce and Jacky Cheung.

When asked if she had a favourite Formula One (F1) driver, A-mei was stumped.

'They all have very long names,' she said, laughing.

She revealed that she was excited about getting a chance to experience the F1 race up close because she loves driving.

She said: 'This is my first time at an F1 event.

'To get to hear that noise, the sound of the cars driving past at top speed, it will be incredible.'


WHAT: F1 Rocks

WHERE: Fort Canning Park

WHEN: 24 - 26 Sep 2009, 5pm

TICKETS: $210, $200, $195, $185, $175 are available from Sistic (63485555)



This article first appeared in The New Paper.

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