Chinese pop sensation, LAY (Lay Zhang) has delivered a brand new project as he drops, West, a new EP available now on all streaming platforms. The entirety of the five tracks shows LAY continuing to deliver an interesting cross-cultural blend of sounds in a way that is uniquely and authentically him. West is sure to delight the international phenomenon’s plethora of fans with upbeat bops and impressive vocals over smooth modern hip-hop beats. The five tracks include an English and Mandarin version of the lead single, Veil accompanied by a visually stunning music video that was released on September 21.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of LAY’s debut as an artist, the superstar will be doing a series of concerts overseas before making his way to North America. Live shows in Malaysia and Singapore to be held next month were already announced as part of his global “Grand Line 2: Infinite Lands”. Also announced is an appearance as the headlining act at MetaMoon, Live Nation’s Asian-focused mega-festival taking place at Barclays Center in NYC on November 26.
The story of West was developed last year when the project was introduced with the EP East about M-POP’s new “universe”, focusing on the Eastern side of the world. In this vast musical territory, LAY took listeners through a fantastical eastward journey. With West, the Mando-Pop star’s musical “universe”, draws inspiration from the concept of “seeking the West Continent”, opening a new chapter after the musical journey of East.
“I am extremely excited to celebrate my 10th anniversary with this brand new EP ‘West’. A lot of the sounds, lyrics, and content was inspired by the quote, “If the wind knows my intentions, blowing dreams to Xizhou”, said LAY. I hope that everyone can enjoy the emotion and dreamlike quality I tried to provide in this EP and music video.”
For the Chinese, the word “West” has always sparked the imagination. The ancient fantasy of the West is like a mysterious veil that hides an exotic object. With psychedelic aspects, the dream maker continues to use the forward-thinking of “M-POP” to present the fusion of ancient, modern, and real dreams. In West, the oriental musical instruments, symbols, and expressions radiate unexpected sounds, images, and meanings all the while creating another collision between China and the West, and another integration of the ancient and modern.
Credit: Zhang Yixing Studio
On the lead single, Veil, LAY acts as a dream maker by using music as an illusion. The deformed erhu and the restless trap rhythm creates a bursting dance atmosphere with an exotic hook that keeps listeners constantly surprised, much like a dream. Now if LAY gave you an Aladdin lamp, what would you wish for? 3 Wishes describes the scorching beauty of selfless dedication between lovers in a way of reproducing mythology.
The tender R&B track, Understand, expresses the complicated feelings between two parties in love, and expresses the sincerity of “I can take the initiative first“. In the Internet age, not only public figures, but anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. As a public figure, the attitude in this track I Don’t Care is to fight back against cyber bullying. Lyrics such as “I know I can’t escape the suffering that I should endure”, make it seem like you’re waking up from a dream.
Along with the EP, LAY drops an accompanying music video for Veil. The music video perfectly plays on the already dreamlike quality of the track. It starts out on a bustling street as the sounds of the erhu begin to permeate.
Suddenly, the dancer appears and as Mahjong pieces fly in the air, we are transported into a dream. Viewers are then greeted with the artist dancing lively to match the trap beat. Eventually, the global star literally does ‘Illuminate the room’ as the visuals change with vibrant lights and stunning choreography. The colorful aspects remain as we jump between various scenes including a brightly lit city street and a serene forest until the video ends with a return to reality.
LAY has been and continues to be a household name in Asia, and his career has been a whirlwind the last two years after joining forces with Steve Aoki and will.i.am for the 2020 hit cross-cultural collaboration Love You More, reaching #1 on the QQ Music China chart.
He then released a string of hits with an album, an EP, cross-genre collaborations, and solo singles overseas further propelling his international star power. LAY’s most recent release was a global collaboration with American hip-hop artist 24kGoldn on the single Dawn to Dusk, which received over 2 million streams on Spotify alone. With his hit 2020 album LIT, and its title track of the same name, the digital album made over 30 million yuan in just 7 minutes 19 seconds after its release on QQ Music in China. In 2021, he released an EP EAST, on his birthday that featured his renowned “M-POP” style telling a story of spiritual growth in his career using oriental elements and symbolic identities.
The Chinese icon is one of the most beloved stars in the region with a loyal and highly engaged 51 million followers on Weibo and over 14.1 million followers on Instagram. As a solo artist, LAY’s career has skyrocketed from tremendous success becoming the highest-ranked Mando-pop star on Billboard 200 chart and the first Chinese artist to enter the iTunes Top 60 in the U.S. with his third solo album NAMANANA. Outside of music, he is a powerhouse in the acting world of TV and film, hosted multiple top-rated reality shows in Asia, and is one of the most awarded artists in China.
Source: Miller PR